I heard friends and readers asking me how to do amigurumi, including patterns, materials, tools & tips, etc…. you will find all the answers in this post: How To Amigurumi!!!
Frankly speaking, just like all other crafts, to make a decent looking amigurumi is not easy but it is not hard as you thought too. You need skill, skill comes from knowledge and practice…. and to success in crafting, you need patience and the “never-give-up” attitude – do it again and again until you are satisfied with the result.
Amigurumi (編みぐるみ?, lit. crocheted or knitted stuffed toy) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. Amigurumi are typically animals, but can include artistic renderings or inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features.
How To Amigurumi
I spent months to master the skill of these cutie doggie amigurumi, no joke! My friend showed me this French Bulldog and asked if I can make a couple for her and her another friend. I totally in love with it at first sight so I went straight to the book store and get the Japanese version of Ami Ami Dogs. Can’t help myself and bought another one of the same series from the author.
The first few I made didn’t come out exactly like the one shown in the book, rather, they are looking at the different view and the head is tilted down. The yarn I bought didn’t look right too for the color, the white is not white enough to bring out the contrast of this doggies. So, I crochet them again after getting the right color that I want. Since then, I couldn’t stop by just crochet 1 pattern. I made another few breeds when I can find the right yarn color off hand. Click the Next button to view them all.
Recommended Amigurumi Books (Amazon Store):
1. Ami Ami Dogs: Seriously Cute Crochet
2. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi
3. Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet
4. Vanna’s Choice: Easy Crochet Critters
5. A Zoo For You
6. Crobots: 20 Amigurumi Robots to Make
7. Creepy Cute Crochet
8. Amigurumi Toy Box: Cute Crocheted Friends
9. Cuddly Crochet: Adorable Toys, Hats, & More
10. Cute Little Animals
11. More Cute Little Animals to Crochet
12. Big Book of Animals
Free online amigurumi patterns:
1. Planet June
2. Crochet Pattern Central
6. Freshstitches Amigurumi
Shop online patterns:
1. Planet June Shop
2. Roxycraft Shop
3. Anapaulaoli Etsy Shop
4. Mygurumi Etsy Shop
5. Crochetbury Etsy Shop
6. TLGD doll Etsy Shop
7. Jenny and teddy Etsy Shop
8. Delicious Crochet Etsy Shop
9. AmyGaines ArtFire Shop
10. Voodoo Maggie ArtFire Shop
Read the chart or written pattern carefully and make sure you understand all the instructions.
Prepare all the tools and materials needed to make the amigurumi and get started.
Crochet abbreviation – written [chart] pattern
sc [X] – single crochet
sc inc [V] – single crochet increase
sc dec (sc2tog) [Λ] – single crochet decrease (invisible crochet is a better choice to prevent hole forming, photo tutorial, video)
ch [Ο] – chain
slst [ • ] – slip stitch
Choice Of Yarn & Hook Size
Read the pattern instruction and look out for recommended yarn weight and crochet hook size. If you would like to make it in a different size, you can try out with different yarn weight and hook size.
Yarn weight: These 2 dogs are made from the same pattern but different yarn weight, which turned out in a different size. The smaller dog is from baby yarn and the bigger dog is from medium worsted yarn.
You can use synthetic fiber yarn which is cheaper and has a better color choice.
Hook size: A size smaller from the recommended hook size works perfectly for amigurumi. For example, if the recommended hook size stated on the yarn label said size 3mm, use 2.5mm instead.
Besides crochet hook, you will need the followings:
1. Tapestry Needles, I used #13 for chunky yarn, #18 for medium weight yarn, #20 for baby yarn & #24 for lace thread. You might need a long needle for big amigurumi.
3. Markers, or you can use a bobby pin to mark the first st of the row
4. Tweezers (blunt tip) or stuffing tool (see video how to use this stuffing tool)
5. All-purpose adhesive (transparent) for gluing eyes and nose, great for threading yarn through the narrow eye of the tapestry needle.
Stuffing & Weight
Stuffing: There is always a question of how much to stuff for the amigurumi, I stuffed mine until the amigurumi is firm and resemble the tubular shape of the amigurumi.
Weight: If you need to add weight so that the amigurumi stands better, you can use silica gel (in bead form), plastic beads for smaller amigurumi doll. A stainless steel bolt is good for a bigger amigurumi doll.
Eyes & Nose
Other names for amigurumi eyes are craft eyes, animal eyes or safety eyes. Basically, there are 2 types of attachment, stud type or sewn type. The photos shown are stud type, some came with back locking plates and for those don’t have, the eye has to be glued with all-purpose adhesive (not recommended if it is for kids under 3).
Normally, eyes come in either whole black or clear plastic with a black spot at the center. Select the suitable eyes and nose for your amigurumi.
I bought some of my parts and tools via this online shop.
You can also use beads, buttons and felts to make eyes and nose for amigurumi too.
Eye Color Customization
It is not necessary to buy a ready colored eye for amigurumi, you can always make add your own color to a clear eye.
For white, use correction pen (fluid type) and paint the back of the clear eye.
For other colors, use acrylic paint and paint the back of the clear eye.
I painted mine in green, brown, blue and white. You can even add design if you have a bigger clear eye, like adding iris stripes, circles, love shape, etc. to further enhance the effect of your amigurumi’s character.
Unlike normal crochet, in amigurumi your stitch tension has to be snugly tight to prevent “holes” forming, the holes will amplify after stuffing.
Change Yarn Color
In some patterns, you might need to change yarn color like those I did for the dogs, click here to get the tutorial on how to do it, or here for video.
Now you have all the parts (heads, arms, legs, torsos) of the amigurumi ready, installed eyes and nose, stuffed to the fullest firmness. It is time to join them up by sewing.
Click here to see how to join, or here for a video.
Some patterns will show where to join, for those don’t, look closely at the photo of your pattern to find the correct place to join. Sometimes you might have to unpick the stitches and redo the joining if you find the position is a little off, especially the first attempt. Don’t give up, you are about to cross the finish line!
If you have difficulty in getting the yarn through the eye of the tapestry needle, put a small drop of adhesive (for example, UHU or quick-dry all-purpose adhesive but not super glue, please) at the yarn end, twist and make it pointy. Let it dry before inserting through the eye of the tapestry needle.
Tidying up the messy yarn ends
After stitching, make a small knot with an adjacent stitch. Insert the needle back to the body and come out from the opposite (the further the better). Pull the yarn a little before clipping so that both the knot and yarn end can hide inside the body.
Practise, Practise & Practise!!!
Practise is the best way to achieve perfect amigurumi. I did more than 10 in the total of these cute doggies to achieve a close to perfect result. Each of them still looks a little different even though they are from the same pattern.