Amigurumi Face Embroidery Tutorial

How to embroider eyes and face for amigurumi crochet

Face embroidery for your amigurumi dolls is a great way to give them lots of personality. The picture shows a finished amigurumi doll with the face embroidery completed.

Embroidering eyes and faces for your amigurumi is a great way to give them lots of personality. Spring Bear (find the free crochet pattern here!) really comes to life after embroidering the face! Safety eyes are still a great option, but nothing beats the cuteness of a uniquely embroidered face. Bonus points to embroidered eyes on amigurumi for being safer for children (safety eyes aren’t recommended for children under 3) and requiring fewer materials to complete!

In the tutorial below, I share my method for face and eye embroidery on your amigurumi. In the tutorial video at the end of the post, I’m embroidering the face for my Tiny Cat – check out the free Tiny Cat amigurumi pattern here.

Face embroidery for your amigurumi dolls is a great way to give them lots of personality. The picture shows an example of face embroidery on one of Tiny Curl's amigurumi dolls.

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Materials you’ll need to embroider a face:

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Picture shows the face embroidery of an amigurumi fruit girl. Her embroidered eye lashes show how happy she is and she also has a embroidered nose and mouth.

Step 1: If possible, embroider eyes and face before stuffing/finishing your amigurumi. Tame any loose yarn before starting.

It is infinitely easier to embroider on an open crochet piece than on one you’ve already finished and stuffed. Although you have a better idea of placement after you’ve finished your amigurumi, it’s a lot harder to make clean stitches and fasten off your face thread.

Flower Gal showing which crochet rounds to place amigurumi face embroidery.

Step 2: Have a picture for reference and plot the face

Most amigurumi patterns at least have a picture of the finished project you can reference to see what rounds the face should be embroidered on. You can try zooming in on images to try to see exactly how the face is made. In my patterns, I always give you the rounds various face elements should be on. For example, the free Flower Gal pattern embroidery instructions read: The nose is at the center of rnd 10, the mouth is at rnd 11, and the eyes are 4 sts wide and are placed on rnds 9-11. Take a look at the photo above to see how I count the rounds and stitches to place my face elements (round 1 of Flower Gal’s head is hidden by the petal!)

This would also be the time to use your water soluble marker if you’re using one. You would draw the face you want to embroider on with the marker, then embroider the face and rinse off the marker with water and let your piece dry before continuing your crocheting.

Step 3: Choose your thread or yarn, thread your embroidery needle and triple knot your end

It’s important to use the correct thread or yarn for your project. You want the thickness of your yarn to match the size and scale of your amigurumi doll. For small amigurumi (smaller than 7 inches tall), I use between 4-6 strands of black embroidery thread. For larger amigurumi (7-12 inches tall), I use lightweight black yarn. If your projects are jumbo, you can experiment with worsted weight yarn for face embroidery, too!

Step 4: Start from the the center and work outwards

First embroider the central features like the nose or mouth, then move to the eyes. This ensures that your face is centered on the pieces and you have a central reference point when embroidering the eyes. The order I work in is: nose, mouth, and finish with eyes

Up close shot of the amigurumi frog free crochet pattern during the face embroidery step.

Step 5: Insert needle THROUGH the stitch not BETWEEN stitches

This is the step that will make or break your amigurumi face. If you insert your needle between stitches (the holes between each stitch), you’ll end up with loose and wiggly embroidered stitches. Inserting your embroidery needle through a part of your stitch (the part that looks like an upside down V), your thread will be more secure and will stay where you put it. The image above shows what the needle through the stitch looks like!

Step 6: Now it’s time to embroider eyes and face on your amigurumi!

Now’s where the magic happens. Embroider that face! My patterns will tell you what kind of stitches to make for each face element. But my most used embroidery stitches are the backstitch (used for eyes, eyelashes, and mouths) and the French knot (used for cute noses or small eyes like for Party Snail).

Step 7: Don’t be afraid to pull out thread and start again

I still do this ALL THE TIME. I would rather have my face looking right and redoing it a couple or even 3+ times, then finishing my amigurumi doll and hating the face and then hating the whole project. Just use the end of your needle to pull out the stitches you want to redo and breathe!

To see these embroidery tips in action, check out the IGTV video tutorial below!

I hope you’ll give face embroidery for your amigurumi doll a try. It takes a bit of practice, but the results are so worth it!

Face and eye embroidery for amigurumi crochet

10 thoughts on “Amigurumi Face Embroidery Tutorial

  1. Thank you so much! This has been most valuable…. I have young grand-nieces…and last year I taught myself to crochet… during this COVID isolation, I’ve been busy. One Question? If you take your crocheting yarn and separate the fibres…could you ever use that to embroider..??

    1. Hi Barbara, I’m glad crochet has been keeping your busy during self-isolation! Yes, you can most definitely use yarn to embroider. Instead of separating the fibers of the yarn strand, I would just use a thinner weight yarn. You can use lightweight (dk weight) or super lightweight (fingering weight) yarns to embroider your face with great results. Sometimes when you separate a strand of yarn, it becomes too weak and snaps.

  2. Ana Carolina says:

    Oh, learning is always so good!! I used insert my needle beetween the stitches and you are so right! I’ll folllow your tips now! But I have one question: is this step (STEP 5: INSERT NEEDLE THROUGH THE STITCH NOT BETWEEN STITCHES) should be done only in the first time you insert the needle or between the stitches too?! Thank you very much for this fabulous tutorial!!

    1. ANA CAROLINA says:

      Sorry, I’ve watched your video and I have the answer already! Thank you very much!!

      1. I’m glad the video answered your question and that the tips were helpful! xo Kristina

  3. I dont have Instagram, do you have a video on YouTube? I like the way you explain but I would like to see a video. Thank you

  4. Sorry forget my first comment I was able to see the video! Thank you

  5. Carol Heanes says:

    Thank you so much taking the time & trouble making these videos to help us all. I find them SO helpful, and I love your patterns too that you share with us. I constantly scour the Internet for free patterns & ideas – yours are by far the best! You are very generous, I hope you do well in life, you deserve to. Well done Nikki!

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet message! I’m so glad you enjoy the patterns

  6. I’ve recently been chrocheting amigurumi. Some require mouths and such. But they have you do it after the fact. When you’re done and finished off the stuffed part. Any solutions?

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