Everything you need to start crocheting amigurumi – from picking a pattern to learning the stitches!
I get a lot of questions about how I learned to crochet amigurumi and if it’s easy for beginner crocheters. First, is amigurumi easy for beginners? Yes! Amigurumi is perfect for beginners because it’s quick to make and you only need to know a handful of stitches and techniques to get started.
I learned everything I know about amigurumi from free resources on the internet. I watched tutorials on YouTube, followed amigurumi patterns, and improved along the way. I think the best way to learn how to crochet amigurumi is to work through a pattern, either a written pattern or a video pattern (my Apple Bottom pattern has both!), and learn each stitch and technique as you go.
In this post, I’ve laid out each step in crocheting amigurumi including tips on how to pick a pattern and buy supplies. I scoured the web for the best video tutorials for amigurumi beginners, which you’ll find toward the end of the post. Use this post as a reference to learn how to do each stitch and technique!
Click the links below to jump to each section!
- Step 1: Find a Pattern
- Step 2: Gather your Supplies
- Step 3: Time to Crochet
- Step 4: Learn the Basic Amigurumi Stitches & Techniques
- Step 5: Master More Amigurumi Techniques
Step 1: Find a Pattern
This is my favorite part of the amigurumi process – picking an amigurumi pattern! If you’re a beginner, there’re a couple things you should look for in your first pattern. First, make sure you start with a simple pattern. If you’re overambitious when starting out, you could get frustrated and quit! I started really really simple and made a ball for my first “amigurumi” pattern. Making a ball let me practice the main stitches and techniques in amigurumi without having to attach anything or make a face.
Second, look for a pattern with only a few pieces and made with simple shapes. Make sure the pattern lists all of the materials and stitches you’ll be using. If you found the pattern online, make sure the full pattern is included. If you are a visual learner, I recommend finding a video pattern tutorial – YouTube has lots of great free ones.
Free Amigurumi Patterns
There are tons of free amigurumi patterns online (you can find all of my free patterns here). The obvious benefit in choosing a free pattern is that you don’t have to invest money in a pattern that you may not like or that may be too challenging for you. But, not all free amigurumi patterns are high-quality – some are inaccurate, incomplete, or hard to follow.
Some amigurumi designers have paid patterns (see more about those in the section below) as well as free patterns on their blogs. So if you follow amigurumi designers on Instagram, you could see if they have any free patterns you could try as a first project.
Paid Amigurumi Patterns
Paid amigurumi patterns are typically digital PDF files that you buy from Etsy, Ravelry, or from a designer’s personal site. Paid patterns vary in price, but are usually around the $4 or $6 range.
Premium amigurumi patterns are usually pattern tested, meaning the designer had the pattern made and checked by other crocheters, so there are likely less mistakes and typos in a paid pattern. A crochet designer is also more likely to offer you one-on-one pattern help if you purchased their pattern. Paid crochet patterns are ad-free and in a printable format making them easier to read through.
Amigurumi Pattern Books
An amigurumi pattern book is a collection of patterns either from one or several crochet designers. The patterns have been tested and edited thoroughly so they rarely have mistakes. Amigurumi pattern books can be physical books or digital ebooks.
This is a great option if you want an easy to reference book with a bunch of patterns to make. They also usually include picture tutorials for all stitches and techniques present in the book.
Here are some beginner-friendly amigurumi pattern books I love:
Step 2: Gather Your Supplies
I put this as step 2 because if you’re a beginner starting out with no supplies, it’s easier and more affordable to just get the supplies you need for the pattern you’ve chosen than it is to buy a complete amigurumi supply kit. Below, I’ve listed the basic supplies you’ll need for most amigurumi patterns.
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Yarn for Amigurumi
I recommend starting with acrylic worsted weight yarn for your first amigurumi project – Caron Simply Soft is a great option.
If you’re a beginner, acrylic worsted weight yarn is an easy yarn to work. Acrylic yarn is affordable and stretchier and softer than cotton yarn. And worsted weight yarn is an easy-to-hold size. The thinner the yarn, the harder it is to see the stitches you’re making.
Once you get comfortable with worsted weight acrylic yarn, you can move onto thinner lightweight cotton yarn. It is my preferred yarn for amigurumi because it gives you more stitch definition and is less fuzzy than acrylic yarn. However, cotton yarn can be harder to crochet with because it doesn’t have a lot stretch and can sometimes be rough. A good alternative is a cotton-acrylic blend yarn which gives you the best of both worlds – YarnArt Jeans is a good one to try, but it’s sport weight (thinner than worsted).
My all-time favorite yarn to crochet amigurumi with is Rico Design Ricorumi yarn. I wrote a whole blog post on it here. I love the color range, the mini size of the yarn balls, and the quality is top tier.
The only hook I ever recommend are the Clover Amour Hooks. My most used hook sizes for amigurumi are Size B, Size C, and Size D.
Check out my hook size guide for picking the right hook for your yarn!
I really encourage you to get a good hook, even if you’re a beginner. Because amigurumi uses finer yarn and tight stitches, using a cheap hook will hurt your fingers and wrist over time and make it a lot harder to learn. If you buy 1 or 2 hooks at a time, it’s not too big of an investment and will save money in the long run because you won’t need to replace cheap hooks with better ones down the road. Clover Amour are the best hooks for amigurumi – they have ergonomic and soft grips and really strong hook shafts.
Other Amigurumi Crochet Supplies You’ll Need
- Tapestry Needle – You’ll need a tapestry needle to close your crochet doll, attach pieces, and weave in ends. A tapestry needle is a blunt-tipped needle with a large eye to pass your yarn through. They come in a variety of sizes – for amigurumi I prefer Size 16 because it’s thin enough to weave through tight stitches. You can also get a set with multiple sizes to see which you like best.
- Embroidery Thread & Embroidery Needle – If your project has a face, you’ll need embroidery floss to at least make the nose and mouth. I also love embroidering the eyes for my amigurumi and therefore don’t need safety eyes. My go-to embroidery supplies are black DMC Embroidery Floss and DMC Embroidery Needles.
- Safety Eyes – Safety eyes are used to add eyes to your amigurumi. They have a backer that goes inside your work so little kids can’t pull the eyes out – hence the name “safety” eyes! They come in a variety of sizes, so make sure you’re getting the right size for your ami!
- Stuffing – The only stuffing I use is Fairfield Poly-fil stuffing. Everything else I’ve tried is heavy and lumpy. I order POUNDS of this at a time and it lasts me forever. But they have small bags that are very affordable!
- Scissors – Obviously, you’ll need scissors to cut your yarn. You can use whatever you have on hand, the smaller and more pointy the better. And when you’re ready to upgrade to embroidery scissors – these adorable stork scissors are my favorites.
Step 3: Time to Crochet!
It’s time to start crocheting your adorable amigurumi! If you’ve never picked up a crochet hook before, you’re going to want to take it slow. It will feel like you are crocheting with your feet at first, but I promise if you keep practicing it will become second nature to you.
How to Read an Amigurumi Crochet Pattern
If you’ve chosen to follow a video tutorial, you can skip this part and jump to the stitch tutorials. But if you’re using a written amigurumi pattern, check out this section on how to make sense of it!
Before each pattern there should be an abbreviation chart explaining how the designer abbreviates the crochet stitches in the pattern. This is what my abbreviation chart looks like for my free Apple Bottom pattern:
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
hdc – half double crochet
inc – single crochet increase
inv dec – invisible decrease
rnd(s) – round(s)
sc – single crochet
sl st – slip stitch
st(s) – stitch(es)
[ ] – repeat steps between brackets for the specified number of times
( ) – the number of stitches you should have at the end of each round
* * – complete the stitches between asterisks all in next stitch
Most of these are standard (sc always means single crochet), but different amigurumi patterns may use the terms differently or in a different order in the pattern. You should also note if the pattern you are using has US (United States) terminology or UK (United Kingdom) terminology – there is a difference in what the crochet terms mean! Check out this handy breakdown of US versus UK crochet terminology by Haak Maar Raak.
I’ve broken down the first 3 rounds of the Apple Bottom crochet pattern to take you step-by-step through each round.
Step 4: Learn the Basic Amigurumi Crochet Stitches
Single Crochet (sc) and Increase (inc)
Invisible Decrease (inv dec)
Decreases stitches, making your round & stitch count smaller. Invisible decreases are essential to reduce holes in your amigurumi. Even if a pattern just says to decrease (dec), I always use the invisible decrease stitch.
Slip Stitch (sl st)
The video tutorial below shows how to do a slip stitch when you are crocheting back and forth (not in the round), but the process is exactly the same for this simple stitch.
Stuffing your amigurumi
Fastening off & Weaving in Ends for a Closed Piece
Fastening off means to secure and cut your yarn tail when you are done working on a particular piece. For a stuffed piece, you’ll need to fasten off your yarn, sew the opening closed, and weave in your ends.
Right Side versus wrong side
Step 5: Master a Few More Amigurumi Stitches & Techniques
Attaching Pieces in Amigurumi
Changing Yarn Color for Amigurumi
How to Embroider a Face for Amigurumi
How to Insert Safety Eyes
Crocheting around a chain
More Tutorials for Beginners
For answers to a ton of beginner amigurumi questions, head here.
To check out the best cotton yarns for amigurumi, click here.