How to Crochet Stuffed Animals The Woobles Way
When you learn to crochet, you open up a world of possibilities! You can crochet anything from blankets to bags and beyond, but around here, we’re pretty big fans of crocheting stuffed animals. The Woobles specializes in teaching the amazing art of amigurumi, the Japanese art of crocheting plushies. We focus our kits on crafting some of the cutest stuffed animals around.
In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to crochet stuffed animals like a pro. We’ll walk you through what you need to get started, the best tools to create your new little buddies, the steps you’ll take to crochet your critters, and how you can improve your new skill. So, let’s get started on crocheting your stuffed animal collection.
Table of Contents
What Do You Need to Start Crocheting?
Even if you’re brand new to crochet, you can still learn how to crochet stuffed animals. First, you need to know what you’ll need to get started. The most important materials you’ll need are:
- Crochet hook
- Tapestry needle
Don’t forget to get cozy before you get started! Because you’ll be sitting for a while, we recommend curling up in a comfy chair or wherever you feel best getting your crochet on.
What Are the Best Yarns and Hooks for Crochet Plushies?
Before you start crocheting, you’ll want to pick a yarn that fits where your stuffed animal is going. For instance, if your stuffed animal is heading to be a cuddle buddy for a child, you may want to consider working with a soft yarn, such as a chenille yarn. If you want a stuffed animal that’s more sturdy than soft, go for a cotton yarn. Because it’s usually harder to see your stitches with fuzzier yarns, you may want to start out with The Woobles Easy Peasy yarn if you’re a beginner. Unlike traditional yarn, it’s one smooth strand of fabric so it’s easy to see your stitches and impossible to split or fray.
When you crochet a stuffed animal, you want to make sure your stitches are tight enough to prevent stuffing from popping out, especially if you want it to be a children’s toy. A good rule of thumb when picking a crochet hook is to go 0.5 mm to 1 mm smaller than what’s recommended on the yarn label.
The Process of Crocheting a Stuffed Animal
Now that you know what materials and tools you need, it's time to learn how to actually crochet a stuffed animal! To crochet the stuffed animal you want to make, you’ll have to follow the critter’s pattern. Here’s a breakdown of the steps you’ll generally follow:
Step One: Make a Magic Loop
In most cases, you’ll start your stuffed animal by making a magic loop. There are many different ways to make a magic loop, but check out our tutorial to see how we make it The Woobles way!
Step Two: Crochet the Head and Body
When you work on a Woobles kit, you’ll notice that you’re crocheting the head and body altogether. Although that’s not how all stuffed animals are created, crocheting this way is a great way for a beginner to get started making stuffies. (Plus, it’ll save you from some much-dreaded sewing!) When you crochet the head and body of a stuffed animal, you’ll be building off of the magic loop, increasing and decreasing your stitches according to your pattern. Most often, you’ll be working with single crochet stitches, especially when you’re working with a Woobles kit.
If you’re using safety eyes, you’ll need to add those in before you close up your head and body. It’s impossible to add safety eyes if you can’t get into the inside of the stuffed animal’s head. You’ll also want to be sure your safety eyes are nice and secured before you start stuffing, which we’ll teach you how to do in a later step.
Step Three: Crochet the Legs
There are many different ways to crochet the legs of a stuffed animal, but here we’ll walk you through one of the ways we crochet the legs of an intermediate Wooble. To crochet the first leg, you’ll keep crocheting around half of the body until you decrease to the point of the foot. Then, to make the second leg, you slip stitch to join the yarn to the other side of the body. Repeat that process until your Wooble has two legs to run around on!
Step Four: Crochet the Arms
You’ll crochet the arms next. Here’s where you’ll be doing a little sewing later, but not to worry — The Woobles always tries to keep sewing to a minimum! You’ll make smaller magic loops, and then crochet until you have some floppy, long cylinders.
Step Five: Crochet the Ears
Your stuffed animal is going to need some ears to hear. Making the ears starts with, you guessed it, a magic loop! Increase the stitches from the magic loop until those ears are big enough to fit your creature.
Step Six: Crochet the Tail
Not all stuffed animals have a tail, but for the animals with tails, can you guess how you’ll get started? That’s right, you’ll need a magic loop! Then, you’ll increase the stitches until the tail is big enough and keep crocheting until it’s long enough.
Step Seven: Stuff Your Animal
Before your stuffed animal is all assembled, you want to be sure that it’s, well, stuffed! Stuff your critter a little at a time, making sure to smooth it out as you go to avoid lumps and bumps. Check out our tutorial for tips on getting your creature stuffed just right.
Step Nine: Put It All Together
The next step is to put your stuffed animal together. Many crocheters aren’t a big fan of this step, but the more you do it, the easier it’ll get! You’ll use your tapestry needle and your yarn to put your stuffed animal together. To see what sewing your stuffed animal together looks like, check out our video tutorial!
Step Ten: Embroider the Details
Not all stuffed animals need extra embroidery details, but you may want to add to your stuffed animal’s face to give it a little more personality. If you didn’t use safety eyes, you may want to embroider eyes. And even if you did, you can embroider lashes or other details to make those eyes pop.
You can also embroider a nose, mouth, or other unique characteristics. You can even make your stuffed animal blush! When you embroider details, you’ll once again be using your tapestry needle and yarn. To see how to embroider everything from eyes to blush, check out our video tutorials!
Levels for Crocheting Stuffed Animals
Now that you know how to crochet a stuffed animal, it's time to talk about levels. There are three main levels when it comes to crocheting stuffed animals: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. With The Woobles, we actually have a level that comes between Beginner and Intermediate: Beginner+. Let’s talk about how to crochet stuffed animals as a beginner first, and then we’ll get into Beginner+.
If you're a beginner, we recommend starting with a simple pattern or crochet kit. The Woobles has tons of crochet kits for beginners, and all of them create an adorable amigurumi friend. Each kit comes with our Easy Peasy yarn, which is specially designed not to split (and not to give you any splitting headaches), as well as a hook, tapestry needle, and stitch markers. You’ll also receive step-by-step video tutorials that can turn you into a crocheting pro.
Amazing Crochet Kits for Beginners
If you're looking for some great stuffed animal crochet kits for beginners, we've got you covered. Here are some of our favorites:
Penguin crochet kit: Meet Pierre the Penguin! This kit is great for first-time crocheters, especially because it requires minimal sewing.
Bunny crochet kit: Meet Jojo the Bunny! This Beginner kit teaches you how to make an adorable new bunny, complete with a fluffy little pom-pom tail. Don’t forget to make Jojo her own carrot and basket!
Looking for something a little more challenging but not quite ready to try an intermediate level pattern? That’s why we made Beginner+ kits! Check out one of our favorite (and most popular) Woobles.
Dinosaur crochet kit: Meet Fred the Dinosaur! The dinosaurs may be extinct, but Fred is still ready to party like it’s 1999 B.C. With this kit, you’ll have everything you need to make a new dino buddy. As a Beginner+ kit, you’ll learn how to slip stitch join and make a chain for his arms, and then you’ll make many smaller magic loops for those spikes. This kit is dino-mite!
Amazing Crochet Patterns for Beginners
In this section, we’ll share with you the option between a pattern and a kit. But if you’re a newbie crocheter, you might want to stick with the kit since they come with step-by-step instructions and all the materials you’ll need.
Chick crochet pattern: If you’d like a kit, Kiki the Chick is waiting for you! If you’re feeling ready to take on a pattern instead of a full kit, we also offer Kiki’s pattern for free online.
Fox crochet pattern: When you make Felix the Fox, you’ll learn how to do some more advanced techniques, like color changes, and come away with an adorable new friend. To make a fox that’s a bit more advanced than that, check out this pattern by Crafty Bunny Bun.
Looking for another Beginner+ kit or pattern? Here’s one for a roaring good time!
Lion crochet pattern: Another great kit to use as your second crochet project is Sebastian the Lion, who’s on the Beginner+ level. Sebastian is little above our Beginner kits because of his fluffy mane, which you’ll make from lots of chains. For a larger and slightly more difficult pattern, check out this pattern tutorial by Odinka Wisanindhi.
Now that you’ve completed a few beginner kits, you’re ready to move onto intermediate patterns! With intermediate patterns, you’ll make more stitches, plus there’s a bit more shaping and construction involved. The Woobles is ready to help you make this jump with Intermediate stuffed animal kits of all kinds.
Amazing Crochet Kits for Intermediate Crocheters
Time to start looking for stuffed animal crochet kits for intermediate crocheters! We’ll put together a few of our favorites:
Bear crochet kit: Meet Fitzherbert the Bear! This honey-loving forest friend is great as your very first crocheted teddy bear.
Amazing Crochet Patterns for Intermediate Crocheters
Just like we did for the beginner pattern section, we’ll list both The Woobles kit and an additional pattern here. While you may be ready to tackle a pattern on your own, using a kit will save you the worry of wondering if you have the right kind and right amount of materials and tools.
Fox crochet pattern: While Felix is a great fox for beginners, intermediate crochets are ready to meet Francois the Fox! Francois loves the great outdoors and even comes with a little backpack because he’s always prepared for an adventure. For a more advanced pattern, check out Mr. Furu by Craft Passion.
Crocodile crochet pattern: If you’re looking for a crocodile kit, meet Klaus the Crocodile! Klaus will teach you how to make his bulging eyes, special snout, and twisty tail. For a sweet friend for Klaus, check out Vasilina Dauzhenka’s The Little Crocodile pattern.
If you’ve been crocheting for a while, you’re ready to dive into a more complicated pattern. Once you have a few Woobles done, give an advanced stuffed animal crochet pattern a try.
Amazing Crochet Patterns for Advanced Crocheters
Here we’ll give you the pattern alone since you’re basically a professional now! You got this!
Monarch butterfly crochet pattern: This adorable pattern will make you go from a crocheting caterpillar to a master crafter butterfly! Lalylala’s Monarch Butterfly pattern teaches you how to make removable pieces, so you can follow this pattern multiple times and make wings of all different colors. Your butterfly can be just as unique as you are!
Parrot crochet pattern: Airali’s Carlo the Parrot is a natural entertainer, and he doesn’t go anywhere without his unicycle! This pattern will show you how to make a parrot with quite a lot of personality.
Tips for Crocheting Stuffed Animals
Wondering how to crochet the perfect stuffed animal? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- When starting out, use light-colored yarn to see your stitches.
- Use The Woobles Easy Peasy yarn when you’re just learning so you can easily see your stitches.
- When using a pattern, check to make sure it’s in US or UK terminology.
- Always read the translation of the abbreviations, which the pattern maker should provide.
- Pick the right size crochet hook for your yarn so that your stitches are nice and tight.
- Make sure to stuff your plushie firmly, but not too much.
- Use a tapestry needle to weave in any loose ends.
- When you're finished, give your plushie a good hug!
We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to crochet stuffed animals! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you're looking for more crochet patterns, be sure to check out our website, Etsy, or Ravelry! Happy wooblin’!
How long does it take to crochet a stuffed animal?
The amount of time it takes to crochet a stuffed animal depends on the size and complexity of the animal. A smaller, simpler animal, such as a Beginner Wooble, may only take an experienced crocheter an hour or less, while a new crocheter may take between 3 to 8 hours. A larger, more intricate one, like an Intermediate Wooble, could take several days for a new crocheter, but more experienced crocheters may be done after 6 to 8 hours. If you're new to crocheting, it's probably best to start with something small and relatively easy so that you don't get discouraged. Once you've gotten the hang of things, you can move on to more complex projects.
How hard is it to crochet a stuffed animal?
Crocheting a stuffed animal doesn’t have to be hard! For many Wooblers, their first time crocheting a stuffed animal was also the first time they ever picked up a crochet hook. With our step-by-step tutorials and amazing support team, crocheting your first stuffed animal can be a breeze. We recommend always starting with a Beginner Wooble to get the hang of things before moving on to our more intermediate Woobles.
How do I wash crocheted stuffed animals?
For the best way to take care of your stuffed animals, check the care instructions on the yarn. Otherwise, you have a couple of options. You can choose to handwash your stuffed animals, but if you’re looking for an easier way, it’s usually safe to put your stuffed animals in the washing machine on cold. If you’re worried that delicate pieces, like embroidery, might come out, wash it in a bag made for delicates. Then, you can tumble dry your stuffed animal on low.
How much stuffing do you use for amigurumi?
When you stuff amigurumi, you want to stuff it enough to hold its shape without stuffing it so much that the stitches get stretched out and you can see the stuffing inside. On the other hand, if you stuff too little, your amigurumi will likely be more saggy than shapely.
As a general rule of thumb, start with less stuffing than you think you'll need. You can always add more if needed, but it's much harder to take away stuffing once it's in there! If your amigurumi is looking a little under-stuffed, just add a bit more until it looks plump and perfect. Not sure if you’re stuffing enough? Check out our video tutorial!
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