Have you been admiring those adorable amigurumi animals and fruits on Instagram and Pinterest? You may be surprised how easy many of these projects are to make – we’ll be sharing beginner-friendly tutorials and patterns for you to make your own amigurumi items.
What is amigurumi?
Amigurumi is a particular crochet style that began in Japan, but has gained global popularity in recent years. Let’s take a closer look at this distinctive crochet style.
What does amigurumi mean?
The word amigurumi is Japanese, and roughly translates to “stuffed knitting”. It comes from two kanji characters: ami and gurumi.
The first Japanese character, ami, means knit or crochet (there is only one word for both in Japanese). The second character, gurumi, means wrapped, referring to the stuffed nature of amigurumi toys.
The term in Japanese doesn’t explicitly mention toys, but this can be assumed when you’re talking about stuffed knitted or crocheted objects. Taken less literally, amigurumi means a knitted or crocheted toy, though they are most commonly crocheted.
Technically, amigurumi can be any style, as long as it is crocheted or knitted. However, these toys typically have a particular aesthetic, called kawaii in Japanese.
Kawaii essentially means “cute” and amigurumi toys are typically cartoonishly sweet: animals, people and mythical creatures with button noses and rosy cheeks.
Commonly, amigurumi projects are worked in joined rounds. However, this is not a hard and fast rule: you could work amigurumi in any way you like!
Generally speaking, amigurumi patterns are fairly simple and so are suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced crocheters.
20 super-cute amigurumi projects perfect for beginners
Whether you want to make an endearing, plush whale, a happy piece of fruit, or even a delicious macaron, there’s something for everything in this round-up of 20 amigurumi projects. These patterns are all beginner-friendly, but more advanced crocheters will also love these fun items!
Most of these are free to access, while some are available to purchase for a small fee.
1. Beginners’ Amigurumi Whale
This video shows you how to make your own super simple and super cute amigurumi whales. The whales ooze that characteristic cuteness with their round bodies, little fins and tail, and big eyes.
The video tutorial is easy to follow with extremely comprehensive instructions. As well as walking you through the process of crocheting your amigurumi whale, it also covers essentials such as the materials used, yarn recommendations and beginner techniques such as knots.
The pattern is worked in two different colors of yarn: one for the top of the whale and a different color for the belly. You can choose more natural blues and greens, or let your imagination go wild with bright pinks or multi-colored yarn.
Along with following the video tutorial, you’ll find the pattern here.
2. Totoro Key Chain
Every anime fan knows Totoro, the title character from the cult movie My Neighbor Totoro. Totoro is a mythical woodland creature that some believe is based on Japanese folklore.
This video tutorial shows you how to make your own Totoro keychain with detailed step by step instructions. The tutorial also covers how to complete the finishing details such as the eyes, whisker details, and attaching the keychain.
Although the keychain is packed with detail, it is relatively easy to make, and this pattern is suitable for all levels. You’ll find more patterns for the other amigurumi doll keychains on Etsy.
3. Watermelon Slice Home Décor Project
Amigurumi isn’t just about animals and fantastic creatures. Objects and, particularly, fruit are very common in the craft; this watermelon slice is an excellent example.
This crochet watermelon slice is brought to life with eyes, a smile, and even rosy cheeks! It makes a cute home décor item or “shelf buddy”, but note that it is not a toy and is not suitable for children.
The video has step-by-step instructions to make your own watermelon slice, and you can also follow the written pattern here.
4. Easy Amigurumi Whale
Another great example of the classic amigurumi whale, this mini toy is quick and easy to make. The finished project is a little under three inches long (depending on the weight of the yarn you use), so can be used as either a toy or turned into a keychain.
You could make this versatile little item in pastel tones for a baby’s mobile, or even sew in a little catnip to create the perfect cat toy. If making the whale for either of these purposes you should replace the plastic eyes with safer embroidered ones.
This project is not only fun to play with but it is fun to make too! The printable PDF pattern is available for download here for a modest fee.
5. Amigurumi Pumpkin/Gourd
Perfect for Halloween, this adorable pumpkin has a happy little face and a big smile. The project is easy to make and is perfect for beginners.
The video tutorial details not only step-by-step instructions to make this happy pumpkin, but lots of handy tips including how to best stuff the toy so that it keeps its shape.
The pattern uses chunky yarn and suggests using traditional tones like oranges and browns, though you can play around with colors for different effects. Check the video description for the written pattern instructions.
6. Amigurumi Crochet Pug
What’s the only thing cuter than a real pug? An amigurumi pug, of course! This tiny crochet project is just a couple of inches long and you can whip it up in about an hour.
The video tutorial is in Russian, but there are detailed English subtitles that you can easily follow to make your very own pug.
You’ll learn how to crochet the little dog and do the dark detailing on the face that unmistakably makes it a pug.
7. “Boo Baby” Mini Ghosts
For something a little different, why not crochet a pair of amigurumi ghosts? This pattern is suitable for crocheters of all levels, from beginners to advanced.
The pattern recommends using a small hook and fine yarn that could be tricky for some beginners, but you could work it with a larger hook and heavier yarn first to practice your skills.
These are easy to make and each toy can be completed in a few hours. You can customize your ghost by varying the color scheme and facial expression.
Ready to get started? You can buy the pattern and full instructions for download here.
8. Basic Crochet Doll Body
This project provides the base for any doll figurine that you can customize to make a princess, a firefighter, or whatever character you can imagine!
It is quick and easy: you should be able to make your doll in around an hour, and the video tutorial walks you through the process step by step. You can also find the written pattern in the description of the video.
The completed doll is around five and a half inches long when using a 4mm crochet hook, though you can use the same pattern to make a larger doll using a 5mm hook. When finished, this pattern is the doll body with just the basic shape and two eyes – you’ll need to add hair, clothes, or other details to fit the character you want to make!
9. Standard Amigurumi Head and Body
This is another generic base for amigurumi projects, but more suitable for animals and mythical creatures. This same base can be used for a range of amigurumi toys, from elephants to Pikachus.
The video tutorial walks you through the process in detail, creating a head, body, arms, legs, and eyes. Like the doll base for human figurines, this allows you to let your creativity go wild and make any amigurumi creature you can imagine!
This base is quick and easy to make, even for beginners. You can get the written pattern for this and other projects here.
10. Long-Legged Bunny
What makes this project different to many amigurumi toys is that it has longer arms and legs, unlike the typical tiny limbs. You’ll find the free pattern and written tutorial here to create a unique bunny that makes the perfect toy or gift.
This bunny is easy to make and is suitable for beginners. In fact, the pattern covers a few basic techniques, so makes a great entry-level project to practice your skills.
The pattern includes options for both straight and floppy ears, so you can choose the one you prefer or make one of each!
11. Amigurumi Duck
This beginner-friendly project lets you crochet a fluffy yellow duck. The video shows you how to make the duck on his own, as well as how to make him sitting in a removable eggshell that you can pop him in and out of.
The easy-to-follow tutorial suggests using yellow yarn for the duck body and orange for the feet and bill, but you could also play around with other colors for a fantasy look. It produces a relatively large duck that is a perfect plush toy or Easter gift.
If you want the written pattern to accompany the video tutorial, you can get it for free here.
12. Crochet Amigurumi Bumblebee
A bumblebee seems a natural fit for a round, plush amigurumi toy. This project makes an oversized but no less adorable bumblebee that is bright and cheery.
The bumblebee features characteristic yellow and black stripes, delicate wings, and a big, smiley face complete with rosy pink cheeks. The project is easy to make and suitable for all levels.
You’ll find the video tutorial easy to follow with clear instructions, but if you prefer to work from a written pattern that’s available for free here.
13. Little Amigurumi Strawberry
On the other end of the scale is this mini amigurumi strawberry. This simple project is perfect for beginners, being quick and easy to make.
The pattern features a characteristic amigurumi smiley face, but if you prefer, you can leave the face off as the strawberry looks lovely with or without it. See the notes on the video for how to modify the project according to your preference.
The video tutorial explains how to make the strawberry from start to finish, as well as covering all of the crochet techniques you’ll need to know. You can also check out the written pattern here.
14. Easy Crochet Octopus
This is one of the easiest amigurumi projects you’ll find, consisting of just a simple round body and a scalloped base to represent the legs. The pattern does involve crocheting in the round, as well as single crochet and half-double crochet stitches, but these are all explained in the video.
If you want a bit more of a challenge, you can add a takochu mouth, the characteristic o-shaped anime mouth, otherwise you can leave the face plain. These little octopuses are even stackable so you can make a bunch to create an octopus tower.
As long as you know the basics of crochet technique, you’ll easily be able to make one octopus in less than an hour. Check out the written pattern here or simply follow along with the video tutorial to create your own little amigurumi octopus.
15. Amigurumi Starfish
You can head under the sea with these sweet starfish. These super simple, beginner-friendly starfish are just under three inches long if made with fine yarn and a 2mm crochet hook.
You can make bigger, chunkier starfish by using heavier yarn and a bigger hook.
Head here for the free pattern and written tutorial. You’ll also find patterns for other marine animals such as seahorses and octopuses to make your own amigurumi seascape on the same site.
16. Valentine’s Day Crochet Heart
You can sew your own endearing amigurumi heart, whether for Valentine’s Day, a gift for a loved one, or just to bring a smile to your face. You’ll complete the project in under an hour with this easy-to-follow video tutorial.
The video clearly shows you how to make the heart, and explains how to crochet in the round and how to use a stitch marker. This is a simple project that is perfect for beginners, and especially crocheters who want to practice working in the round.
The written pattern for this project is available for free here.
17. Pusheen Cat
This pusheen cat is another delightful amigurumi animal that is easy to make. There is no mistaking the characteristic Japanese style of this chubby little cat with big eyes.
This is a beginner-level pattern tutorial and is suitable for novice crocheters. It is also a fantastic chance to practice detailing on the whiskers and stripes, as well as crocheting in multiple colors.
Follow along with the video tutorial or check out the written pattern and instructions here. This creates a relatively large cat that is ideal as a stuffed toy.
18. Amigurumi Macarons
For something a little different, try your hand at these amigurumi macarons that look good enough to eat! The video tutorial shows you how to make a simple macaron, as well as a version that has cream and a strawberry on top.
You can vary your yarn colors to represent whatever flavors you want your macarons to be, with a contrasting color for the filling in the middle.
Although the project is easy to make and suitable for beginners, it is a little challenging to make sure that both halves of the macaron look the same. However, this is the best way to practice your crochet skills and working in the round!
The video also shows you a handy trick to sew the macaron together to achieve a perfect, rounded shape and there’s also a pattern and written tutorial available here.
19. Chubby Bunny
Here’s another but completely different kind of amigurumi bunny rabbit. This “chubby” bunny is oversized, round, and snuggly, perfect as a stuffed toy.
This beginner-friendly project is ideal for novicer crocheters of all ages, and would make an excellent project for children and young crafters. The video tutorial is clear and easy to follow, and you can also get the free pattern here.
20. Jellyfish Keychain
Amigurumi animals make adorable keychains, and this sweet little jellyfish is no exception. The tiny project is extremely quick and easy to make – if you are a competent crocheter, you’ll whip this up in around half an hour.
Check out the written pattern here or follow along with the accessible video tutorial. This project is suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced.
Amigurumi crochet is fun to make, no matter your age or your skill level! The projects listed here are suitable for beginners, and most of the video tutorials and patterns are free to access.
Why not turn your hand to a cute, plush strawberry or octopus? It’s sure to make you smile!
Check out our other articles like this round up of the best crochet books, and this guide to how to read a crochet chart.