What is Amigurumi? A Beginners Guide to Japanese Amigurumi Crochet

World’s Finest Wool –  What is Amigurumi 

If you mention the word “Amigurumi,” most people do not know what it means. Yet the cute crochet dolls are in vogue all over the world. In this article, you will learn everything about Amigurumi and the essential Amigurumi basics, which will help you get started with Amigurumi crochet.

What exactly is amigurumi

Amigurumi refers to a Japanese knitting or crocheting art that is used to make tiny animal dolls, objects, food or even anthropomorphic objects. An amigurumi is usually between 5 and 15cm in size.

Amigurumi (Jap. 編み包み) is a compound of the two Japanese verbs amu (編む, Engl. knitting) and kurumu (包む, Engl. to wrap, wrap up).

As a rule, amigurumi figures correspond to the child scheme or resemble manga characters and creatures. Therefore, the petite dolls are suitable for playing, collecting or, for example, as a keychain. As a rule, amigurumi are between 10 and 15 centimeters in size.

There are many different Amigurumis, yet they all have something in common. Amigurumis are more or less abstract and often correspond to a childlike simplified worldview. Especially faces and figures mostly correspond to the childish scheme and are particularly cute. The color scheme is not infrequently unnaturally flashy and colorful, like the world of mangas.

Only a few Amigurumis have an actual function, but they are still suitable for playing and cuddling. Amigurumis are mainly intended for collecting, although the fascination is not necessarily in collecting but instead in their handmade production.

Handmade crocheted bunny, amigurumi toy
Handmade crocheted bunny, amigurumi toy

Where do amigurumi come from?

The first amigurumi originated in Japan. Presumably, thanks to trade relations between Japan and Denmark, needlework techniques such as crochet and knitting also established themselves in Japan.

A real boom experienced the figurative crochet in the course of the development of belittled figures (Chibis) such as Hello Kitty.

In the meantime, there are a variety of great Amigurumi designs. Whether animals and fantasy creatures or food with embroidered faces – the choice is vast.

Below, we have linked a few instructions that we find really fabulous.

What is the use of amigurumi?

Sure, dolls are something for children – quite clear – right? Well, with Amigurumi, this is not quite true. Sure, it’s a great toy for kids, but you can also give adults a little joy.

If you take a small design or reduce yarn thickness and needle size, you get not only a doll but also a key chain or a brooch to pin.

A Beginners Guide - Crochet a Amigurumi

Amigurumi crochet is really not difficult and can be learned very quickly. Besides a few special initial stitches, only solid crochet stitches are used.

Other crochet stitches or complicated patterns are rather the exceptions.

The basis of an Amigurumi are simple geometric solids, which are attached to each other or merge into each other. In this way, complex figures are created, which are then shaped by stuffing with filling material.

Finally, you give the Amigurumi its special character by designing the details. This includes small embroideries, decorations, eyes, hairstyle and much more.

The best way to get started with Amigurumi crochet is, of course, to take a basic Amigurumi course. But you can also learn to crochet Amigurumi by learning the basics of crochet yourself and just trying it.

Since there are already many Amigurumi instructions on the Internet, these invite you to replicate. As soon as you are a little practiced in Amigurumi, you can make changes to Amigurumi instructions.

Try a different color or test a new yarn. Soon you can give your Amigurumi an individual hairstyle, special eyes or even change the shape. Your Amigurumi will now have a character all its own.

If you want to go one step further, you can now design and crochet your own Amigurumi. Just because an amigurumi is crocheted so quickly, you can take your time to try and experiment.

What materials do I need for amigurumi?

For the basic equipment, you do not need much. With a crochet hook, wool, filling material and a darning needle, you can already make amigurumi yourself.

For decorations of the face and on the body, use different materials according to your own taste. Ideas for accessories can be found below. Amigurumis are basically excellent for recycling scraps.

What crochet hooks are suitable for amigurumi?

Crochet hooks should be nice and sturdy and fit well in your hand. Especially with the thin models that you use for Amigurumi, this is very important. However, the crochet hook should not be too heavy, because as a beginner, you quickly cramp up with concentration.

The wrongly purchased needle then quickly becomes a test of patience. Crochet hooks are offered in different materials. Metal and plastic have proven themselves because they meet the above requirements, so they are light and at the same time stable.

In addition, the tip of the crochet hook should be super smooth. Especially with plastic models, you must make sure when buying that there is no barb in the material.

Crochet hooks come in different strengths. The thickness of the crochet hook must match the yarn so that the desired stitch pattern is achieved later. Thick crochet hooks naturally produce larger stitches, while thinner ones can be used to crochet finer work.

Basically, however, it is advisable to test before starting work which strength of the crochet hook leads to the desired stitch pattern. You should not blindly trust the instructions or the information on the yarn bands.

For the small Amigurumi crochet animals, you need especially the thinner needles. Basically, it is advisable to have different sizes in the house because just the stitch pattern can turn out differently, or you want to crochet parts even with coarser stitches.

For Amigurumi, you usually need crochet hooks in the strengths 2.0 to 3.5 mm. Nevertheless, it is not wrong to have other sizes ready.

You can find the right crochet hooks in all sizes here.

Which wools and yarns are best for amigurumi?

The color, fiber and texture are important when choosing the best yarn for your amigurumi project. Cotton and acrylic yarns are great for stuffed animals, thanks to their smooth stitch definition and durable and soft texture!

If you want to make a toy for children, be sure to choose a yarn that is machine washable. Many yarns that are suitable for amigurumi also come in small bundles of various colors and packs that are the perfect size for amigurumi projects!

Quality yarns are easier to work with and don’t rib up during crochet. In addition, your crochet piece will be more durable, and you will enjoy your handmade piece longer.

Often you won’t find specific information about yarns in crochet instructions because basically any wool can be used. If you are unsure whether your chosen yarn is suitable for amigurumi, you need to adjust the needle size to your wool and make a test piece, i.e., a stitch test.

If you deviate from the given sizes of a tutorial, that’s not a big deal at all. However, it can happen that your amigurumi will be smaller or larger than originally indicated in the instructions.

With fancy yarns, your Amigurumis can glitter, become shaggy or get fuzzy hair. For example, the wool …. is suitable for this.

Cashmere Sweater

Cashmere Sweater

Cashmere Sweater

 * Disclosure: Links marked with Asterix or some picture links on world’s-finest-wool are affiliate links.  All our work is reader-supported – when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The decision is yours – whether you decide to buy something is entirely up to you.

Which material is suitable for filling amigurumis?

Of course, the little crochet animals also need to be stuffed; the filling material also determines the shape and is an essential component. There are several ways to fill Amigurumis. First, of course, you can also use fabric or wool scraps. But for this, the Amigurumi must have a very tight stitch pattern; otherwise, it will not have enough stability and will look shapeless.

Therefore we recommend the following materials for filling Amigurumis:

Polyester Fiberfill is the most common filling material for Amigurumi. It can be stuffed easily and is nice and fluffy. It also provides enough stability for your Amigurumi.

The material is made of synthetic fiber, washable and does not clump after washing. The Fiberfill is also available in gray or brown. For darker yarns, this color is more inconspicuous as a background.

As an alternative to the classic Polyester Fiberfill, there is also Organic Filling Cotton if you want to avoid synthetic materials.

To stuff the Amigurumis, you can use the backend of a pen. However, if you want to stay true to the amigurumi hobby, you should get a Stuffing Tool to make the work easier. This is a little more delicate and has a flat tip for more precise stuffing.

Decorating and embellishing

After stuffing, the amigurumi is almost ready. You may have to crochet a few more rounds; then, you just have to sew the individual parts together.

At least if you want your amigurumi to have arms, legs, paws or something similar. For this, you need a Darning needle. You can also use it if you want to embroider mouths, eyes, noses or decorations on the crochet animals. For the design of Amigurumis, you can use the most different materials and objects. Here are some possibilities for decoration:

Ideas for eyes and facial expressions:

  • Beads
  • Buttons
  • Eyes to create stuffed animals and dolls
  • Sequins
  • Embroidery twist

Ideas for face and body surfaces:

  • Felt
  • Leather scraps
  • Fabrics and fabric scraps
  • Plush scraps
  • Fur
  • Fleece ribbon

Ideas for decorations and accessories:

  • Top hat
  • Christmas hat
  • Scarf
  • Decorative ribbons for bows and collars
  • Bells

Starting wih your first Amigurumi?

Some crocheters have questions about is amigurumi easy for beginner crocheters? 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.

Before you begin an amigurumi project, you will need to know the sort of pattern you need and start learning the common amigurumi crochet stitches, including the magic ring, and other simple crochet techniques.

Basic crochet stitches in Amigurumi

One of the reasons that make amigurumi so popular among crocheters especially beginners is that the patterns require only a few basic crochet stitches with some increasing and decreasing techniques.

Once you master them, it’s possible to make hundreds of amigurumi patterns.

Let’s learn how to start!

Amigurumi projects typically start with a slip knot, and it doesn’t count as a stitch.

To do this, start by creating a loop with the yarn, be sure that the free end of the yarn is dangling behind your loop, then insert the hook through the center of the loop and hook the free end.

Then pull through and up onto the working area of the hook, then pull the free yarn end to tighten the loop, now you finished slip knot.

You have two methods for beginning any crochet amigurumi project. The first of them is the Slip Knot and chain stitch.

To do this, make a slip knot and bring the yarn over the hook from back to front and hook it, then draw hooked yarn through the loop of the slip knot on the hook that was your first chain.

For a chain of chain stitches, just continue in the same way until you have the desired number of chains. To turn the chain into a ring, place the end of the chain of chain stitches at the beginning. Then you stitch into the first stitch as for single crochet.

Once you’ve learned how to make a single crochet stitch, you’ll need to know how to increase stitches in each row.

This method is used to make the body and head sections wider. To do this, all you need is to make two single crochet stitches in one stitch.

This method creates fewer stitches in the current row than in the previous one. There are several different methods of decreasing; the design should indicate the preferred method to decrease stitch but let us learn how to make these methods:

  • Skipping next stitch: this method is the easiest one, all you need to leave out a stitch when crocheting the single crochet stitches. So you don’t stitch into the next stitch but only in the next one.
  • Crochet two stitches together: make regular single crochet but leave the two loops on hook, then insert hook in the next stitch and pull up a loop, now you have three loops on hook, yarn over, and pull through all loops.
  • Invisible decrease: this is an advanced technique and you can find how to do it in the “some tips and tricks section”.
Amigurumi Basics for Beginners
7 Tips to Make Your Amigurumi Crochet Doll Cuter

Some tips and tricks for crocheting amigurumi

With the following tips and tricks, it will definitely work out and give your amigurumi the perfect look.

Tips amd Tricks for crochet amigurumi

Start your Aramigumi with a Magic Ring

Start the starting round for Amigurumi with a so-called Magic Ring instead of an air stitch chain. The Magic Ring can be pulled tight so that there is no unnecessary hole and you don’t see the fill batting peeking through later.

Crochet invisible decreases

Being able to crochet invisible decreases is important when crocheting amigurumi. A good video tutorial  can be found here.

Avoid unsightly beginnings of rounds when crocheting

Work on your amigurumi in a spiral, which means: Don’t end each round with a chain stitch to start the next round with an air stitch. This end of a round creates a clearly visible “seam” in your crochet texture that will be really unattractive later. It’s much better to use a stitch marker to keep track of the beginning of the round and work in a spiral.

How to sew on Amigurumi legs and arms

When you attach arms and legs, they should ideally (often) be at the same height. To guide you, count the lines in the crochet texture. These serve well as a guide to add symmetry to the body. A curvy saddlers needle can also help you to sew on body parts. Its curved shape makes it perfect for this.

How to make Amigurumi sit upright

If you want the doll to sit upright later on, or if its head is too heavy and it tips over quickly, fill the lower part of the doll with a small bag of sand. Be sure to sew the bag closed so that nothing leaks out later.

Use yarn scraps in Amigurumi

When crocheting, overhanging threads accumulate, which later have to be cut off and disposed of. Instead of throwing them in the garbage, you can simply add leftover threads to the filling batting.

Make-up for an Amigurumi

You can use rouge or textile painter to create cheeks on the amigurumi face. Which you choose depends on whether the amigurumi is an object to look at or cuddle.


knitting and crochet with wool

All about knitting and crochet with wool – what technique is suitable for what?

Wool is fibre or yarn made from animal such as sheep, goat and alpaca. There are many varieties of wool …
Knitting Blogs

Top Ten Blogs For Free Knitting Patterns

Top Ten Blogs For Free Knitting Patterns Best Blogs for Free Knitting PatternsThe internet has made learning easy, with the …
Merino Sheep in Regenerative Agriculture

The Role of Merino Sheep in Regenerative Agriculture Practices

As the need for sustainable and environmentally-friendly agricultural practices grows, regenerative agriculture has emerged as a promising approach to address …
Spinning Wool Yarn

Did You know about the History of Wool?

Did You know about the History of Wool? Learn all about the History of Wool The history of man and …
Icelandic Sheep at Sunset

Icelandic Sheep

Learn all about the Icelandic Sheep Discover the World’s Finest Wool – Enchanted Iceland – The Icelandic SheepThe Icelandic sheep …
historical weaving loom

Discover the Fascinating History of Textile Manufacturing: From Wool to Silk and Beyond

The art of textile manufacturing has a long and fascinating history that dates back nearly two million years, making it …
Girl in Cashmere Blanket

Alpaca and Cashmere Blankets

Whether comfortably wrapped, elegantly laid over the sofa, or draped folded at the end of the bed. The right blanket …
African American Woman in Camel Hair Coat

Camel Hair vs. Cashmere: The Ultimate Comparison of Luxurious Natural Fibers

As environmentally-conscious consumers, we’re always on the lookout for sustainable, high-quality materials that not only look and feel great but …


Weaving & Looms

Weaving & Looms Discover the World’s Finest Wool – Weaving & Looms What exactly is Weaving? Weaving is one of …
Wild Guanakos in-Torres del Paine National Park Patagonia,

The Guanaco

Learn all about the Guanaco World’s Finest Wool – The GuanacoNever heard of Guanacos? Well, you’re probably not alone. The …
Cashmere Goat High in Tibet mountains

Cashmere Goat

Discover the World’s Finest Wool ► Origin and History of Cashmere   ► The Cashmere Goat Share on facebook Share on …

Thank You for Reading


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 × two =


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × 5 =

Save 30% on Apple AirPods Pro

Get the coolest AirPods ever released for:  $179,99  instead $249

  • Active Noise Cancellation blocks outside noise
  • Transparency mode for hearing and interacting with the world around you
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking places sound all around you