Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! With these easy crochet amigurumi animal patterns you can make yourself a whole zoo of cute creatures. This collection includes some of my favorite easy crochet stuffed animal patterns for beginner and intermediate makers. Even if you’re just learning how to crochet amigurumi, you can attempt many of these animal patterns.
Of course, there are adorable animal crochet patterns for all skill levels, so you'll find some more complex amigurumi when you’re ready for a challenge.
Easy Animal Amigurumi Patterns
Would you like to crochet your own menagerie of stuffed animals? This guide to amigurumi animals will teach you all the basics of crocheting plushie animals as well as provide patterns for all skill levels.
Here's what you can expect to learn about making amigurumi animals:
- Basic techniques and shapes used for all crochet animals
- How to avoid using the wrong supplies
- How to choose a pattern that won’t be too hard
- Pro tips on making your amigurumi animals extra cute
- Easy Animal Amigurumi Patterns
- Is amigurumi harder than crochet?
- Stitches + Techniques for Amigurumi Animals
- Supplies for Amigurumi Animals
- The Best Free Crochet Animal Patterns
- Animals With Step-by-Step Video Tutorials
- How to Make an Extra Cute Animal
- Best Yarn for Crocheting Animals
- Common Questions About Crochet Animals
- More Free Patterns + Tutorials
- Invitation to our Facebook group
Why you'll love this crocheting your own stuffies!
Is amigurumi harder than crochet?
Amigurumi is a type of crochet and it tends to be easier than larger projects like sweaters and blankets. Amigurumi stuffed animals are made up of easy techniques - like the single crochet stitch - which makes them fairly easy fast crochet projects.
Stitches + Techniques for Amigurumi Animals
If you know the basics of crochet, you can make a stuffed animal! Many of these cute critters might seem different in concept, but they actually share very similar shapes and elements. Understanding this can give you confidence in tackling a wide variety of amigurumi patterns.
Common Stitches and Abbreviations
While each pattern might call for different stitches and skills, magic circles and single crochet stitches are typically the base for most crochet animals. Here are common stitches and abbreviations you likely come across:
|Common Crochet Stitch||Abbreviation|
|magic circle / magic ring||mc / mr|
|Single crochet stitch||sc|
|Double crochet stitch||dc|
|Single stitch increase||inc|
|Invisible decrease||inv dec|
PRO TIP: Crochet patterns can be written in US or UK terms. Be sure to check the animal pattern you’re following to verify which are used. The above are US terms for crochet stitches.
Working in Spiral Rounds
Most of the pieces in amigurumi patterns are worked in continuous rounds without joining the ends of each round with a slip stitch. This is quite easy because you just continue crocheting as if working up a spiral staircase.
PRO TIP: When crocheting in spiral rounds, it's extremely helpful to place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round. This helps you keep track of where the round officially begins. Move it up to the next round each time you encounter it.
It is also helpful to know things like how to change colors, but not every animal pattern will require it. To simplify a project, look for opportunities to reduce color changes and stripes.
If you’re feeling intimidated to crochet your first animal pattern, it can be helpful to think of the creature as a series of simple shapes. Most stuffed animals are “built” from a combination of:
- ovids (aka 3D ovals)
Using only basic crochet stitches, you’ll be able to create almost any of the shapes used in crochet animal patterns. Easy peasy!
Supplies for Amigurumi Animals
Since there are so many different ways to crochet amigurumi animals, your project could require some unique supplies. Here's a list of basic materials you’ll most likely need to make most animal patterns:
- Yarn - find more details on choosing a yarn below
- Yarn needle - for joining pieces and weaving in ends
- Stitch markers - for keeping your rounds even and marking where to attach limbs
- Measuring tape
- Polyfil or other stuffing
- Erasable fabric pen - for marking placement of eyes and limbs
- Blush makeup - for adding rosy cheeks
- Safety eyes*
- Embroidery floss - for adding eyes and facial features
- Beads or buttons - for eyes or clothing details
- Key rings and chains - to turn a small plushie into a keychain
*When creating toys for small children, safety eyes can pose a choking hazard. It's best to use embroidered or sewed-on eyes for kids under age three.
PRO TIP: Put a small piece of felt behind safety eyes to make cute eyelids and give your crochet animals an even more animated look. (See example below.)
The Best Free Crochet Animal Patterns
I'm sure you're excited to get started on your own adorable amigurumi! Most of these free crochet animal patterns are beginner-friendly with a few more advanced patterns for once you’re confident in your amigurumi skills.
Easiest Crochet Animal Patterns
Whether you're a beginner crocheter or simply want a quick and easy project, you've come to the right place! Starting with easy amigurumi animal projects is a great way to boost your crafting confidence and learn new techniques. No matter your skill level, these adorable free crochet animal patterns are easy to enjoy!
See more beginner amigurumi patterns →
Beginner Crochet Kitty Cat
Mini Crochet Animals
If it's really small amigurumi you're looking for, these tiny projects fit the bill. Many of these make perfect animals to add to keychains or tie to the top of a gift.
PRO TIP: You can often make any crochet animal bigger or smaller simply by using a thicker or thinner yarn than the pattern calls for. Be sure to adjust your hook size accordingly if you change yarn weights. This is important in achieving tight stitches and preventing stuffing from leaking out.
Solid Color Tiny Dinosaur
No-Sew Whale for Beginners
No Sew Mini Rainbow Fish
Teeny Tiny Hippo
How to Crochet a Teddy Bear Stuffie
20 Minute Crochet Octopus Squish
Advanced-Beginner Animals to Crochet
Ready to challenge your toy-making skills? Look no further than these slightly more complex amigurumi animal patterns.
Cuddly Koala Pattern
Modern Crochet Whale Pattern
Small Winking Owl Toy
No Sew Bunny Toy
Christmas Bear Ornament
Mini Elephant Amigurumi
Cuddly Crochet Teddy Bears
More Advanced Amigurumi Animals
If you are ready for more advanced crochet animals, look for projects with more detail and limbs. Below you'll find slightly more intricate patterns and techniques that might need some skill and practice, like the jog-less stripe or working with fuzzy yarn.
Sweet Amigurumi Bee
Adorable Winter Mouse
Huggable Alpaca Toy
Sleeping Sea Otter Amigurumi
Ice Cream Scoop Snail
Huggable Floppy Ear Bunny
Baby Penguin Toy
Our Latest Crochet Inspiration:
Here are a few more free crochet patterns and tutorials that are hot off the presses.
Boucle Bear & Bunny Stuffed Toy
Mini Monkey Doll with Banana
Reversible Octopus Plushie
Spring Bunnies Stuffies
Large Crochet Animal Patterns
Just because a stuffed animal is big, doesn't mean it has to be hard to crochet. In fact, working with big amigurumi can be easier if you don't like crocheting with little hooks. Plus, there is something extra cute about these giant stuffed toys.
Charming Crochet Sloth
Jumbo Crochet Bee Pattern
Giant Narwhal and Shark Friends
Fleece Jumbo Panda
Bulky Blanket Yarn Flamingo
Animals With Step-by-Step Video Tutorials
Having video step-by-step instructions to follow can be extremely handy when you’re learning how to crochet animals. If you like following video tutorials, check out these free amigurumi animal patterns.
Obsessed with finding the best free crochet patterns?
Check out these collections of handpicked patterns to find your next project.
How to Make an Extra Cute Animal
A huge part of the charm of amigurumi animals is their cute factor. So let’s take a minute to talk about what actually makes a crochet animal irresistibly adorable. This way, if your project isn’t ending up as charming as you imagined, you can think about what it might be missing.
While each person will have different ideas of what they consider cute, there are some common threads (pun intended!)
Here are a few things to consider when planning the cutest possible critter:
BONUS IDEA: Give your stuffed animal extra personality by adding one or two human-like accessories. Folding wire to make mini glasses or giving your stuffie a sweet crocheted bow or tiny scarf can really level up the cuteness quotient.
“Brushing Out” Amigurumi Animals
If you are an advanced beginner and want to add texture to your toy, you could also try a brush-out technique using natural fiber or natural fiber blend yarn. For that, look for something with at least 50% natural fiber, like wool.
Check out this video tutorial for detailed instructions on how to make your crochet animals look fluffy by “brushing” the yarn:
Best Yarn for Crocheting Animals
Not all yarn is created equal. Some kinds are better for crocheting amigurumi animals than others, here are some guidelines to help you pick the best yarn for your plush projects.
Consider Fiber Type
Acrylic is often the best yarn for crocheting amigurumi projects. Not only is it soft, but it's usually machine washable and easy to take care of—ideal for well-loved stuffed animals. I like Lion Brand Basic Stitch because it comes in a wide variety of colors and resists pilling with lots of use.
Cotton yarn or cotton blend yarn is also a good choice since it holds its shape well and is easy to work with. Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton is one of my favorites because the texture is both soft and durable. I’ve found it works really well for crochet toys. And 24/7 Cotton is available in a DK weight and a light worsted weight.
Consider Yarn Weight
While you can use worsted weight yarn, sport weight is most commonly used when crocheting amigurumi animals. Sport and DK weight yarn allow for a lot of stitch detail and can be the perfect thickness for small crochet animal patterns.
Amigurumi Animal Yarn Suggestions
Here are some good Lion Brand yarns to try when crocheting amigurumi animals:
- 24/7 Cotton - vibrant, saturated colors and awesome stitch definition
- 24/7 Cotton DK - same benefits as thicker version, but thinner
- Basic Stitch Anti Pilling - has a wide variety of colors and doesn't pill
- Go for Fleece Sherpa - best for advanced beginners and creates a nice texture for furry toys
- Heartland - beautiful muted colors, soft go-to acrylic
- Feels Like Butta - extremely soft, great for snuggly stuffed animals
PRO TIP: Crochet animals also make charming handmade gifts for kids and adults alike. If you plan on making an amigurumi animal for a child, choose a hardy yarn that can be cleaned in a washing machine.
Common Questions About Crochet Animals
You should crochet an animal that fits your skill level and supplies. Aside from that, pick your favorite animal or something that would bring you joy. If you enjoy an amigurumi project you are going to be more likely to finish it.
The main things you need to start crocheting animals are a pattern, scissors, yarn, a crochet hook, and beginner crochet skills. Other supplies you might use include safety eyes, a yarn needle, beads, and buttons.
Most people find it easier to crochet stuffed animals because they are only managing one hook and one active loop. When you knit, you are managing two needles and two active loops. Crochet also tends to be faster than knitting. However, you can make adorable amigurumi animals with both knitting and crochet.
There isn't one specific animal that is easiest to crochet. Instead, look for simple patterns and animals without a lot of detail or limbs. Things like fish and chibi-style cats can be a good place to start.
Cute crochet stuffed animals are often called amigurumi. Although the term amigurumi technically translates to something like "crocheted or knitted stuffed toy." So while most stuffed animals can be called amigurumi, amigurumi can be anything from unicorns to dolls.
More Free Patterns + Tutorials
Can't get enough free crochet patterns!? Me either. You'll definitely want to breeze through these collections to find your next project.
- 55+ Free Crochet Sweater and Cardigan Patterns - our most popular garments
- 40+ Free Crochet Afghan Patterns - baby blankets, throws + c2c graphgans
- 36+ Granny Square Patterns + tips for the perfect square
- Crochet Gift Ideas - easy patterns to make for others
- Fast Crochet Projects - start to finish in less than a day
Learn a New Skill
And when you're ready to master a new skill, check out our detailed guides that include everything you need to know to level up your crochet game.
- How to Corner to Corner (C2C) Crochet for Beginners - with video tutorials to get you started
- How to Crochet a Beginner Hat - make an entire beanie in 1.5 hours!
- How to Crochet Amigurumi for Beginners - the ultimate guide to making your own toys and plushies
- How to Tunisian Crochet - learn with this video and a standard hook
That was so fun! Now what?
Invitation to our Facebook group
Come discuss crocheting stuffed animals and lots of other crochet projects and techniques in our Make & Do Crew Facebook group. Here thousands of helpful crocheters answer each other's questions and share their stitches. Come join us here.