Have you already crocheted more scarves and blankets than you can use? Good news: Crocheting is more versatile than you’d think, and you don’t have to limit yourself to granny squares. If you already know your way around a crochet hook, why not try making a cool amigurumi octopus? 

An ami-what, you ask? Amigurumi is the Japanese craft of crocheting (or knitting) cute little dolls and other creatures with faces, like bumblebees, mushrooms, flowers, and—yes—octopuses. Read on to find out how to make your own kawaii amigurumi octopuses. (That means “cute” in Japanese, and we think you’ll agree these little crocheted creatures are pretty darn cute.)

Quick Links

Tools and Supplies

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Some of the tools and supplies you’ll need to crochet an octopus.

The tools and supplies you’ll need to crochet an octopus are almost the same as for any crochet project, with the addition of stuffing.

Amigurumi Octopus Patterns

When crocheting something intricate like an octopus, it’s important to follow a pattern. Wrongly placed stitches could lead to your octopus looking more like a squid or a jellyfish, and nobody wants that! Patterns will tell you which stitches to use and when, as well as all of the supplies you’ll need. They’re usually abbreviated with codes and/or symbols, so spend some time familiarizing yourself with the pattern before diving in.

Amigurumi octopus patterns are easy to find online via a quick Google search. If you’re new to crochet, you might want to search for a beginner pattern or take a crocheting for beginners tutorial first. But don’t worry: You’ll be ready to learn how to crochet an octopus in no time.

Crochet Hook

Crochet hooks are essential for any crocheting project. Experienced crocheters will generally find a size, type, and material that they like best. If the pattern suggests a particular size or type of hook, then it’s a good idea to follow this instruction so your amigurumi octopus turns out the way you want it to.

Yarn

Yarn comes in a huge range of colors, textures, blends, and weights. Like with crochet hooks, follow your pattern’s suggestion when it comes to yarn weight and texture because patterns are usually designed with a specific yarn in mind. However, you can let your imagination run wild when it comes to choosing colors. 

Stuffing

You’ll be crocheting the “skin” of the octopus, but it’ll need to be filled with something. This could be scrap yarn or fabric or polyester stuffing from a craft store.

Other Supplies

Other supplies you’ll find useful when learning how to crochet an octopus include:

  • Scissors
  • Stitch markers
  • Darning needle
  • Embroidery thread
  • Buttons, beads, or studs for eyes (optional as these can also be embroidered on)

How to Crochet an Amigurumi Octopus

crochet mini jellyfish
Learn how to crochet this cute little sucker.

The following steps are adapted from an amigurumi octopus tutorial that’s suitable for relative newcomers to crochet, but it’s still recommended to understand and practice the crochet basics before starting this project.

Step 1: Cast On

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Cast on your crochet stitches.

Casting on is starting a crocheting project with the first stitches. Cast on the number and type of stitches stated in your pattern. To start with, you should be creating a circle of stitches.

Step 2: Increase the Stitches

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Increase the stitches to make a circle.

Increasing is the practice of, well, increasing the number of stitches you’re working with. Your pattern will require you to increase and decrease your stitches at certain points because this is what gives the octopus shape. Follow these instructions carefully. You can use a stitch marker if you’d like to make it easier to count the stitches as you go around.

Step 3: Decrease the Stitches

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The octopus’ head is taking shape.

To close up the body of the octopus, you’ll need to decrease your stitches. Again, you’ll want to follow the instructions on your pattern.

If you want to add studs for eyes, then this is the time to do it, because soon you’ll be closing up the head and won’t have access to the inside.

Step 4: Stuff the Octopus’ Head

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Stuff the head with polyester or other filling.

Once you only have a small hole remaining, stuff the octopus’ head with filling. Stuff it firmly but not so tightly that the stuffing comes out of the holes between crochet stitches.

Step 5: Continue Decreasing and Close the Head

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Closing up the stuffed octopus’ head.

After stuffing the head, continue with rounds of decreases until the head is closed up. Secure the small hole that remains by knotting your yarn before cutting the end off. Push the remaining tail of yarn into the stuffed crochet ball with a thick darning needle or knitting needle so it doesn’t show.

Step 6: Crochet the Tentacles

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Crochet the octopus’ tentacles.

Octopuses have eight tentacles, so you’ll need to crochet eight separate pieces to stitch on the body. For this step, you might want to use different colored yarn than for the body. Follow your pattern’s instructions for the number of stitches to make for each tentacle. When you’ve finished stitching the tentacle, leave a couple of inches of yarn (that is, don’t cut the yarn too close to the end of the tentacle), as you’ll need this later.

Once you’ve completed a tentacle, it might be curled up tight. Just pull on either end gently to unfurl it; you want it to be curly but not too tightly coiled.

Repeat this process until you have eight tentacles.

Step 7: Attach the Tentacles to the Body

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Attach the tentacles to the body.

To attach the tentacles to the body, insert your hook at the point where you want the tentacle to attach. Taking a tail of yarn from the end of a tentacle, loop this around your hook and then pull it through the fabric of the body. Do the same with the other tail of yarn. Tie the two ends together to secure the tentacle to the body. Push the loose ends into the center of the body with a darning needle, so they aren’t visible. 

Repeat for all of the tentacles, spacing them evenly around the body.

Step 8: Embroider the Face

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Embroider a face onto the octopus.

Bring your amigurumi octopus to life by embroidering on the face. Choose an embroidery thread that contrasts with your yarn color. Thread it onto a darning needle and stitch eyes and a mouth. Your cute little creature is now ready to swim!

Under the Sea

jellyfish crochet
An amigurumi jellyfish by Skillshare student Lisa M. Dalton.

Octopuses don’t live alone in the sea, so your amigurumi octopus shouldn’t be an only child in your cute crochet creature collection! After you’ve learned how to crochet a mini octopus, you can try making other cool sea animals, including jellyfish, fish… even seahorses. Kids will love playing with these, but you can also display them at home or hang them up together in a cool underwater scene.

How to Crochet a Mini Octopus

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