Crochet balls are fun and easy to make in any size when you follow a simple pattern formula. The process starts like crocheting a circle, then it changes to a process like making a tube, and finally, you work the circle in reverse. You can use this tutorial to make spheres as soft play balls for babies, small fillers for a glass vase, dryer balls, pillows, bean bags, or even a giant pouf for sitting on! This tutorial uses US crochet terms.
Choose a yarn that will work for the scale of the ball you wish to make. Use a crochet hook in the size recommended for your yarn. For a denser fabric, go down a hook size. The 2.5-inch ball pictured uses cotton DK weight yarn and a size F hook.
Equipment / Tools
- Crochet hook
Start the Ball With a Magic Ring
Starting and Round 1: Start with a magic circle. Work six single crochet stitches into the center of the circle. Join with a slip stitch (six stitches). You can make a ring of chain stitches to start the ball, but the magic circle forms a tighter ring, which helps on a project like this.
Section One: Increase the Stitches in Each Round
In each round, you need to increase six stitches. To do this, work two single crochet stitches into the same stitch. For each new round, add a plain single crochet stitch before the increase.
- Round two: Chain 1. *Two single crochet in the next stitch. Repeat from *. Join with a slip stitch (12 stitches).
- Round three: Chain 1. *Single crochet, two single crochet in next stitch. Repeat from *. Join with a slip stitch (18 stitches).
- Round four: Chain 1. *Single crochet, single crochet, two single crochet in next stitch. Repeat from *. Join with a slip stitch (24 stitches).
Notice that the number of stitches in the repeat for each round matches the round number. For example, the round four repeat is single crochet, single crochet, two single crochet, which is four stitches. Round five would continue this way: single crochet, single crochet, single crochet, two single crochet, for a total of five stitches in the repeat. Add as many rounds as you want until you reach the circumference of the ball you want to make.
Section Two: Work Even Rounds of Single Crochet
When you finish adding increase rows, it's time to make the middle of the ball. For this part, work in even single crochet rounds.
Middle Rounds: Chain 1. Single crochet every stitch. Slip stitch to join.
Work the same number of rounds as you did for the increase rounds. If you worked five increase rounds, work five even rounds, and so on.
Section Three: Decrease the Stitches in Each Round
To work the last third of the crocheted ball, decrease six stitches in each round. This is the opposite of the increase rounds and you need to work as many rounds as you did for each of the other sections.
Work as many single crochet stitches as needed to match the number in your last increase round, then single crochet two stitches together.
- Decrease round one (for a ball with five rounds): Chain one. *Single crochet, single crochet, single crochet, single crochet two together. Repeat from *. Join with a slip stitch.
- Decrease round two (for a ball with five rounds): Chain one. *Single crochet, single crochet, single crochet two together. Repeat from *. Join with a slip stitch.
Fill the Ball With Stuffing or Other Filler
As you continue the decrease rounds, the opening gets smaller. Before it gets too small, fill the ball with stuffing or another filler. For baby toys, you can add child-safe rattle or bell inserts inside the stuffing. For beanbags, partially fill a small fabric beanbag and then stuff it inside the ball.
Close the Ball by Gathering the Last Stitches
Continue decreasing the stitches until you have six stitches left. Cut your yarn, leaving an 8-inch tail. End off the last stitch, then use a yarn needle to run the tail through the stitches and gather the opening closed.
Secure the Yarn and Weave the Ends
Secure the yarn and weave in the tails. Roll the ball between your hands to shape it as needed.