How to Crochet a Stuffed Octopus

A purple crochet octopus
Mollie Johanson
Overview
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Crochet octopus toys are a fun project that can also comfort babies. This adorable free octopus pattern is extra soft for snuggling and has twisting tentacles that babies can grab onto. Although there are other options for crochet octopus patterns, this free pattern uses only basic stitches. If you can crochet a circle, you can make this toy. Because the face is embroidered, you don't need to worry about small parts that aren't safe for young children.

Tip

Gauge is not important in this project, but you should be sure to crochet tight enough that the stuffing won't come through on the octopus body.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • H/5mm crochet hook
  • Large tapestry needle
  • Stitch marker

Materials

  • 75 yard extra-soft, bulky-weight blanket yarn
  • 1 yard black worsted weight yarn
  • Stuffing

Instructions

  1. Start Crocheting the Tentacles

    Make a slip knot with a 12-inch tail and chain stitch 33. Starting in the second chain stitch from the hook, work two single crochet in each stitch. As you work across the row of stitches, the work will curl, creating the tentacle shape.

    Tip

    The specialty yarn recommended for this project is tricky to work with because it doesn't show the stitches very well. However, it also conceals any small mistakes, so don't worry about getting it perfect.

    Soft purple yarn around crochet hook
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  2. Crochet the Second Tentacle

    When you reach the last stitch of the starting chain, chain stitch 33. 

    Starting in the second chain stitch from the hook, work two single crochet in each stitch. When you reach the end of the stitches, in the middle of the tentacle piece, work one single crochet into the last stitch of the first tentacle section. This helps secure the sections.

    Cut the yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail, and pull the yarn through the last stitch to end off.

    Crochet octopus tentacles next to crochet needle
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  3. Finish the Tentacles

    Make three more tentacle pieces, so you have a total of four sets and eight legs. Set these aside.

  4. Start Crocheting the Octopus Body

    Crochet the front and back body pieces as you would a flat circle. The bulkiness of the yarn and the number of stitches causes these circles to form cupped shapes. If you use a different yarn, the results may vary. If the circles end up more flat, that's OK! It just makes your octopus a little less spherical. 

    Start the first octopus body piece with a magic circle. Each chain stitch at the start of a round counts as a single crochet. 

    Tip

    Place a stitch marker on the first chain so you can easily see the beginning of the round.

    • Round 1: Six single crochet into the circle. Slip stitch to join.
    • Round 2: Chain stitch one. One single crochet into the first stitch. * two single crochet in next stitch. Repeat from * to the end. Slip stitch to join. (12 stitches)
    • Round 3: Chain stitch one. Two single crochet into the next stitch. * One single crochet. Two single crochet in the next stitch. Repeat from * to the end. Slip stitch to join. (18 stitches)
    • Round 4: Chain stitch one. One single crochet. Two single crochet into the next stitch. * (One single crochet.) Two times. Two single crochet in the next stitch. Repeat from * to the end. Slip stitch to join. (24 stitches)
    • Round 5: Chain stitch one. (One single crochet.) Two times. Two single crochet into the next stitch. * (One single crochet.) Three times. Two single crochet in the next stitch. Repeat from * to the end. Slip stitch to join. (30 stitches)
    • Round 6: Chain stitch one. (One single crochet.) Three times. Two single crochet into the next stitch. * (One single crochet.) Four times. Two single crochet in the next stitch. Repeat from * to the end. Slip stitch to join. (36 stitches)
    • Round 7: Chain stitch One. (One single crochet.) Four times. Two single crochet into the next stitch. * (One single crochet.) Five times. Two single crochet in the next stitch. Repeat from * to the end. Slip stitch to join. (42 stitches)
    • Round 8: Chain stitch one. (One single crochet.) Five times. Two single crochet into the next stitch. * (One single crochet.) Six times. Two single crochet in the next stitch. Repeat from * to the end. Slip stitch to join. (48 stitches)
    • End off the yarn.

    Tip

    Because it's difficult to see your stitches with this yarn, work by feel and instinct and let the yarn hide any small errors.

    A crochet circle
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  5. Finish the Octopus Body Pieces

    Make a second octopus body piece, but don't end off the yarn. Leave your hook in place or hold the active loop with a stitch marker. Weave in all the ends (except for the active yarn).

    Two crochet cups to make an octopus body
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  6. Stitch a Face on the Octopus

    Thread the tapestry needle with black yarn and secure the other end on the back/inside of the front octopus body piece. Embroider a simple face by stitching two satin stitch eyes and a chain stitch mouth.

    Tip

    Chain stitch in embroidery is different from crochet.

    Try not to pull the stitches too tight, which would pull at the crochet. Secure the end on the back by weaving through the stitches. 

    Embroider a Face on One Body Piece
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  7. Join the Two Body Pieces

    Hold the two octopus body pieces together, so the face is right side up and the working yarn on the back piece is near the top. Join the pieces together with a slip stitch. Stop about three-quarters of the way around, and hold the active loop with a stitch marker.

    Use Single Crochet to Attach the Body Pieces
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  8. Attach the Tentacles

    Thread the tapestry needle on one yarn tail from the first set of tentacles. Attach the tentacles to the bottom of the octopus body, stitching through the body and the tops of the tentacles. After three stitches, insert the needle into the body so you can secure the end inside. Leave the yarn loose for now.

    Thread the tapestry needle on the second yarn tail from the first set of tentacles and repeat the process above. These extra stitches keep the tentacles secure.

    Tip

    It's easier to center the four sets of tentacles if you attach the first one almost directly in the center. Then work from that point as you add more sets.

    Sew the Tentacles to the Octopus Body
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  9. Secure the Tentacle Yarn Ends

    To secure the yarn ends, turn the octopus body almost inside out so you can work inside. Weave the long yarn ends through a few stitches, and then tie the set of ends together with a tight knot. Trim the ends. Repeat this as you add more tentacle sets.

    Knot the Yarn Ends Inside the Octopus
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  10. Stuff the Octopus Toy

    Continue slip stitching around the octopus body until you have about 1 1/2 inches left. Fill the body piece with stuffing. Add the stuffing in small pieces for a nice round shape. Slip stitch the opening closed. End off the yarn and weave in the tail.

    Fill the Octopus Body With Stuffing
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  11. Give Your Finished Octopus a Loving Home

    Give this soft cephalopod to someone you know, or donate it to a local hospital or charity. Your crochet octopus is ready to comfort someone and give him or her lots of cuddles!

    Warning

    Remember to consider safety when providing handmade toys to babies and children. The legs on this octopus are good for small babies to hold, but they could be a choking hazard in cribs for older infants and toddlers. It's best to supervise play.

    Fuzzy DIY Crochet Octopus Toy
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce