Over the next several months, I’m hoping to put together a few tutorials on how to add faces to your amigurumi. Each tutorial will provide step-by-step instructions and photographs, as well as a list of materials and alternatives you might want to try. From crochet to embroidery to painted on features, we’ll explore a wide variety of techniques in the hopes that everyone will be able to find a method that works well for them.
Safety Eyes with Embroidered Nose and Mouth
This is the technique I use to add faces to my crocheted squirrels. I find it is easier to embroider on felt than directly onto the crochet fabric and safety eyes pop on in a snap. With this method, your amigurumi will have a face in no time flat.
A pair of 4.5 mm black safety eyes with lock washers
Thread to match the felt
Brown or black embroidery floss
Note: Safety eyes can really only be added before you close up the head of the amigurumi, usually when 12 to 18 stitches remain. Sometimes it helps to stuff the head in order to position the eyes, then take the stuffing out to put on the lock washers.
Step 1: Cut 2 squares out of beige felt approximately 1” by 1”.
Step 2: Fold a square in half and snip a hole into the center with a pair of scissors.
Step 3: Unfold and insert the shank of a safety eye into the hole.
Step 4: Using the eye as a guide, cut the felt into a circle, approximately 1/8” – 1/4” wider than the eye.
Step 5: Insert the shank of the eye into your amigurumi and press the washer onto the shank until it clicks to lock it in place. This can’t be undone, so it’s important to check the placement of your eyes before you pop on the back. For instance, check to see that the eyes are in the same row or round. The washers have 3-6 little points on one side, which grab the fabric. Make sure that these points are facing toward the fabric when you pop them on.
Repeat steps 2-5 for the other eye.
Nose and Mouth
Step 1: Cut a square out of felt approximately 3/4” by 3/4”.
Step 2: Cut this into a circle by rounding out the corners. Or use a fabric pencil to trace onto the felt around a US penny (or another coin that is 3/4” in diameter). Then cut along the line.
Step 3: Thread brown floss onto the chenille needle (or any needle that has a sharp point and an eyehole large enough to accommodate the floss).
Step 4: Tie a knot on the end.
Step 5: Work the needle up through the felt from the back, just above the middle of the circle and about 1/4” from one edge.
Step 6: Push the needle back down about 1/4” from the other side.
Step 7: Come back up through the felt just below the stitch you made and push the needle back down on the other side ever so slightly below the last stitch.
Step 8: Repeat Steps 6 and 7, each time coming in a tiny bit more from the edge to create an upside-down triangle shape to the nose. End with the needle at the back of the work.
Step 9: Come up from behind the last stitch, pulling the needle out from below the stitch.
Step 10: Go back down about 1/4” below.
Step 11: Come back up to the right of this. Go back down through the same entry point as in Step 10.
Step 12: Come back up to the left. Go back down through the same entry points as Steps 9 and 10.
Step 13: Tie off your thread and trim the ends of the floss.
Sew on the Nose and Mouth
Note: Because the nose and mouth are sewn on, this can be done after you have stuffed and closed up the amigurumi’s head.
Step 1: Thread your standard sewing needle with thread to match the beige felt.
Step 2: To secure the thread, I like to tie it to the floss in the back, but you could use a knot if you prefer.
Step 3: Using a running stitch of about 1/8” per stitch, sew the felt nose and mouth to the amigurumi doll.
Step 4: End by coming out from under the felt and tie off your thread.
Step 5: Pass the needle and thread through the head of your amigurumi, coming out the back. Trim off your thread close to the back of the head and the thread should disappear into the head.