10 Ways to Customize Your Amigurumi
If it isn’t obvious, I LOVE making amigurumi. It brings me so much joy to make something three dimensional and turn simple shapes into a recognizable animal. But sometimes you might want to go the extra mile for a custom order or maybe for a friend with a baby shower coming up. Keep reading to find out these 10 ideas to customize your amigurumi!
10 Ways to Customize Your Amigurumi
1. Go big with blanket yarn!
Big, chunky amigurumi made with blanket yarn are not only super trendy right now, but also super squishy and cuddly!
The best part is that you can take almost any pattern and just use a bigger hook (6.00-8.00mm) with your favorite blanket yarn to make a big version!
I will say this type of alteration works best with simple patterns. For example, here’s what my Sir Duckington pattern looks like in Bernat Blanket yarn (super bulky 6) vs. Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton! (4 weight cotton)
Intrigued? If you want to try this out, check out my FREE Nico the Narwhal pattern! Check out this Nico that Morgan from Knot A Bad Witch made with pink and white blanket yarn!
If you want to learn more about using blanket yarn for amigurumi, check out this article: Quick Guide to Big & Chunky Amigurumi
I think this idea is super fun and so easy.
All you need is a small container that you can partially fill with beads and seal closed with tape. This container can be anything from an old film canister to a plastic Easter egg.
Once you have your little noise maker ready, add it to the inside of your amigurumi with lots of stuffing around it and finish off your project!
What I love most about this is that these don’t just have to be baby rattles, but you could make all sorts of sound toys for kids with various materials like old bells or marbles, or wooden beads. You can even repurpose parts from old toys to make your rattles.
Or if your kids are of the canine or feline persuasion, why not make squeaky toys for them! Just make sure they’re durable to withstand lots of play and chewing!
Mobiles are super fun to make and the possibilities are endless. Many mobiles use a large hoop as the base, but there are tons of fun directions to go in if you get creative.
This project will make not only an awesome baby gift, but could also be a great idea for all ages. Mobiles can function as beautiful, calming décor and brighten up dark or empty spaces.
If you’d like to make a mobile, check out Crochet Mobiles – 10 Free Patterns to Dress Up Any Room from Tamara Kelly over at Moogly Blog.
4. Interactive Toys
Kids are so imaginative and creative that they can often have all the fun in the world just playing with sticks or cardboard boxes. Plushies and stuffed animals are no different. A simple teddy bear can be a partner in crime, a best friend, or a confidant.
But kids also love toys they can interact with: dress up or change in some way.
This is where you can get incredibly creative! Here’s some ideas:
- Changeable Outfits/Accessories/Parts
- Form Changing
- Nesting Dolls
- Puzzle Animals/Toys
These fun, interactive toys don’t need to be complicated either! My Anton the Armadillo pattern is an easy, beginner-friendly pattern that kids will love playing with.
The topic of texture and amigurumi could easily take up an entire blog post on its own, but this section will be just a brief few ideas.
Playing with textures can achieve a wide variety of effects. Whether you’re making baby toys or just want to experiment, creating texture can be a fun way to take your amigurumi up a notch.
One of the easiest ways to create varied texture is to mix different kinds of yarn.
Depending on the pattern or project, mixing yarns could effect the size and proportionality, but it’s fun to experiment and see how say, faux fur and a regular worsted weight would work together.
While generally novelty yarns like eyelash and faux fur are difficult to use, they work great to create textured accents like fur or feathers.
Felting works best with natural animal fibers like wool or alpaca.
This technique can be used to create entire animals or to embellish crochet projects. Here’s just a few examples:
Check out this amazing video of Jessie from Projectarian turning her Atlas the Lion into a Jungle Cat by felting the face and adding different fur colors.
Adapt your amigurumi to teach kids about colors, textures, shapes, animals, and even challenge them with puzzles.
One great way to find inspiration for this kind of toy is to stroll down the toy aisle in any big box store. What types of toys are popular and how can you recreate them in crochet?
These make excellent baby shower and kids birthday gifts with the added bonus of being inexpensive compared to commercially produced toys.
7. Custom Colors
This might seem like an obvious one, but hear me out.
Unlike hats, scarves, and other garments, amigurumi generally takes very little yarn. Which means it’s perfect for using up scraps or testing out color palettes. You can use tons of colors if you want to!
Plus it’s waaaay easier hiding yarn tails inside an amigurumi than it is to weave them all in, right!
If you’re making a gift for someone, you can customize the item to be in their favorite colors or hues that mean something to them.
For example, this cute little mallard was created using the exact same pattern as the duck on the right, but with varying colors!
8. Custom Designs
You don’t have to create a design from scratch if you don’t want to. You can mix and match pattern parts or only alter a few pieces.
The reason this is great is because sometimes you have an idea of what you want to make, but you can’t find just the right pattern. So this is where you get creative to start building your own unique design!
One popular example is recreating a person’s dog or cat in yarn. Careful color choices can adapt a base pattern to look just like that person’s beloved animal. Then you can add unique traits like spots, paw pad colors, etc…
For example, my sister left her dog with me while she went on deployment for the U.S. Navy a few years ago. In her letters she talked about missing her dog so much, so I decided to send her a little gift.
My stuffed version of Lily wasn’t perfect, but it made my sister cry (in a good way) and kept her from being too lonely while she was away.
9. Holiday Themes
The holidays are a huge source of inspiration for makers and the best part is that many regular crochet designs can be easily altered to celebrate!
This is great because it’s also the busiest season for us.
Even just switching to festive colors can make a huge difference! You also can create all sorts of fun, holiday themed accessories for your amigurumi.
If you’re gearing up for Halloween, check out this article: How to Put a Spooky Spin on Your Amigurumi
If you’ve gotten this far in this article, you’re in for a treat! Below is one of the bonus, removable shells available for Sammie the Turtle.
Sammie the Turtle is free here on the blog and this super easy, pumpkin adaptation of his shell will be COMING SOON!
You might be wondering how you could use amigurumi in your décor besides displaying your projects on a shelf, but there are tons of fun ways to show off your makes.
Here’s a few ideas:
- garlands – these can be festive or year-round
- door stops – add some weights to your project and let them hold that door for you
- center pieces – festive or year-round, these crafty projects can combine amigurumi with candles or other decorations
- plant hangers – one cute example is a sloth plant hanger
- pin cushion – decorative and useful, almost any amigurumi could be adapted for this
- ornaments – the possibilities are endless for adorable Christmas ornaments
- wreathes – festive or year-round, combine amigurumi with a round base to make a custom wreath
Amigurumi are so adaptable and versatile that this list is by no means exhaustive.
10 Ways to Customize Your Amigurumi
- Go Big!
- Interactive Toys
- Custom Colors
- Custom Designs
- Holiday Themes
I hope you found this article helpful and inspiring. What is your favorite way to customize amigurumi? Leave a comment and let me know!
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