How to Put a Spooky Spin on Your Amigurumi – 4 Tips
Don’t you just LOVE seasonal amigurumi? Have you ever converted a regular pattern into a festive version? If not, I highly recommend it because it’s way too fun. This article is all about how to put a spooky spin on your amigurumi – 4 tips.
The idea for this post actually came from me avoiding my responsibilities one night and messing around with some scrap yarn. I was thinking about my Anton the Armadillo (a fan favorite) and wondering what a zombie version would look like.
The idea had been planted and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything done until I had tried it.
And I am OBSESSED with how adorable he turned out. That’s why I included a mini tutorial for how you can convert Anton into this cute Beetlejuice inspired armadillo. Keeping reading to see the tutorial below.
1. Getting Inspired
I wanted to start here because there are endless sources of inspiration for Halloween beyond traditional orange and black.
This step will also look different for everyone depending on your preferences. For example, do you like scary or cute or a mix of both?
Think back to your favorite Halloween films. What do you remember most about the colors or style?
Here’s a few of my own examples:
- Beetlejuice (1988): the black and white stripes of Beetlejuice’s suit.
- Nightmare Before Christmas (1993): Sally’s patchwork dress and Tim Burton’s classic style of large eyes and gaunt faces.
- Hocus Pocus (1993): the vibrant costumes of the three witches.
There are like a billion other iconic horror films we could discuss, but these were the first three that popped into my head.
Keep these memorable color schemes and design styles in mind when you go to make your projects.
P.S. – You don’t have to stick to Halloween films. There are plenty of other movies like Alice in Wonderland that have amazing color schemes that translate well to the spooky season.
2. Changing Colors
If you already have a project that you love and want to put a spooky spin on it, this is the EASIEST way. There’s no changes to the pattern or additions.
Just different colors can make all the difference.
Here’s where Step 1 comes in. Take all that inspiration and decide how you can use those colors to make a regular project festive.
Here’s an example:
Below is my Anton the Armadillo pattern, one of the first I ever wrote and a huge fan favorite!
Beetlejuice Inspired Armadillo | Mini Tutorial
I used entirely scrap yarn for this project, specifically, scavenged colors from a few cakes of Lionbrand Mandala (which is a weight 3, 100% acrylic yarn).
I made no changes to the actual pattern (which you can get by clicking the link above) other than changing colors and adding some embroidery – but more on that in Step 3.
For the body color: I didn’t have a really vibrant green in my stash, so I went with a pale sage green and made all the body pieces as per the pattern.
Embroidery Stitches: embroidery thread is made of 6 strands and you can separate these strands to create very fine details, but I kept all 6 together.
- X Eye:
- When making the head, pause after Row 12 to add the eyes. I placed one small safety eye (a 6mm worked best for the size of my Anton). On the other side of the head, I marked with sewing pins where the other eye would be.
- Then using black embroidery thread, I created a simple X and tied off the thread on the inside of the head, snipping the remaining thread.
- Stitches on the body:
- After you’ve sewn all the body parts together (except the shell), decide how many stitches you want. I wanted two of the legs and the tail to look stitched on as well as a few spots on the body.
- Check out this quick video for how I made my stitches: How to Embroider Fake Stitches
- Tie off, hide your embroidery thread in the body and snip any extra.
For the shell: I really wanted to incorporate those iconic black and white stripes, so I decided to work Anton’s shell in black and white using tapestry crochet, switching colors every 2 rows. (Ex. 2 rows of black, then 2 rows of white…)
Tapestry Crochet: a type of crochet colorwork created by working multiple color strands at the same time. This technique is characterized by running unused colors through the center of the stitches being worked.
Check out this great blog post from Yarnspirations for more information: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Tapestry Crochet
If you like or make this super cute variation of Anton the Armadillo, remember to save the Pin for later and share it with others. Tag me on social media with pictures of your Anton and I’ll shout you out!
3. Add Embellishments
There is a world of possibilities when it comes to embellishments.
Like in Step 2, by simply adding some embroidered stitches, you can create a cool zombie/undead/Frankenstein effect!
Here are a few options:
- Fake stitches – probably the simplest way to add a spooky touch to a pattern.
- Designs – you can create designs on your amigurumi (ex. a spiderweb).
- Facial features – whether it’s cat whiskers, eye lashes, or mouths, you can add a lot of great detail.
- Accents – simple lines or patterns can add a lot to an amigurumi (ex. adding lines to a pumpkin to accentuate the curves.)
- Clothing/accessories – adding something as simple as a witch hat can make a regular amigurumi look festive.
- Alterations – you can slightly alter a pattern to fit the season.
- An example would be the alternate pumpkin shell for Sammie the Turtle (shell pattern coming soon).
Just a note, while altering a designer’s pattern for personal use or to sell the physical product is generally fine, please contact the designer before selling the item. HOWEVER, it is not acceptable to make an alteration and then sell the pattern as a new design. If you have any questions or concerns about your use of MY patterns, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, please reach out to the designer of their pattern.
4. Repurposing a Pattern
The beautiful thing about amigurumi is the sheer versatility of it.
A simple doll or animal can be turned into a decorative centerpiece, a cute doorstop, a garland, a wreath…seriously, there are just so many options. Even just adding a loop with a jump-ring could easily turn a cute amigurumi into a great keychain!
Of course, some patterns translate better than others, but that doesn’t have to be limiting.
Here’s some examples:
Last year I learned how to make a basic pumpkin and got a little obsessed. I decided to make a bunch of tiny pumpkins, each only about 1.5in tall by 2in wide.
I made some simple crochet leaves and strung them together with a simple crocheted chain to made this super easy garland (no pattern, but this would be so cute make with my free Popcorn Pumpkin Pattern).
And how cute would a wreath be with a bunch of little crochet pumpkins and maybe some ghosts? (I have a pattern coming out next month that would translate well into a spooky wreath – it will be available for free here on the blog!)
- Get Inspired
- Change Colors – Beetlejuice Inspired Armadillo | Mini Tutorial
- Add Embellishments
- Repurpose Patterns
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you did, don’t forget to Pin it for later, share it with your friends, and tag me in any spooky creations you make!
Have you made any seasonal or festive alterations to a pattern before? Or was there an idea in this article that you found particularly helpful? Leave me a comment below!