Do you love to crochet amigurumi toys and have ideas for your very own designs? Learn How to Become an Amigurumi Designer in these eight easy steps. You’ll learn everything from the design process, to how to write a crochet pattern and finally how to get your patterns out to the world.
I’m an accidental amigurumi designer.
It was never my plan.
I love to crochet toys and was happy to make amigurumi toys from other designer’s patterns to sell and feature here on the blog and YouTube channel.
Although I had designed a handful of simple toys, they were mostly for teaching purposes and I had no intentions of ever doing it on a regular basis. I had everything well planned and I was very content.
Unfortunately, the idea for a little crocheted pig in a turtleneck sweater started to make its way into my brain. And it blossomed into an entire collection of characters (that are mostly still in my brain).
For that reason the topic of How to Become an Amigurumi Designer is fresh in my mind and several of you have asked for my tips.
I definitely don’t consider myself a professional in this area, but I’ve learned a thing or two and I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned along the way.
How to Become an Amigurumi Designer
These tips are based on my recent experience, but I’ve also included a lot of other resources from those who know a lot more than I do.
Crochet Lots and Lots of Toys
The first thing you need to do to become an amigurumi designer is to crochet lots and lots of toys.
And by lots and lots of toys I mean: oodles, gobs, tons, and loads.
Become really good at the basic amigurumi techniques like making a magic ring, single crochet, seaming, color change and embroidering facial features.
Make sure the toys you make look as good as the pattern photos.
Crochet toys from lots of different designers. Crochet dolls and animals and realistic mythical creatures.
Become super familiar with the standard ways amigurumi designers make shapes.
Get Really Good at Reading Amigurumi Patterns
The next step is to get really good at reading amigurumi patterns.
Perfect this skill so that you can pick up any well written pattern and know exactly what the instructions mean.
Make sure that you are looking at a variety of free and paid patterns.
Amigurumi pattern books from reputable publishers are a gold mine. They are typically professionally tech edited and are (mostly) free of mistakes. You can find some of these in your local library, but many of them are fairly inexpensive for how many patterns they contain.
Design Your Own Toys
The next local step is to begin designing your own toys.
Amigurumi is a lot about math and Kati from Hooked by Kati has a great amigurumi cheat sheet for creating round or pointed shapes.
Your high school algebra teacher will be very happy to know that you actually are using all those skills you learned way back when.
Kati also has a whole series about Amigurumi Tips that I highly recommend checking out! She has a lot of great information all gathered into one spot!
Little World of Whimsy also has a fantastic resource for crocheting lots of different three dimensional shapes. It is a wonderful resource for when you want to create a shape and need to know how to do it.
Experiment with different styles and sizes. Get to know yourself as an amigurumi designer (you may have never realized she was in there).
A Word About Discouragement
This is the part of the process that can leave you feeling very discouraged. You may feel like the toys you design aren’t as good as someone else’s.
I’ve spent hours working on something and thinking that it was going to be great, only to abandon it in frustration.
Be kind to yourself.
Give yourself time.
Never (and I mean ever) rely on your memory when you are designing amigurumi (ask me how I know, lol).
Keep detailed notes as you crochet your amigurumi toy. Don’t assume that you’ll remember anything! `
Designate a notebook (physical or digital) to keep all your notes for a particular project. You never know when you might need to refer back to it.
A perfect example of this is when I was designing The Three Little Pigs Pattern.
About a year ago I actually (half) designed what I thought was going to be a teddy bear. But the head shape ended up being completely out of proportion and it came to be known affectionately as “The Alien Bear”
But one day I was looking at how much I liked the shape of his legs and body and knew this would be a great starting point for the pig.
Thankfully I had written down everything for the “Alien Bear” and knew the exact location of the notebook.
Learn How to Write a Crochet Pattern
Learning how to write a crochet pattern is a very important element in amigurumi design.
It’s wonderful to be able to create a cute little toy, but now you need to know how to communicate that to other crocheters.
Skillshare has a wonderful class all about how to create and write your own crochet pattern and if you check the link in the description box of the YouTube video you can get a one month FREE trial of Skillshare with access to all of their online classes.
Skillshare also offers a great class: How to Create and Write Your Own Crochet Pattern
You can also find free and paid pattern templates online. They will help you know what to include in your pattern and suggestions for how to make it look visually appealing as well.
Chantal from Knitatude has a very popular pattern template available for purchase on Etsy.
The template has almost one thousand five star reviews. That’s a pretty good indication that this template has helped a lot of people.
Find People Willing to Test Your Pattern
One of the most important steps to finalizing your pattern is find a few people who are willing to test your pattern.
Pattern testers will work your pattern and give you feedback about mistakes you’ve made (and we all make them). They also will share if parts of the pattern don’t make sense.
The wonderful ladies who pattern tested by Three Little Pigs pattern helped me so much when it came to the fit of the knitted clothing. I ended up creating an entirely new section of the pattern. I wouldn’t have done that without their feedback.
Don’t skip this step, especially if you will be charging money for your pattern.
Melissa from Woods and Wool has created a fantastic blog post: Everything You Need to Know About Pattern Testing
She details everything from how to find pattern testers to what to do with the information the pattern testers provide you with.
Get Your Pattern Professionally Tech Edited
There is nothing better than knowing someone has gone through your pattern with a fine tooth comb and purposefully looked for mistakes.
My patterns are generally a big hot stinky mess before my tech editor goes through them.
Hiring a tech editor isn’t super expensive (I’ve paid about $30 – $40/ pattern- prices can vary depending on your individual needs) but it’s something to think about if you will be selling or giving away your pattern for free.
Using a tech editor has actually helped me learn how to write patterns correctly. Emily doesn’t correct your mistakes, just show you where they are and how to correct them yourself.
Share Your Pattern
Now comes the exciting (and hard) part.
Are you going to sell your pattern? How much are you going to charge for your pattern?
This is when things can get really tricky. I highly recommend checking out Pamela Grice from Crochetpreneur. She is a wealth of information for everything about building a crochet business. She also has a great resource for how to price your crochet pattern: How to Price Crochet Patterns for Online Selling.
You also need to think about where you will share your pattern. Will you share it on your own website? On Etsy? Make a video tutorial on YouTube?
Also make sure to promote your pattern release on social media like Facebook and Instagram, but don’t forget Pinterest.
This is my least favorite part of the process because it feel so weird to promote yourself. But it’s something you must do. There are so many amigurumi patterns out there and you must be loud to get yours any visibility.
How to Become an Amigurumi Designer in 8 Easy Steps
I hope you found this information valuable and that it has given you some confidence to become an amigurumi designer.
Always remember to be kind to yourself and never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. We are all on a journey and had to start at the beginning (remember my Alien Bear?).
Let me know if you are interested in becoming an amigurumi designer and what project you’re working on now!