The best way to stuff amigurumi is to pull apart fiberfill stuffing into smaller pieces and then insert them one by one into the amigurumi piece. Continue layering small pieces of stuffing until the amigurumi is stuffed firmly and fully, with all the edges and corners filled out.
If you’ve ever made amigurumi, you’ve probably encountered some problems with stuffing amigurumi. Maybe your amigurumi turned out a little too squishy, too lumpy, or you weren’t sure what materials to use. Today I’m going to answer all your questions in this blog post!
Table of Contents
1. Pull apart fiberfill stuffing into small clumps
The first step to stuffing amigurumi successfully is to pull apart your fiberfill stuffing into small clumps. If you’re not sure what fiberfill is or where to get it, check out my Recommended Supplies page.
I’ve also written an in depth guide on my favorite type of stuffing and eco-friendly alternatives here!
Pulling your fiberfill apart into small clumps ensures that your finished product won’t be lumpy. If you don’t follow this step, then if the stuffing goes into your amigurumi all in one giant piece, it might result in some bulges here and there that you didn’t account for.
Pulling fiberfill into smaller chunks also ensures that it will be distributed evenly and that any small pockets will be filled out.
Amigurumi designers spend a lot of time making sure that the shaping of each amigurumi project is exactly right, but stuffing amigurumi in large chunks can render all that effort ineffective.
Here’s a video tutorial to help you visualize this and the next steps more easily:
2. Layer the small fiberfill pieces one at a time
Once you’ve pulled the fiberfill pieces apart into little pieces, place them into your amigurumi piece one at a time, layering them on top of each other so that each little piece can find its own place to rest within the amigurumi.
Now that your fiberfill has all been broken up, making sure that the pieces aren’t tangled up with each other ensures that all the effort you put into pulling it apart isn’t useless.
Tuck each small piece around each other, paying special attention to any hollows or corners that need to be filled out.
If you can insert one piece to fill out the hollow and place it exactly right, it will help your amigurumi be taut and full.
Usually, the pattern you’re following will state what time you should stuff, but if it doesn’t, the best time is when you have about 18 or 24 stitches in the round, usually towards the end.
This means that your amigurumi piece will be almost closed, with just a small hole left.
3. Stuff your amigurumi until the outside is taut
So now that you’ve been stuffing your amigurumi for a while, making sure to do it little by little, with small pieces, how do you know when you’re done?
The easiest way to tell whether you’re done stuffing amigurumi is to lightly poke the outside of your amigurumi piece.
If the crochet fabric squishes down and doesn’t bounce back up when you poke it, that means that you’re not done stuffing it.
Essentially, you want to make sure that the amigurumi is quite firm, and if you press any part of it the fabric will be so taut that it will bounce back.
This ensures that the amigurumi will look well made and polished, as well as cute and chubby!
One of my favorite tips for stuffing amigurumi in narrow pieces like arms and legs is to use a pencil (usually the eraser part) or a crochet hook butt to push the stuffing all the way down.
Floppy arms are a bit of a pet peeve for me so I love making sure that they’re nice and stuffed.
Another reason it’s important to stuff your amigurumi firmly is that if you’re using polyester fiberfill, over a long period of time like a few years, sometimes the stuffing will shrink slightly in response to heavy use.
To ensure that your amigurumi will stay cute and squishy over time, it’s important to almost overstuff it to account for any shrinkage that will happen down the line.
And that’s it! You’re done 🙂 You should now continue working on the pattern, but remember to do a little bit of final stuffing in the second to last round, right before you close off the hole.
This is because after you finish the bulk of the stuffing, you will probably crochet a few more rounds, which will leave a small gap of unstuffed space.
Make up for this in the last round that you can possibly fit any stuffing, which will ensure that the entire amigurumi is stuff to perfection.
More blog posts for amigurumi beginners:
- My Foolproof Guide to Crocheting Amigurumi for Beginners
- What’s the best stuffing for amigurumi? (+ how to stuff!)
- How to Sew Amigurumi Parts Together (easy photo tutorial!)
Why do I have holes in my amigurumi?
As a general rule, if there are holes visible in amigurumi, increase tension to reduce gaps, and size down the crochet hook. Often, crocheters use hooks that are too large because yarn labels are meant for garments, but when crocheting amigurumi the hook size should always be around 1.0mm smaller.
If you can see the fiberfill stuffing through holes in your amigurumi, this is a sign that you need to size down your hook and increase your tension.
If you’re interested in how to pick the best crochet hook for amigurumi, I wrote an entire blog post about it here!
Holes appear because the tension is too loose, often also because the crochet hook being used is too large.
Using the wrong size crochet hook is a common mistake because yarn labels will often provide a recommendation for crochet hook size that is inappropriate for amigurumi.
This is because these hook size recommendations are largely intended for use in garments, where a loose tension and gappy crochet fabric is the intention.
After all, who wants to wear a stiff crochet top with no breathing room?
So to reduce the amount of gaps you see in your amigurumi, it is imperative to size down your crochet hook (usually by 1.0mm or so), and pull your stitches tight so that the holes disappear.
If you’re just getting started, I recommend your first project to be my Mini Whale! This project is aimed at complete beginners — I worked really hard to provide a full video tutorial, blog post, as well as free downloadable PDF! This is the pattern to start with if you’re a complete beginner 🙂
This is a tutorial for complete beginners and goes through how to create the entire project from scratch. The accompanying PDF pattern can be found below and the blog post here.
What can I use to stuff amigurumi?
The best stuffing for amigurumi is polyester fiberfill because it’s inexpensive, accessible, and easy to use. Alternatives include fabric scraps, yarn scraps, plastic bags, or any other scrap materials, though these might result in lumpiness.
You can use almost anything to stuff amigurumi as long as it can be separated into small parts and it’s soft and fluffy. People who like to reduce waste often use yarn scraps or fabric scraps, though these might not be as squishy and even as fiberfill.
My preferred method of stuffing is fiberfill because it’s able to be split up into many small pieces and usually results in the most even stuffing, but also because it results in a satisfying bounciness that makes your amigurumi particularly squishy and cute.
Yarn scraps and fabric scraps tend to just squish down without bouncing back, so keep this in mind when you’re deciding what to use to stuff your amigurumi.
Can you overstuff amigurumi?
It is possible to overstuff amigurumi by inserting so much stuffing that it shows through the crochet stitches, or by stuffing so much that it deforms the shape of the amigurumi. Always remember to find a balance between stuffing firmly but not creating any bulges or stretching the fabric too much.
Overstuffing amigurumi occurs when you put too much stuffing into the amigurumi piece that it forces the stitches apart so that the stuffing shows through.
It can also occur if you stuff the amigurumi so firmly that it creates bulges in the the amigurumi that don’t occur naturally from the shaping.
To avoid overstuffing, make sure to stuff until the crochet fabric is taut, but not straining.
Also make sure that the shape of the amigurumi is a result of any shaping techniques in the crochet, and not because the stuffing is lumpy and creating bulges on its own.
Pulling fiberfill apart into small pieces can sometimes help with this by distributing the fiberfill more evenly.
How do you prevent floppy head in amigurumi?
To prevent a floppy amigurumi head, stuff the head and body firmly, especially at the openings. If the head and body are seamed together, then stop when the seam is almost closed and add extra stuffing until the join is stiff and taut.
Wobbly amigurumi heads come about when the head and neck join is not stable. This usually happens because the pieces individually are not stuffed firmly enough, or the seam where they are joined is lacking adequate stuffing.
To combat this problem, make sure that if the head and neck are two separate pieces, almost overstuff the the top of the neck and the bottom of the head, so that they are extremely firm and stiff.
If they feel firm, then when you sew them together the head is more likely to stay in place and not flop around.
If the head and body are one continuous piece that is seamed or worked continuously, stuff the neck section extremely firmly, so that it is tight and stuff.
If it is seamed, continue stuffing as you seam the head and neck together so that you’re squeezing as much stuffing in as possible.
These tips should help you prevent a wobbly head!