Shirokuma the Polar Bear Free Crochet Pattern

Shirokuma the mini polar bear is a munchkin sized chibi polar bear. A beginner friendly project perfect for first-timers, Shirokuma makes the perfect gift or accessory—you can even take him everywhere as a keychain or bag charm!

The mini-est crochet polar bear around is here is a free pattern on my blog!

Read below for the inspiration, design, and perfect yarn I chose, or scroll to the end for the free pattern. If you want to take this pattern offline, grab, the ad-free, printable PDF version here!

shirokuma the crochet polar bear in a free pattern

The Inspiration: Crochet Polar Bear

I love making amigurumi bears—the smaller, the better—and became inspired to make a munchkin sized polar bear because of the Sumikko Gurashi Characters. The name “Sumikko Gurashi” (角落生物 in Mandarin) means characters living a quiet and solitary life in a corner.

This is apt because each of the characters prefers to reside on the sidelines of society for various reasons. Shirokuma is a polar bear who decides to migrate south to avoid the cold, while Tokage is secretly the last of the dinosaurs who pretends to be a lizard to avoid getting caught. (Read more about them here!)

I love the idea of these adorable little creatures and so I decided to create my interpretation of Shirokuma as a crochet polar bear in amigurumi form.

Another Chibi Design

I designed Shirokuma the Crochet Polar Bear with a chibi body plan in mind to match his character’s proportions. However, I decided to make his body and head all one piece to make his stature as small as possible at a little over one inch!

The rest of his limbs are all super simple—they each only require a couple rounds to create and work up really quickly.

He also matches many of my other projects in proportions, like my chibi fox girl and little prince.

I love this design because it’s super small and perfect for hanging on a keychain or sitting windowsill, but also allows for adorable details and good proportions.

Shirokuma works great as a gift for anyone, by himself or as a keychain or bag charm. To adapt him easily for any of these uses I would use a jump ring (here’s one I found on Amazon) or a lanyard hook (here!). It would be so cute to be able to take him everywhere!

Easy Beginner’s Project

Shirokuma the Crochet Polar bear is the perfect beginner’s project for anyone new to amigurumi or even crochet in general. He only requires the most basic amigurumi techniques but is super rewarding to create.

For anyone who’s not a beginner, this is still the perfect quick make to finish in one afternoon. I love the sense of accomplishment and joy of being able to create something start to finish, and being able to do that quickly is even better.

If you have more time, I would highly suggest making some friends for Shirokuma in brown or gray colors!

Yarn and Substitution

I used worsted weight Vanna’s Choice for this project. Amigurumi usually require very tight, dense stitches to make sure that the crochet fabric has no holes, so worsted weight yarn ensures that you don’t have to use too much yarn to create your amigurumi.

Also, worsted weight yarn can sometimes look a little fuzzier than light weight or DK, so that’s a real plus if you have an eye for detail!

I chose Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice in White because it’s a great low-cost worsted weight yarn. This line of yarns also has so many colorways that it will be really easy to mix and match different colors if you want to make some polar bear friends. There’s nothing more annoying than not being able to find a different color in the type of yarn you want, but with Vanna’s Choice, that will never be a problem!

This mini polar bear only took a fraction of one skein of yarn. This is great news, because that means you can either make a whole deskful of mini polar bears or use up those extra little bits in your stash that are useless for bigger projects (if I were you, I’d make the deskful).

Shirokuma with his best friend, Kitsune the Fox Girl

Shirokuma the Crochet Polar Bear Pattern

  • If you want to take this pattern offline, get the ad-free, inexpensive, and printable PDF copy here!
  • Pin this to your Pinterest boards for later here!


Shirokuma the mini polar bear is a munchkin sized chibi polar bear. A beginner friendly project perfect for first-timers, Shirokuma makes the perfect gift or accessory—you can even take him everywhere as a keychain or bag charm!



Abbreviations (US):

  • Sc: Single crochet
  • Ch: Chain
  • Sl st: Slip stitch
  • Yo: Yarn over
  • Hdc: Half double crochet
  • Dc: Double crochet
  • Inc: Increase
  • Dec: Decrease
  • Sts: Stitches
  • FO: Fasten off
  • (…) x: repeat stitches within parentheses … times
  • Sk: skip one stitch
  • FSC: foundation single crochet (tutorial here)

Technical Notes:

  • Crochet in continuous spiral rounds unless otherwise specified, and use a stitch marker or piece of yarn to keep track of the last stitch in each round.
  • When filling with polyester stuffing, pull apart each large chunk into many smaller chunks. This ensures an even distribution of firmness within the amigurumi.
  • To avoid large holes in the crochet fabric, increase tension until the holes cannot be seen, or choose a crochet hook a size down.
  • Use sewing pins to secure limbs of the amigurumi before you sew them.

Head/Body: (in white yarn)

  • R (round) 1: sc6 in MR (6 sts)
  • R2: inc6 (12 sts)
  • R3: (sc, inc) x6 (18 sts)
  • R4: (sc2, inc) x6 (24 sts)
  • R5-13 (9 rounds): sc all around (24 sts)
  • R14: (sc4, dec) x4 (20 sts)
  • R15: (sc3, dec) x4 (16 sts)
  • Begin stuffing. Put 4mm safety eyes roughly in the middle of the head between rounds 8 and 9, with 5 stitches between the eyes.
  • R16: (sc2, dec) x4 (12 sts)
  • R17: (sc, dec) x4 (8 sts)
  • R18: (dec) x4 (4 sts)
  • Cut yarn, leaving a short tail, and using a needle, thread the yarn through all 6 stitches in the last round. Pull it tight so that the opening closes like a drawstring bag, and then finish off. Cut a small oval from black felt and glue onto face, in the middle and a little below the eyes.

Arms: x2

  • R1: sc4 in MR (4 sts)
  • R2-3 (2 rounds): sc all around x2 (4sts)
  • Finish off, leave a short tail for sewing. Do not stuff.

Legs: x2

  • R1: sc6 in MR (6 sts)
  • R2: sc all round (6 sts)
  • Finish off, leave a short tail for sewing. Do not stuff.

Ears: x2

  • R1: sc4 in MR (4 sts)
  • R2: (sc, inc) x2 (6 sts)
  • Finish off, leave a short tail for sewing. Do not stuff.


For this design, the placing of the eyes and nose are really important to maximize the cute factor. I often find that placement of the eyes can be the element that makes or breaks the cuteness of an amigurumi, so here are some tips for Shirokuma:

  • When placing the eyes, imagine sectioning the body/head piece into two equally sized parts, of which the top is the head and the bottom is the body.
  • Place the eyes on the bottom half of the head part, with the nose piece just under and between the eyes.
diagram to understand the division of head and body in crochet polar bear free pattern

This ensures that the polar bear has a cohesive body plan. If the eyes are too low then it can make the head look too big, and vice versa. This could result in the polar bear looking unbalanced, to make sure you have a good mental image of where the head and body begin and end.

  1. Place safety eyes on head
  2. Glue oval nose between safety eyes
  3. Sew arms in middle of body
  4. Sew ears between rows 3 and 5 on top of the head/body
  5. Sew legs on the bottom

Your [pattern name] is all done! I hope you enjoyed crocheting it and found the pattern helpful. I would love to see your finished project, so share a picture on Instagram with me by using the #littleworldofwhimsy and tagging me @littleworldofwhimsy. Once again, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me with a direct message on Instagram or through email at Happy crocheting!

Check out some more cute amigurumi animals: