Making Dolls and Toys for the Kids on Your Gift List

The holiday season is fast approaching. Soon it will be the season for toy shopping, but shopping for toys isn’t your only option. Have you given any thought to the possibility of making the dolls or toys you’ll give to the children on your holiday gift list? It’s totally do-able considering there are many, many patterns available for sewing, knitting and crocheting adorable toys.

You aren’t limited to these craft techniques, by any means. Lately, tiny, cute needle felted toy animals have been trendy. (I don’t know how to make these — so I have no recommendations for needle felting patterns. Yet. Hoping to work on that soon…) Right now, knitting and crocheting are my top craft techniques, so this post will focus primarily on pattern recommendations for crocheted and knitted toys.

Knitted Dolls and Teddy Bears

If you want to knit a teddy bear for a special child on your gift list, consider using this cute teddy bear knitting pattern from  Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs, published by Trafalgar Square Books.
If you want to knit a teddy bear for a special child on your gift list, consider using this cute teddy bear knitting pattern from Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs, published by Trafalgar Square Books.

If you want to knit truly wonderful holiday gifts for anyone in your inner circle, my top pattern book recommendation of the moment would be Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs. This book isn’t specifically intended to be a toy pattern book, but it does have some fantastic options for fun toys you can make — including a vibrant and colorful teddy bear, bunches of different dolls and doll clothes, plus assorted other toys. The book also includes patterns for slippers, socks, and all kinds of other gift-worthy items.

Learn More About This Book:

Amigurumi: Cute Crocheted Stuffed Animal Toys

Amigurumi: An Adorable Collection, published by Leisure Arts
Amigurumi: An Adorable Collection, published by Leisure Arts

There are a whole lot of outstanding amigurumi crochet patterns available for making toys and dolls. If you were to ask my opinion about the absolute best choice for a pattern book for Christmas 2020, the book pictured above would be my pick.

Why?

Bunches of reasons:

  • So far, this book offers you the best value out of any of the choices I’m aware of; it has the best per-pattern price out of any of the amigurumi pattern books I’ve reviewed.
  • These patterns are super fun, super cool and super cute. Well, OK, not all of these designs are cute, but most of them are.
  • There are designs suitable for both boys and girls, so the boys are not left out of the fun.
  • The book format is totally logical and user-friendly, with gorgeous full-color photography and readable fonts.

Learn More About This Book:

Handmade Fashion Doll Clothes to Make and Give

Want to make some doll clothes for the little girls on your gift list? You have lots of options for that. Pictured here is a rainbow top you can crochet for Barbies or other fashion dolls. In this picture, a vintage 1980s Creata Flower Princess doll is modeling the top. A free crochet pattern is available for this project.
Want to make some doll clothes for the little girls on your gift list? You have lots of options for that. Pictured here is a rainbow top you can crochet for Barbies or other fashion dolls. In this picture, a vintage 1980s Creata Flower Princess doll is modeling the top. A free crochet pattern is available for this project.

If there’s a Barbie doll fanatic on your gift list, perhaps you could whip up some new Barbie wardrobe pieces to delight her. One possibility is this cute fashion doll top. Click here to find the free crochet pattern.

If these ideas aren’t quite what you had in mind, I invite you to check out our page of knitting and crochet patterns for dolls and toys to find even more suggestions. Happy crafting, and happy holidays to you and yours. I hope your family will have a delightful holiday season this year.

By Amy Solovay

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a studio art minor; and she has also obtained another degree in textile design. Amy has been crocheting and making crafts since childhood, and knitting since her teenage years. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, KnittingandCrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials.

Accessorize for Fourth of July With a Handmade Bracelet

Accessorize for 4th of July With a Handmade Bracelet
Accessorize for 4th of July With a Handmade Bracelet

You can make this simple-but-lovely bracelet using metallic floss and round glass beads. If you’ve never crocheted with beads before, this bracelet is a fantastic introduction to the technique; it’s a quick project that proves that bead crochet does not have to be difficult, despite what you may have heard to the contrary.

For those of you in the USA, this bracelet is an ideal way to accessorize for patriotic holidays such as the Fourth of July. It’s a fabulous everyday accessory as well.

Related Crochet Resources:

Celebrate Spring With a Rainbow of Lovely Crochet Patterns

Double Rainbow Crochet Square Pattern
Double Rainbow Crochet Square Pattern

You know the old rhyme: April showers bring May flowers. But you know what else April showers sometimes bring? RAINBOWS! Whether or not it’s raining in your neighborhood right now, you can crochet a lovely rainbow pattern to introduce more color into your life.

Pictured here, we have a double rainbow dishcloth you can make and use for spring cleaning this month (or, really, any time). It’s a quick and easy crochet project that will look cheerful and lovely in your kitchen.

Make Fun Easter Crafts for a Child You Love

Easter Crafts
Easter Crafts: Photo Courtesy of Sebastian Staines at Unsplash.

Wow, can you believe it’s already spring? You know what that means: Easter is coming right up. This year, we’ll be celebrating Easter on Sunday, April 12, 2020.

If your family celebrates the Easter holiday, perhaps you’d enjoy making some fun Easter craft projects for a child you love.

Knitting and crochet are my crafts of choice – so when I find myself with free time available for crafting, I tend to reach for a crochet hook or pair of knitting needles.

There are bunches of different Easter projects that can be crocheted or knitted. For starters, how about making an Easter basket? You can grab a broad variety of different basket patterns that would be suitable for that purpose.

Another idea: Knit or crochet a stuffed Easter bunny toy for your favorite child (or make multiples for your favorite children). You can embroider the eyes on your bunny, or use attachable safety eyes. Some of the available bunny patterns even include instructions for making cute clothing the bunnies can wear — how adorable is that?

You could also make an Easter-themed collage, painting or drawing.

This list of Easter patterns has even more ideas for fun Easter craft projects.

For those of you who don’t celebrate Easter, there are plenty of other spring knitting and crochet patterns you might enjoy. The list includes projects for spring flowers, spring cleaning and the other spring holidays like Mother’s Day.

I hope you’ll enjoy your Easter crafts, and that you and your family will have a blessed Easter 2020.

More Knitting and Crochet Resources

Valentine Heart Crafts

Valentine Heart Crafts
Valentine Heart Crafts

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If your Valentine’s Day plans include crafting this year, we invite you to check out these lovely heart patterns:

Some of these designs are components, meaning that you’ll be able to use them for making or embellishing other, larger craft projects. The appliques can be attached to just about any item for a bit of updated, handcrafted chic. The squares can be used to make blankets or other projects. You can apply a bit of imagination and creativity to come up with bunches of different projects you could make. I hope you find these ideas inspiring.

Wishing you a lovely, enjoyable Valentine’s Day!

Making Hearts for Valentine’s Day 2020

Making Hearts for Valentine's Day -- There are a zillion different ways to do it. If crochet is your thing, this picture shows you 4 different possibilities -- and free patterns for all of these designs are available online.
Making Hearts for Valentine’s Day — There are a zillion different ways to do it. If crochet is your thing, this picture shows you 4 different possibilities — and free patterns for all of these designs are available online.

Hearts are some of the most popular motifs for crafting — particularly when making Valentine crafts, wedding crafts and anniversary crafts. They’re also fantastic motifs for use in birthday crafts and everyday crafts. Check out the following heart designs and heart patterns if you’re looking for some up-to-date ideas for heart motifs you can incorporate into your craft projects for Valentine’s Day 2020.

Find Free Heart Patterns:

Free Filet Crochet Heart Edging Pattern

Free Filet Crochet Heart Edging Pattern
Free Filet Crochet Heart Edging Pattern

This free chart has many potential uses, but I used it for making filet crochet trim.

After working the chart in filet crochet, I had another idea. The filet crochet design is pretty, but it’s subtle. What about making another trim where the heart motifs really pop out from the background?

So, I whipped up a new trim pattern, where the hearts are cross-stitched on top of the trim. This gives you the option of easily creating color contrast between the background and heart motifs.

I like both versions, and I hope you’ll enjoy crocheting them too. The free crochet patterns for both versions of the design are available online at KnittingandCrochet.net.

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Crochet Patterns for Warming Your Noggin and Neck

Noggins and Necks -- crochet hat and scarf patterns by Bonnie Barker, published by Leisure Arts
Noggins and Necks — crochet hat and scarf patterns by Bonnie Barker, published by Leisure Arts

I sure got a giggle out of the title of this book, Noggins and Necks, by Bonnie Barker. It’s a catchy title that sums up what the book is all about; it’s a crochet pattern booklet of scarf and hat patterns.

Want to know more about this book? I give you the lowdown in my detailed book review. I invite you to check it out!

Related Resources:

Lovely Crochet Patterns for Warm Winter Baby Beanies

Worried about a sweet little child’s head getting cold this winter? If so, perhaps you’d like to whip up a cute crocheted baby beanie using any of our recommended crochet patterns. Try these:

Easy Ribbed Crochet Baby Beanie for Beginners — Free Pattern

Easy Ribbed Crochet Baby Beanie Pattern for Beginners -- a FREE crochet pattern
Easy Ribbed Crochet Baby Beanie Pattern for Beginners — a FREE crochet pattern

This unisex beanie is exceptionally easy to crochet, and it’s a super quick project, too. The finished hat is versatile and can be worn with just about anything. The free crochet pattern is available at Knittingandcrochet.net:

Click here to get the free crochet baby beanie pattern.

The Pretty Posies Baby Beanie by Darla Sims

From the Book Dressing Up Baby, published by Leisure Arts

Baby girl's crochet beanie pattern from Dressing Up Baby by Darla Sims, published by Leisure Arts.
Baby girl’s crochet beanie pattern from Dressing Up Baby by Darla Sims, published by Leisure Arts.

When I go out with my best friend and her sweet baby, this is by far the baby beanie that draws the most compliments from total strangers. And, out of all the baby hats I’ve crocheted, this pattern is the one I’ve enjoyed the most. It’s an easy pattern, but there is something so satisfying about crocheting all those tiny flower buds and making the cute little bow to add to the top of the hat.

The “Pretty Posies” baby hat isn’t the only hat pattern included in this book. The book is all about giving you patterns for complete baby layette sets consisting of coordinating hats, baby booties, baby blankets and baby sweaters. There are multiple baby layette patterns included in the book. I highly recommend it!

Learn More About This Book

12 More Baby Beanie Crochet Patterns, Plus Matching Booties and Boots

Find 12 adorable crochet baby beanie patterns in Infant Boots and Hats: by Kristi Simpson, Published by Leisure Arts
Find 6 adorable crochet baby beanie patterns in Infant Boots and Hats: by Kristi Simpson, Published by Leisure Arts

If you want to crochet quick, easy, warm winter beanies for a sweet newborn, plus matching baby booties for each hat you make, Infant Boots & Hats is a crochet pattern book you’ll definitely want to consider adding to your library. This charming book includes crochet patterns for 6 different sets of matching baby beanies and booties. They are all SUPER CUTE.

Learn More About This Book:

So there you have it: If you need to keep baby warm this winter, those are the best crochet patterns for warm winter baby beanies we’re aware of.

Happy crocheting!

More Baby Items to Crochet and Knit:

More Knit and Crochet Hat Patterns

Free Crochet Patterns! Mini Checkerboard Afghan Squares for Valentine Blankets, Sampler Blankets and More

Mini Checkered Crochet Square Pattern -- Free Crochet Pattern PDF With Chart  ARe Available Online at KnittingandCrochet.net
Mini Checkered Crochet Square Pattern — Free Crochet Pattern PDF With Chart Are Available Online at KnittingandCrochet.net

If there’s one thing I adore, it’s a crochet checkerboard pattern. I’ve designed so many different variations on the checkerboard that it’s getting hard to keep them all straight. This one you see pictured stands out because it’s the smallest one I’ve ever designed. I’ve found that this one has a whole bunch of different possible uses.

I designed this afghan square with the intention of using it along with multiple other afghan squares of the same size. I’ve crocheted multiple blankets using the squares in this series, and I have ideas for making bunches more of them. I invite you to fire up your imagination and think of the possibilities for all the things you could make with these squares, too. Perhaps you’re planning on crocheting projects like placemats, pillows, afghans, and these squares would be ideal for those types of projects or just about anything else that can be made up of squares.

This particular square is a fantastic little filler that can be alternated with larger designs instead of using solid-colored squares. Check out an example in this Valentine’s Day themed afghan featuring a heart square:

The most prominent design element in this blanket is the crocheted heart motif -- but the mini checkerboard design is an important supporting design element. This design is ideal for Valentine's Day, especially if you crochet it in red, pink and white as pictured. But you could change the colors to make the look entirely different.
The most prominent design element in this blanket is the crocheted heart motif — but the mini checkerboard design is an important supporting design element. This design is ideal for Valentine’s Day, especially if you crochet it in red, pink and white as pictured. But you could change the colors to make the look entirely different.

If you want to crochet a blanket like this one, you can use free patterns to do it. Here are some links to the different patterns and design elements you need:

Just to give you even more inspiration, here’s a picture of another way I’ve used this particular design. In this blanket, the mini checkerboard is one of many other afghan squares. I call this the “Pattern Sampler Afghan”.

Pattern Sampler Afghan to Crochet -- Free Crochet Pattern Is Available Online
Pattern Sampler Afghan to Crochet — Free Crochet Pattern Is Available Online

This is my pattern sampler afghan — The free crochet pattern for this blanket is available online.

So there you have a couple of examples of ways this checkerboard square could be used in different crochet projects. What will you do with it? There are zillions more possibilities beyond just these…I hope you’ll have fun coming up with even more ideas.

Happy Crocheting!

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