How to Crochet Ninja Turtles


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Ninja Turtles for short, are a popular nostalgic icon of the late 1980's and early 1990's, and a crocheted rendition of these "heroes in a half shell" can be a cute gift or piece of self-made memorabilia. Crochet your favorite amigurumi turtle by using resources you already have.


  • To make the head, crochet a sphere with green yarn. Use your favorite sphere pattern or create your own from scratch. Spheres are usually started with a "magic ring," then continued by single crocheting six times in the ring. As you create new rows, steadily increase the number of stitches by crocheting twice in the same stitch. After you have the sphere the width you want, begin decreasing every row at the same rate you increased it. When it is close to being finished, stuff it full of polyester fiber fill or other filler, and then slip stitch to close it.


  • Start the body the same way you started to crochet the head -- using the magic ring method with yellow yarn and single crocheting six times. As you continue to crochet in the round, steadily increase for the head but, when you get to the width you want, continue adding rows with just a single crochet in each stitch until it is about the length you want. Right before you are about to close it up, stuff the body to your liking, and then use the decrease stitch over the last few rows to close it.


  • Make the arms and legs of your ninja turtle any size you like, but making them all about three-quarters the length of the body usually works nicely. Start with a magic ring and six single crochets, but do not increase the width too much, as the limbs will look chunky. Continue adding rows until it is the length you want, and then stuff each one. You do not need to close it off.


  • To make the shell for the back, crochet a flat circle in brown. After putting eight single crochets in the magic ring, add rows of single crochets until it is the size you want. To add shell details, use a yarn needle and yellow yarn to make a grid on the back of the shell.


  • To make the mask, create chain stitches until it is long enough to wrap around the head. Then add three rows of single crochet stitches from the chain. Donatello's mask should be purple, Rafael's should be red, Leonard's is blue, and Michelangelo has an orange one.

Piecing It Together

  • With a yarn needle, use the end strands or additional yarn to stitch them together. Then attach wiggly eyes on top of the mask using craft glue.

Additional Accessories

  • Give the Turtles their weapons. Make them out of cardboard and then paint them. Donatello uses a bo staff, Rafael has sais, Leonardo wields a katana sword, and Michelangelo uses nunchakus. Research them online if you are unsure what they look like. Other accessory options include cardboard skateboards or a crocheted pizza, which is the Turtles' favorite food.


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