Tutorial: Embroidering a Smile

Today I will show you how I like to embroider a smiling mouth (or any other curved line) on my crocheted toys.

Embroidering smooth lines on a bumpy surface can be a bit tricky. After some trial and error I found a technique that works for me - embroidering the mouth with back stitch and then wrapping the yarn around the row of stitches. But if you have any tips or a different technique you don't mind sharing with others, do leave a comment below. 

I like using cotton embroidery floss - it comes in pretty much any color and is easy to split or double up. But you can use any yarn or thread you like, just make sure it doesn't bleed color - toys may get wet or need to be washed.

Embroidering a smile

Tip! If you can, finish embroidering before you sew your toy together - this way you can fasten all yarn tails segurely inside your pieces. If not, fasten and hide all yarn tails using this method.

Tip! Use a sharp embroidery needle that will go through your crochet stitches - you will get a much nicer and smoother line if you don't have to work around them.


Embroidering a smile

1. Hold up a piece of yarn to find the right shape and size for
the mouth and mark it with a few sewing pins. 


stitching a smiling mouth

2. Thread the yarn onto a needle. Insert your needle under the head,
and bring it up where your mouth starts. Draw the yarn through, leaving a short yarn tail.


stitching amigurumi mouth

3. Hold your working yarn against the head as a guide to see where
the next stitches go.


Embroidering a smile

4. Insert the needle one stitch length ahead of the working yarn and
bring it up again one stitch length ahead.


amigurumi doll mouth

5. Draw the yarn through.


Embroidering a smile

6. Insert your needle where the previous stitch ends and bring it up
again one stitch length ahead of the working yarn. 


embroidering smiling mouth for amigurumi doll

7. Draw the yarn through.


finishing amigurumi doll face

8. Keep stitching until you reach the other end of the mouth.
Tip! You can always use your working yarn as guide to see where
the next stitches should go (see step 3).


stitch doll face

9. Make the last stitch and bring the needle up where the mouth ends.


free amigurumi doll tutorial

10. Draw the yarn through.


embroidering amigurumi doll mouth

11. To get a smoother line, wrap your yarn around the stitches,
always going in the same direction (whichever direction feels more
comfortable to you). Insert the needle under the first
stitch and draw the yarn through.


photo tutorial

12. Then insert the needle under the next stitch, going in the same
direction, and draw the yarn through.


crochet doll making tutorial

13. Continue wrapping the yarn around each stitch.


free amigurumi crocheting tutorials

14. Insert the needle where the mouth ends and bring the yarn
to the bottom of the head through the opening. 


crochet toy tutorial

15. Knot the yarn ends together.


crocheting amigurumi dolls

16. And done!




Video Tutorial


If you do not see the videos properly, head over to YouTube.

Right-handed version


Left-handed version

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me, I am always happy to help.

Kristi Tullus






Comment from: Lorena [Visitor]

Excellent tutorial, thanks

18/02/16 @ 19:17
Comment from: Amina [Visitor]

As great and helpful as always a tutorial - big smile and thank you from me. :)

18/02/16 @ 22:59
Comment from: pauline gordon [Visitor]
pauline gordon

thanks a lot I never could get it right this tutorial was a great help

19/02/16 @ 10:26
Comment from: Louise [Visitor]

Now that is fantastic! Thank you for posting this tutorial. Im working on some faces right now so will try this technique as I’m never 100% happy with the way I was embroidering the smiles!

03/03/16 @ 00:43
Comment from: Hana [Visitor]  

Oh my gosh! i love your tutorial very much. I’m going to try your tutorial on my amigurumi too.
Thanks a bunch!!

06/04/16 @ 08:29
Comment from: Breanna [Visitor]

Thanks for the excellent tutorial. I saw a tutorial that was on another site that had the same method with the back stitch, but I could never get the smile to turn out as clean as I wanted it too. Wrapping the thread around the stitches is a genius idea!

01/02/18 @ 02:35