Free Crochet Pattern: Totoro & Friends

Totoro is one of the nature spirits from the animated movie My Neighbor Totoro. For me, animations and kiddie movies like this always inspired me and made me feel like there was something really magical about the world. In fact, I watched this movie again the other day (I’m 23 now), and it made me really wish I had a Totoro of my own. So, I made some. In this post, I’ll teach you how to crochet this childhood favorite, focusing on the biggest one. While this post is the free pattern for Totoro, the patterns to the other two, Chu and Chibi, will be linked as well!

Totoro & Friends Pinterest

Totoro Crochet Pattern

Get this pattern as an inexpensive, ad-free PDF that you can print and take with you on the go!

Materials: (affiliate)

Directions:

Body

1. Using gray yarn and 5.5mm hook, create a magic loop. Then, work 6 SC  into the magic loop. Pull the loop closed and slip stitch to the first space (6).
2. Chain 1. Increase in each space by working 2 SC into the same space (12).
3. Chain 1. Increase in every other space (18).
4. Chain 1. Increase after every 2 stitches (24).
5-6. Continue working increase rounds until you have 4 SC between increases. (36).
7-12. SC around for 6 rounds (36).
13. Work one more increase round by increasing after every 5 SC (42).

At this point, you’ve reached the widest part of the body. You’ll start working decreases now.

14. SC 5, then decrease by skipping one space and working a SC into the next space. Repeat around (36).

15. Work another decrease round, this time working 4 SC before decreasing. You should have 30 stitches at the end of the round (30).

16-23. SC around for 8 rounds (30).Stuff firmly with Fiberfill. While stuffing, the body may seem a little lumpy, but don’t worry about it too much. Once it’s filled, you can squish it around and rearrange the stuffing so it evens out.

24-26. Work 3 decrease rounds so that you have 12 stitches left. Cut the working yarn, making sure to leave a few inches of tail, and fasten off. Then, thread the tail of the yarn through the remaining stitches and pull tight to close the top of the head. Secure it with a knot and weave the tail into the body.

Ears (make 2)

1. Using gray yarn and 5.5mm hook, create a magic loop. Then into the magic loop, SC 3. Slip stitch to the first space to close the circle (3).
2-3. Work 2 increase rounds (2 SC into each space for the first round, then every other space for the second). You should have 9 stitches now (9).
4-8. SC around for 4 rounds (9). Fasten off, making sure to leave a long tail to sew the ear onto the body. Stuff with Fiberfill.

Tail

1. Using gray yarn and 5.5mm hook, create a magic loop. Then, into the magic loop, SC 3. Slip stitch to the first space to close the circle (3).
2-4. Work 4 increase rounds (12).
5-7. SC around for 3 rounds (12).
8. Work one decrease round: SC 2, decrease by skipping a space and SCing into the next. At the end of this round, you should have 9 stitches (9).
9-10. SC around for 2 rounds, then fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing the tail (ha!) onto the body. Stuff with Fiberfill.

Arms (make 2):

1. Using gray yarn and 5.5mm hook, create a magic loop. Then, into the magic loop, SC 3. Slip stitch to the first space to close the circle (3).
2-4. Work 3 increase rounds (12).
4-18. SC around for 15 rounds (12). Fasten off, leaving a long tail to sew arms onto the body. Stuff lightly with Fiberfill. You only want it at the bottom of the arm.

 

Belly

Switch to white yarn and a 5.5mm hook. To make the belly, start with 6 SC in a magic loop and slip stitch to the first space to close the circle. Then, increase the circle in the established pattern until your increases are 7 stitches apart. Work one round of SC and fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Leaf

1. Using the green yarn and 3.5mm hook, chain 10. Then turn and work this pattern into the next 6 stitches: 1 SC, 1 DC, 2 TC, 1 DC, 1 SC. Chain 1, turn.
2. Work 6 HDC along the stitches you just made. This makes half of the leaf.
3. Chain 1, turn. Now, you’ll be working on the other side of the original chain, where there’s only 1 loop for each space. Work this pattern into the next 6 stitches: 1 SC, 1 DC, 2 TC, 1 DC, 1 SC. Chain 1, turn.
4. Work 6 HDC along the stitches you just made. This is the other side of the leaf. Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing onto the head.

 

Eyes (make 2)

1. Using white yarn and 3.5mm hook, create a magic loop. Then, into the magic loop, SC 3. Slip stitch to the first space to close the circle (3). SC around for 1 round. Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.
2. Then, using black embroidery floss or crochet thread, fill in where your first 3 SC are. Because it’s in a circle, I found this to be the easiest way to make the eyes. I worked in vertical lines to cover the center of the circle, then used horizontal stitches to fill in any gaps.

Finishing

Now that you have all the body pieces made, you can finally start assembling! You can use the pictures here as a guide, but there are a few things I should note.

  • When you position the ears, make sure that they line up to the outer sides of the head, so there’s enough room between them for the leaf. Also, make sure they are level with each other and one isn’t way behind the other.
  • Sew the belly on so that it goes slightly under the base of the body.
  • If the base of the body is too curved for the Totoro to stand upright (you may have overstuffed), you can position the tail so that it acts as a kickstand. Play around with how high the tail should be sewn, and you should be able to make stand.

Features

To finish it all off, your Totoro needs some features. So, with your needle and embroidery floss, add on the nose and whiskers. You can also add a mouth if you like, but I decided not to. I would have liked to do a big, open-mouthed smile if I had some felt to glue on, but because I didn’t have any, I just skipped the mouth altogether. However, if you have white felt, simply cut out the space of the mouth and glue it on. Then, using black embroidery thread, you can create the lines for the teeth.

Related: Free Crochet Giraffe Pattern

I think these are just the cutest things, and I really enjoyed coming up with this pattern for you guys. Although this pattern gives you directions on how to make the largest of the three (Totoro), the other two are really similar. So, you can either figure out the other two on your own using what I’ve shown you for the big guy, or you can skip the guesswork and get the free patterns for the other two right here! They’re both available in the resource library and all you have to do to get it is subscribe and download it from the resource library.

I really hope you liked this pattern set. If you did, let me know in the comments below! You can also leave me requests for anything you would like to see a pattern or tutorial for. I plan on doing many more crochet and knitting posts soon, so stay tuned for those. While you’re here, there are a ton of other patterns you can check out for free, so be sure to  look around.


  • Thank you so much! I can't wait till the next linky 🙂

  • Joanita Theron

    This is so adorable 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing! Congratulations! You are one of my features 🙂
    Joanita @ Snickerdoodle Sunday

  • Aw, thank you!

  • Heather – New House New Home

    Super cute! Any anime fan would love these guys! Thanks for sharing on Dishing It & Digging It!

  • Thank you, Keri! I had a lot of fun with these 🙂

  • Keri Roberts

    Shehla, you did a great job making these characters, and creating the patterns, wow!! These guys are sooooo cute!!

  • Thank you, Jess!

  • These are TOO cute!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!