Who doesn’t like fun key chains? I enjoyed them when I was a child, and still do today. Combine that with a love of turtles, and how could I resist designing my own?
Here’s how I made them!
Materials to Crochet a Turtle
- Three shades of sport weight yarn (I used green for the head, legs and arms, tan for the body and brown for the shell)
- One yarn needle
- One USG 6/4.00 mm crochet hook (Adjust hook size accordingly if your yarn is heavier or lighter.)
- Polyfill or another type of stuffing
- One pair 6mm safety eyes (Unless you'd rather embroider the eyes instead)
- One place marker
- Attachable keychains
- Whatever decorative accessories you'd like. (For ninja turtles, just add masks and belts!)
If you only want a small turtle doll, you can skip the key chain. These make adorable stand alone toys, too.
How to Do a Magic Circle/Ring
Step One: Making the Head
For the head, you'll need the green yarn, and safety eyes.
First, start a magic circle, or ring, and make four single stitches. Place marker in the first stitch.
If you don't know how to do that, please refer to the excellent tutorial provided to the right. I won't count this as an official row.
Round 1 - inc 1 for each sc.
Round 2 - sc 1, inc 1. Repeat until end of round.
Round 3 - sc 2, inc 1. Repeat until end of round.
Round 4-6 - sc each stitch until end of round.
If you're using safety eyes, put them 3-4 stitches apart between rounds three and four, or four and five, depending on where you'd like them on the head.
Round 7 - sc 2, dec 1. Repeat until end of row.
Stuff the head at this point. Pack the stuffing down, so you can have enough room to work. Once you finish, you can fluff and mold the head into a rounder shape.
Round 8 - dec every sc until you have one sc left.
Pull yarn tight and cut, leaving a long tail. You'll need the extra length to sew the head to the body later on.
Step Two: Making the Arms
Make two arms. There's nothing wrong with one armed turtles, so if you'd rather only have one, make a single arm.
As with the head, start out with a magic circle with four stitches. Place marker in the first stitch. Again, this won't count as a row.
Round 1 - inc 1 per stitch
Rounds 2-5 - sc each stitch all around
Round 6 - sc 2, dec 1, and repeat until end of row
Round 7 - sc all the way around. Pull last stitch tight, cut yarn and leave long tail.
Turtle Head and Arms
Give Him/Her Legs to Walk On
Again, unless you're going for a one legged turtle, which is also alright, make two of these.
Start by making a magic circle with four stitches. Place marker in the first stitch. Same rule applies to the legs as it did the arms and head.
Round 1 - inc 1 per stitch
Round 2 - sc 3, inc 1. Repeat for the entire row.
Rounds 3-8 - sc each stitch
Stuff the leg after row 8.
Round 9 - sc 3, dec 1. Repeat for the entire row.
Round 10 - sc all the way around.
Pull last stitch tight, cut yarn and leave a long tail.
Turtle's Slowly Coming Together
Make the Body
Switch to whatever color you'd like to make your turtle's body. I chose tan, since that's the color I think of when I envision a turtle's chest.
First, start with a magic circle, but add six stitches this time. Add a marker to the first stitch.
Round 1 - inc each stitch
Round 2 - sc 2, inc 1. Repeat until the end of the round.
Round 3 - sc 3, inc 1. Repeat until the end of the round.
Rounds 4-7 - sc all the way around.
Round 8 - sc 3, dec 1. Repeat until end of the round.
Stuff the body after round 8.
Round 9 - sc 2, dec 1. Repeat until end of the round.
Round 10 - dec each stitch until only one is left.
Pull last stitch tight, snip yarn. No need to leave a very long tail.
How to Double Crochet
How to Make the Shell
The very last thing our little turtle needs is its shell.
You'll see the abbreviation "dc" in this part of the pattern. That stands for "double crochet", which is demonstrated in the video to the right. Because this stitch won't be at the beginning of a fresh project, you won't need to add three chain stitches or skip any existing stitches.
I included it to add a little extra texture to the shell.
Start by forming a magic circle with four stitches, and place your marker in the first stitch.
Round 1- inc every stitch
Round 2- sc 1, *dc, inc 1* Repeat the steps between the asterisks for rest of the round.
Round 3 - sc 1, inc 1. Repeat for the rest of the round.
Round 4 - sc 1, *dc, inc 1* Repeat the steps between the asterisks for the rest of the round.
Round 5 - sc all the way around
Pull the last stitch tight and leave a long tail.
The Turtle Shell
Putting the Pieces Together
The very last step is to put all of the pieces together.
I always start with the head, because it's easiest to judge arm and leg placement in relation to where the head is.
First, hold the body lengthwise, and center the head on top. If you'd like, you can secure it there with straight pins. I usually just take note of the nearest stitch to where the "neck" would be on the body and slip the yarn needle through that.
When sewing, you'll want to sew in the second or third row at the bottom of the head.
Once it's secure, knot the remaining yarn at the back of the head, and draw the tail through the body to hide it. Repeat the process for the arms, legs and shell.
Last of all, tie or sew your key rings on! You can either use the tail left over from when you made your magic circle, or us another length of yarn to do so. Unless you'd like to have a bow, hide the yarn ends by drawing them through the head with your yarn needle.
Enjoy your new turtle key ring! Please let me know if you decide to give this pattern a try. I'd love to see how it turned out.
I do respectfully ask that if you decide to sell what you make, to please include a link back to this article in your listings.
© 2014 Emilie S Peck
Emilie S Peck (author) from Minneapolis, MN on May 14, 2015:
Aw, how cute! I actually have a couple of these on the bag I use to run errands. They get lots of attention from little kids. :)
Thanks so much!
John Albu from Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102 on May 14, 2015:
These remind me of the keychains my nephews used to wear on their school bags when they were little. Now they are too big for this kids stuff, of course :) Anyway, these are really special.
Emilie S Peck (author) from Minneapolis, MN on July 11, 2014:
I've been out of town, so this is very belated, but thank you all so much for your kind words! I'm so happy you're enjoying this pattern!
Ousaf on July 09, 2014:
curlsnaturalcurls on June 30, 2014:
Hi OMG they are soo cute and loved your work!!!!!!!
JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on June 30, 2014:
These turtles are just adorable.
Michelle Scoggins from Fresno, CA on June 30, 2014:
Congrats on the Hub of the Day. Very cool pattern!!
Evelia Veronica Rivera from Bridgeport, CT on June 30, 2014:
So cute! im going to pass along to a friend to make!
Jen Paxton from Missouri on June 30, 2014:
Great hub, I can see why it's HOTD! I love crocheting, this is going to be one of those patterns I try, great job!
Jasmine S from Pennsylvania on June 30, 2014:
I'm a big fan for crocheting and this is certainly going on my crocheting list. Well done and congrats on HOTD!
Donna Herron from USA on June 30, 2014:
Absolutely adorable! Congratulations on your HOTD!!
Lynn Jones from USA on June 30, 2014:
Great hub and Congratulations, you deserve to win. Thanks for sharing as well. lyns 6/30/2014
RTalloni on June 30, 2014:
Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this turtle tutorial--cute project!
Emilie S Peck (author) from Minneapolis, MN on June 30, 2014:
Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to read and comment! You're all awesome. :)
Thanks, also, to the HubPages team for designating this hub of the day!
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 30, 2014:
I thought this was so cute when you first published this hub. So deserving of Hub of the Day! Congrats!
poetryman6969 on June 30, 2014:
cute and creative!
FlourishAnyway from USA on June 30, 2014:
Congratulations on HOTD. This is about as cute as I have ever seen. Absolutely adorable! Great instructions. Pinning this!
Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on June 30, 2014:
Those are some cutest turtles (Ninja Turtles) I've seen! Nice tutorial. And, congrats on winning the HOTD award!
Voted up and useful.
Rosalie O'Neal from California on June 30, 2014:
Very cool! I recently learned how to crochet, well, I use the block, but I would love to try it the other way. I would also love to make these keychains! Thanks for sharing!
Claudia Mitchell on June 30, 2014:
Congrats on your HOTD! This is a great project (if only I could crochet). Hope you are well.
Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 30, 2014:
Thoroughly enjoyed this informative article. I knit on a very amateur basis. However, this sounds like a fun way to create items to store and carry the necessities. Voted UP for awesome!
Emilie S Peck (author) from Minneapolis, MN on June 13, 2014:
Thank you so much! I'm happy you liked it. :) Enjoy your weekend, too!
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 13, 2014:
OMG! So cute! Voted up and beautiful. Have a great weekend!