Stuffing for crochet can be extremely costly if you only use an option like Poly-Fil for your amigurumi projects. Luckily there are a lot of alternative stuffing options for crochet. Stuffing your crochet projects doesn’t have to be complex or expensive.
Read on to discover stuffing for crochet projects, popular options and amigurumi stuffing alternatives.
3 Stuffing for Crochet: Amigurumi Stuffing Materials
When browsing at amigurumi crochet patterns for a potential project, a very important element is always to plan what to stuff amigurumi with. If you have already read how to pick the best yarn to use for amigurumi then let’s look at the 3 most popular options:
1) Polyester fiberfill or more commonly known as the Poly-Fil
The Poly-Fil can be easily found in art stores as it is the most used option for toy stuffing. It is easily malleable to fit in any type of pattern, big or small, wide or narrow and it is fluffy which is what we want when making amigurumi.
A bag of Poly-Fil runs at about US$15 for a 32oz bag so it’s a good option when working on smaller projects and using it in filling for amigurumi. If you have bigger projects, read below for alternative stuffing for crochet toys.
Keep in mind Poly-fil is one of the most cost effective and professional ways to stuff your amigurumi projects.
A couple of things to be aware of with Poly-Fil is that it might have lumps in the stuffing and to avoid that, we suggest pulling out the Poly-Fil little by little and fluffing the material with your hands before starting the toy stuffing process. Also, over time, stuffing for crochet toys using Poly-Fil will end up with these toys potentially losing their firmness.
2) Cluster fiberfill
Cluster fiberfill is also easily found in art stores. It is lightweight, soft and also malleable making it easily fit into any project size, just like the Poly-Fil.
The good thing about the cluster fiberfill is that contrary to the Poly-Fil, you will not need to play with it to fluff it and it does not clump like the Poly-Fil. This option is definitely easier to manipulate. The cluster fiberfill also holds its firmness very well compared to the Poly-Fil.
The downside of this type of stuffing is that it tends to be a little more expensive than Poly-Fil. A 32oz bag can cost as much as US$30 a bag but if you are planning to work on multiple projects and can buy in bulk then that would save you some money.
3) Cotton balls
Cotton balls are easily found in any pharmacy or art store making this option even more accessible than Poly-Fil or cluster fiberfill. You might even already have cotton balls as a household item!
Cotton balls will keep their firmness and you generally do not need a lot of them to fill up a small size amigurumi project for it to take a nice desired shape.
While being the most easily accessible option and quantity friendly, stuffing crochet projects with cotton balls has its downside since this material is not as fluffy, no matter how you try to manipulate them so if you want a soft touch feel amigurumi, cotton balls would not be the option to go with. They are also clumpy so ultimately, can make your project look a little funky.
In terms of pricing, cotton balls are in the same range as the cluster fiberfill.
5 Alternative Crochet Stuffings
Now that we have gone through the most popular options of crochet stuffings, let’s take a look at alternative options. When stuffing crochet projects, the key is to get creative with what you have.
1) Old unused clothes: We all have unused clothing items in our wardrobe whether it’s old t-shirts or socks. Instead of throwing them out, why not use them in stuffing for crochet animals? This is cost-saving and good recycling so mother nature will thank you! If you are working on a big project and do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on stuffing, then this is a clever way. You can cut the amount of fabric you need and the crochet toy will never lose its firmness!
2) Yarn scraps: We have all worked on crochet projects where we had excess yarn that could not be repurposed for another pattern. Well, do not throw these yarn scraps out and save them for your stuffing!
3) Rice: This can come off as a weird option but is a good alternative since we all have some sort of rice in our households. This is a cheap option plus, if you want your project to have some weight, rice would be perfect for that. The downside is that depending on the size of the rice grain, some might fall out from your crochet pattern. A solution would be to put the rice in some sort of bag or socks and insert that into your project.
4) Bean bag pellets: If you are working on a big crochet project, say a large animal, then this is also a great option to use in stuffing for crochet animals. Because this material is used in bean bags, when shopping for this type of stuffing, it usually already comes in a large quantity so you know you won’t run out. A 100L bag of bean pellets costs about US$25 so it’s affordable.
5) Bubble wrap packing peanuts: If you are a fan of online shopping and receive a lot of packages, definitely save those bubble wraps or packing peanuts. They can be great for stuffing especially if you don’t want to spend any money.
Tips for Stuffing Crochet Amigurumi
An important thing to consider when stuffing crochet projects is to use enough material if you don’t use enough, your toy will feel soft and have no consistency. How much stuffing for amigurumi is needed you will ask? Well, the answer is simple. Stuff your amigurumi project as you go through the pattern, little by little and constantly feel and squeeze your project. If squeezing it makes the amigurumi lose its consistency then that’s a sign you need more stuffing. On the other hand, if you start to see through your pattern and can see holes, then that’s a sign you are overstuffing.
Sometimes, when working on a project, you will want some weight in your crochet stuffing so that the toy can stand by itself or lean in a certain direction. A good way to make sure your project has enough weight is to use rocks, old golf balls or any small objects you have in your household that are not frequently used. Combining these items with your favorite stuffing will put in the adequate weight needed for any of your crochet projects.
Best Filling to Stuff Amigurumi:
The majority of amigurumis are fairly small in size so our favorite pick is the Poly-Fil or the cluster fiberfill. This is because these two options are the most fluffy and you can easily get to the desired firmness for your toy using these 2 types of materials.
To help cut the cost, we do like to play mix and match different types of materials, for example, some scrap yarn with Poly-Fil or old clothes with cluster fiberfill.
Final Thoughts on Stuffing for Crochet [Must Know]
Starting a new crochet toy pattern is always exciting, deciding which pattern can be overwhelming but choosing the stuffing shouldn’t be difficult! If you have an unlimited budget, go with the Poly-Fil or cluster fiberfill as the end results using these materials will resemble a plushy toy the most.
If you do not want to spend on stuffing, then get creative with what you already have at home and look into your closet for some old clothing items and save your scrap yarns!