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Crocheted Face Applique Pattern & Tutorial For Finished Amigurumi Projects

We're happy to have our friend Pia Thadani writing a series of three sponsored guest posts embellishing our amigurumi cactus crochet kits. In her third project, below, she shows you how to crochet a face applique for Ruby the Cactus. This technique can be used on any of your completed crochet and knitting projects. (You might also like Project 1: Surface Crochet or Project 2: Needle Felting).

needle felting a face main image

Project 3: Crocheted Face Applique Pattern & Tutorial 

By Pia Thadani

I’ve loved working with the Ruby and Charley amigurumi cactus kits from Global Backyard Industries.  They’re totally adorable without adding anything, but I’ve had some fun adding my own embellishments to the pots. For one of the pots, I made a surface crochet chevron border and some needle felted appliques. For the other, I have crocheted a smiley face!

Smiley Face Appliques Pattern:

(scroll down for video tutorial)


  • 2-5 yds each of red, black, and white yarn. Either worsted or DK weight is fine, but all colors should be the same weight.
  • Size F / 3.75 mm Crochet hook (included in kit)
  • Yarn needle (included in kit)

materials needed

Skill Level:

Easy – All basic stitches, mostly worked in the round. Some working in back loop only.


Gauge is not particularly important – if you want your pieces larger or smaller, adjust the size of your yarn and/or hook accordingly.


  • ch = chain
  • sc = single crochet
  • hdc = half double crochet
  • dc = double crochet
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • Rnd = Round


Mouth: With red, ch 12, set aside. (To avoid having a bump at the edge, work your slip knot loosely and count it as your first chain.)

smile photo

Eye (make 2)

Rnd 1 (pupil): With black, ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook, fasten off leaving a 10-12 inch tail for sewing onto pot.


Rnd 2 (white): Join white with sl st in blo of any stitch. Continuing in blo, 2 sc in same st and in next 2 sts, 2 hdc in next st, (hdc, 3 dc, hdc) in next st, 2 hdc in next st. Do not join. Fasten off leaving a 10-12 inch tail for sewing onto pot.

unjoined eye

Seamless join: Thread long white tail onto yarn needle. Insert needle from back to front under both legs of first st of rnd 2, and pull through. Insert needle down through center of last st from rnd 2 and pull through.

          seamless join 1 seamless join 2 seamless join 3


Attach eyes:

  • Weave in black tails on eyes.
  • With short white tail, sew a small stitch at one edge of pupil as a highlight, then weave tail in. Repeat for 2nd. 

finished eye

  • Pin eyes into place on pot. With long white tail, sew eyes to pot using a backstitch. Sew just under the tops of the stitches, to create a nicely finished edge.

sewing on eye

Attach mouth:

  • Pin mouth into place on pot and thread long tail onto yarn needle.
  • To make a small line at the edge of the mouth:
    • Insert needle down to one side of mouth and back out again to the other side.
    • Insert needle through the diagonal stitch just made, and back down at center of the edge of the mouth.

          corner of mouth pic 1 corner of mouth pic 2 corner of mouth pic 3

  • Sew mouth into place using a backstitch, working through the centers of the chain stitches.
  • Repeat the steps above to create a line at the opposite end of the mouth.

Weave in all remaining ends.

Smiley Face Appliques Video Tutorial:

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photo of piaPia Thadani is a knit and crochet designer, teacher, and all around  fiber addict. She’s passionate about creating, and loves to share that passion with others. You can find an extensive collection of patterns, tutorials, and more on her blog at

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