A Free Pattern for a Crochet Skull Applique
If creepy is your style, this crochet skull pattern makes a fantastic applique or decoration. And even if it isn’t, perhaps you need some scary little doodads to decorate for Halloween, or to make a pirate costume — or to dress up a hat or other accessories for a skateboarder or goth prince / princess you know. There are lots of ways you could use this versatile design, so I invite you to let your creative muse guide you in choosing what you do with it.
Skill Level: Easy
Crochet Thread or Yarn: You can use almost any fiber you want, although I recommend a smooth yarn or crochet thread in a light color for best results.
I made 2 project samples so far. For the first one, I used a mystery vintage crochet thread from my stash and I’m not entirely sure what size it is. If I had to guess, I would guess that it’s size 10 thread, but I do not know for sure.
For the second, I used a lightweight baby yarn.
Crochet Hook: Use an appropriate crochet hook for the yarn or thread you have chosen to work with. If you aren’t sure, check the yarn or thread label to see if there is a recommended hook size for that particular material.
For project sample #1, I used a 6 / 1.6 mm steel crochet hook to crochet the skull motif you see pictured.
For project sample #2, I used a size G / 4.25 mm crochet hook.
The finished size of your skull will depend on several factors: the materials you choose, plus your individual way of crocheting.
My first project sample measures slightly more than 2 inches tall, by about 1 3/4 inches wide at the widest point. My second sample is much larger, measuring about 6″ tall by about 4.5″ wide at the widest point.
Design Notes: The skull is crocheted from the top down, with row 1 being the top of the head and row 15 being the bottom of the jawbone of the skull.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:
- ch = chain
- ch-6 space = chain-6 space, the space created when you worked 6 chain stitches in the previous row.
- ch-9 space = chain-9 space, the space created when you worked 9 chain stitches in the previous row.
- dc = double crochet
- ea = each
- hdc = half double crochet
- rep = repeat
- sc = single crochet
- sl st = slip stitch
- tr = treble crochet
- st = stitch
Decreasing: A decrease used in this pattern is the “single crochet 3 together,” abbreviated as “sc3tog.” To work this decrease, insert your hook into the next stitch and pull up a loop. Insert your hook into the following stitch after that and pull up a loop. Insert your stitch into the following stitch after that and pull up a loop. Then wrap the thread or yarn around your hook and pull it through all the loops on the hook. One sc3tog made. When you count this decrease, it counts as 1 single crochet stitch.
How to Crochet the Skull Applique:
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook and in ea st across for a total of 8 sc.
Row 2: ch 1, turn. 2 sc in first st. Work 1 sc in ea of the next 6 sc, then work 2 sc in the last st for a total of 10 sc.
Row 3: ch 1, turn. Work 2 sc in the first st, then work 1 sc in ea of the next 8 sts. Work 2 sc in the last st. Total = 12 sc.
Row 4: ch 1, turn. 2 sc in the first st, then work 1 sc in ea of the next 10 sts. Work 2 sc in last st. Total = 14 sc.
Row 5: ch 1, turn. Work 2 sc in the first st, then work 1 sc in ea of the next 12 sts. Work 2 sc in the last st. Total = 16 sc.
Row 6: ch 1, turn. Work 1 sc in ea st across for a total of 16 sc sts.
Row 7: Rep row 6.
Row 8: ch 2, turn. The turning chain counts as the first dc st in the row. dc in next st. ch 9. Skip next 5 sts. Work 1 dc in ea of the next 2 sts. Ch 9. Skip the next 5 sts. Work 1 dc in ea of the last 2 sts.
Row 9: ch 1, turn. Work 10 sc sts in ch-9 space. Work 1 sl st in ea of the next 2 dc. Work 10 sc sts in next ch-9 space. Sl st in last dc in the row.
Row 10: ch 1, turn. Work 1 sl st in ea of the next 2 sts. Ch 1. Work 1 sc in ea of the next 5 sts. Ch 6. Skip the next 8 sts. Work 1 sc in ea of the following 5 sts. Work 1 sl st in ea of the next 2 sts.
Row 11: ch 1, turn. Skip the first 2 sl sts. Work 1 sc in ea of the next 5 sts. Work 5 sc sts in the ch-6 space. Then work 1 sc in ea of the next 5 sts. Total = 15 sc.
Row 12: ch 1, turn. Decrease by working a sc3tog across the first 3 sts in the row. Then work 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sts, then another decrease / sc3tog across the last 3 sts in the row.
Row 13: ch 3; the turning chain counts as 1 dc. [dc in next st, ch 1, skip next st.] rep the sequence in brackets across the row. At the end of the row, work 2 dc into the last 2 sts for a total of 7 dc sts counting the turning ch, and 4 ch sts.
Row 14: Rep row 13.
Row 15: ch 1, turn. sc in ea st across the row for a total of 11 sc sts.
Round 16:ch 1, then work a round of sc all the way around the skull. You can put multiple sts in a st if necessary to make the piece lie flat around a curve or corner. In my light purple colored sample, I worked 24 sts on each side, 8 sts across the top of the skull’s forhead and 11 sts across the skull’s lower jawbone for a total of 67 sts all together. Then I worked a couple of sl sts before ending off. Don’t worry if your stitch count is not exactly the same as mine; you may need more stitches, or fewer, to make a smooth, flat edging around the skull.
Block your work if desired. As of right now, my pictures show the work unblocked. Hopefully someday soon I will fire up and block these, then take another picture to show you how they look — but please don’t hold your breath waiting for that update. 🙂
You can decorate with your finished skull, or use it in the craft project of your choice. It would make a lovely applique for attaching to just about any sort of crocheted, knitted or sewn project (or store-bought item.)
Beastly Crochet is a witty, humorous and fun book that includes several skull patterns, one of which is an elaborate sugar skull-shaped bag for Day of the Dead. Most of the patterns are not specifically Halloween themed, but many of them would work well for incorporating into Halloween costumes or Halloween celebrations.
Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs — Two Scandinavian designers named Arne & Carlos have released a HUGE new pattern book featuring all their best patterns from their 15+ year careers as knitting and crochet pattern designers. The book includes numerous Christmas patterns and patterns for making gift-worthy projects such as dolls and Christmas tree ornaments. One of the dolls in the book is a totally creepy doll that would be great for Halloween. Many of the patterns in the book are holiday patterns — There are numerous Christmas patterns and Easter patterns as well as plenty of everyday patterns, too.
Speaking of Christmas patterns, you can find bunches of those right here.
- Sewing Appliques
- Best Crochet Motif Pattern Books
- Crochet Patterns
- Crochet Tutorials
- Crochet Stitches
- Crochet Motifs
- Crochet Hooks
- Crochet Yarn
- Crochet Books
- Best Crochet Books for Beginners
Posted By: Amy Solovay
This page was last updated on 7-6-2021.