Introduction: Toy Octopus Yarn Doll. No Sewing.

Picture of Toy Octopus Yarn Doll. No Sewing.

Fabrication is quick and easy. It's a great starting craft project, requiring braids and knots, but no sewing. Little in this project is critical, use what's to hand. It's a wonderful gift for a loved one, perfect for Valentine's day, too!

Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Materials and Tools Needed

Picture of Materials and Tools Needed


  • Assorted yarn (we used four different colors)
  • Ping pong ball (approximately 1.6" diameter)
  • Scotch tape (or equivalent matt finish sticky tape - NOT shiny)
  • Black and white felt
  • Clear fabric glue
  • Optional heart shaped craft frame (not needed for the toy itself)


  • Sheet of card, maybe 22" long
  • Scissors
  • Twist ties
  • Black and white marking pens/pencils
  • Two different sized buttons (maybe ⅝" and ⅜" diameters)

Step 3: Wind the Body

Picture of Wind the Body

Wind two strips of yarn, side-by-side, around the 22" card. Make 48 turns. Carefully pull the windings from the card and cut from the skeins (balls of yarn).

Step 4: Tie Off the Hair End

Picture of Tie Off the Hair End

Cut an 8" length of yarn from a skein. Use it to tie off about 2½" from one end of the windings. Use a double knot and then snip the excess.

Step 5: Create the Head

Picture of Create the Head

Cover the ping pong ball with the matt finish sticky tape. A smooth tape would be too slippery. Insert the covered ping pong ball into the windings at the hair end. Temporarily use a twist tie to hold it in place, then use another 8" length of yarn to tie off the ball, holding it tightly in place. Double knot and trim the excess. Remove the twist tie.

Step 6: Separate the Windings Into Tentacles

Picture of Separate the Windings Into Tentacles

Cut the windings at the end opposite the head, then separate the threads into eight equal bundles - 24 threads per bundle. For each bundle, use a twist tie to hold the threads together (about 3" from the end).

Step 7: Braid and Tie Off Each Tentacle

Picture of Braid and Tie Off Each Tentacle

Use a weight to anchor the hair (here using a stack of books). One tentacle at a time, remove the twist tie, braid, then tie off with a 4" length of yarn. Double knot and trim the excess.

Step 8: Trim the Tentacle Tassels

Picture of Trim the Tentacle Tassels

Cut back the free/loose threads at the end of the tentacles. Leave about 1½" as tassels.

Step 9: Make the Hair

Picture of Make the Hair

Cut the windings at the hair end, then tidy up the ends (giving it a "hair cut").

Step 10: Cut the Eye and Mouth Parts

Picture of Cut the Eye and Mouth Parts

Use the larger button and black pen to mark out two eye whites on the white felt. Likewise, use the smaller button and white pencil to mark out the pupils on the black felt. Also, using the white pencil, mark out the smiley mouth on the black felt. Carefully cut these components from the felt.

Step 11: Make the Face

Picture of Make the Face

Glue the pupils to the eye whites, making the eyes. When dry, glue the eyes and the mouth to the head. Pay attention to symmetry and placement.

Step 12: The Finished Octopus

Picture of The Finished Octopus

Now on to the optional mount for two octopi.

Step 13: Display Your Octopi

Picture of Display Your Octopi

Use multiple threads of yarn to tether the craft frame, knotting it along its length. Insert the two octopi into the frame. If sized correctly, the octopi should fit tightly enough to not require any additional attachment.

Step 14: Voilà!

Picture of Voilà!


cdstudioNH made it! (author)2016-02-12

One for us(Olivia), and one for the cat(lil' Ollie)

: D

Adeldor (author)cdstudioNH2016-02-12

All three are adorable!

cdstudioNH (author)2016-02-10

I forgot about these! They were big in the 70's, I think; I remember making them as a little girl. I'm going to make one tonight... thanks for the instructable!!

Adeldor (author)cdstudioNH2016-02-12

Yeah, these are from my childhood! You're welcome!

wold630 (author)2016-02-10

So cute and simple! Great gift idea! Thanks for sharing!

Adeldor (author)wold6302016-02-12

Thank you for the kind words!

About This Instructable




Bio: Focusing on DIY and self-sufficiency, our goal is to provide how-to information, ranging from cooking to construction and machining to micro-controllers - anything within our ability ... More »
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