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How to crochet the popcorn stitch (easy video and photo tutorial)

A small crochet swatch made from cream wool yarn including six textured crochet popcorn stitches.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to crochet the 3d, textured popcorn bobble stitch.

I will also share some crochet patterns, suitable both for beginner and intermediate crocheters, which use the crochet popcorn stitch.

A collage of two images of a crochet popcorn swatch with text overlaid reading ‘how to crochet the popcorn stitch, a beginner tutorial from doradoes.co.uk.
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The popcorn stitch is a crochet bobble which sticks out from the crochet fabric. It’s a great way to add interest and a tactile feel to a crochet project.

There are four common styles of crochet bobbles (you can learn more about bobble types here), and popcorn stitch is the most three dimensional of them all.

Below you will find a step-by-step picture tutorial (right handed) for the popcorn stitch, followed by the simple written instructions, for those who like text based patterns.

After the written pattern, I’ve added some key tips for crocheting popcorn stitches and a few notes about working different variations of the popcorn stitch.

And if video tutorial is your preferred way to learn, the links to the right and left-handed video tutorials are after the written pattern.

Okay, let’s learn the crochet popcorn stitch!

A close up, low angle of 6 crochet popcorn stitches showing the 3d textured nature of this crochet stitch.

Crochet popcorn stitch step-by-step photo tutorial

For this tutorial, I started by crocheting two rows of 11 half double crochet (US crochet terms) and then worked two half doubles in the start of the third row which you see below.

Crochet popcorn stitch photo tutorial step 1.

To work the popcorn stitch, you will start by making 4 double crochet in the same stitch.

I’ll break this down step by step. Below is the first double crochet worked into the stitch after the two half doubles I used to start the row. (Note the difference in stitch height)

Crochet popcorn stitch step by step tutorial step 2.

Two double crochet:

Crochet popcorn stitch step by step photo tutorial step 3.

Three double crochet:

Crochet popcorn bobble stitch tutorial step 4.

Four double crochet:

Crochet popcorn bobble stitch tutorial step 5.

Once you’ve worked your four double crochets, pull up the last loop and remove your hook.

Making sure you don’t lose that empty loop, insert your hook from back to front (as the work faces you) through the top of the first double crochet you made:

Crochet popcorn stitch, step by step picture tutorial step 4.

Here it is close up:

A close up of step 4 of a photo tutorial for the crochet popcorn stitch.

Catch the lose loop you just pulled up on your hook:

Step 5 of a step by step crochet tutorial for the popcorn bobble stitch.

Pull that loop through the first of the four double crochet from front to back to complete the stitch.

A crochet popcorn stitch seen from the wrong side of the crochet swatch.

In this example, I have continued the pattern across the row. The image below shows the wrong side of the work after I made a half double crochet in the next stitch (after the crochet popcorn).

The shorter stitches before and after the popcorn really helps them pop:

The wrong side of a cream crochet swatch where one popcorn stitch has been followed by one half double crochet. The popcorn stitch is hard to make out.

I continued working this row, making 2 half double crochets between the popcorn stitches (I crocheted three popcorns in total).

Below you can see what the row looks like from the wrong side:

The wrong side of a crochet swatch of three crochet popcorn stitches alternated with 2 half double crochets.

And here are the three popcorn stitches seen from the right side:

The right side of the end of a row of half double crochet with three crochet popcorn bobbles evenly distributed throughout the row.

Just like the crochet stitches either side of the popcorn stitches are what make it pop, working into the top of the popcorn stitch adds to the effect.

So below you see the swatch after I have crocheted a row of half double crochet stitches into the top of the popcorn row:

A small, cream, crochet swatch containing three popcorn stitches. The top of the swatch is narrower than the base.

Looking at the back of the swatch, you can see how different the two sides are, and why it’s so important to always crochet popcorn stitches on the wrong side.

The wrong side of a small swatch of crochet popcorn stitches.

So there we have your popcorn stitch. It may seem like it’s a bit fiddly removing and replacing the hook, but once you get into it, it’s a really fun stitch to crochet and looks fantastic on any crochet project!

A close up of a small crochet swatch of 6 popcorn stitches alternated with half double crochets.

Crochet popcorn written instructions

  • Work 4 double crochet (UK treble) (or more if you want more pop) into the same stitch
  • Loosen the last loop on your hook so it’s a bit taller than the height of a double crochet (tall enough so it won’t pull out!)
  • Remove your crochet hook
  • Insert your hook from back to front through the top of the first double crochet you made 
  • Catch the loop you just left, and pull it through the first stitch from front to back to complete the stitch.
a cream wool crochet swatch of 6 crochet bobble popcorn stitches.

Variations of the crochet popcorn stitch

The crochet popcorn stitch is always crocheted on the wrong side of the fabric (so it sticks out away from you as you crochet) and can be made in a variety of sizes with different component crochet stitches.

You can vary the number of double crochet you work into the stitch; I have made 4 in this example, but you could try 3 or 5.

Alternatively you could try using treble crochets or even half double crochets to make your popcorn.

The other variable to consider is the height of the crochet stitches either side. Shorter stitches, such as a single crochet, will pull down the top of the popcorn more, squashing it into more of a folded or ball shape. Using taller crochet stitches such as doubles or trebles will create more space and the popcorn will be a little flatter.

The combination of these variables of stitch height and number can create all sorts of fun effects, so have a play and see which variation you like best!

Crochet popcorn stitch video tutorial

Right handed popcorn stitch tutorial

Left handed popcorn stitch tutorial:

5 Crochet patterns that use popcorn stitches

Below are some examples of crochet patterns which use the popcorn stitch.

1. The Festoon crochet shawl pattern

The forthcoming Festoon Shawl is a modern crescent shawl.

The design uses strings of crochet popcorn stitches in a contrast colour to give the effect of a string of festoon lights!

A close up of the crochet festoon shawl, navy blue crescent crochet shawl with strings of bobbles spread across it, as it is draped over Dora’s shoulder.
The festoon shawl with strings of popcorn stitch

2. Gooseberry marmalade shawl by yarn Andy

This shawl pattern is a great example of how you can use popcorns as a trim:

The edge of a crochet shawl which uses crochet popcorn stitches as a border in a bright green yarn.
The Gooseberry marmalade shawl

3. Flower Cloche from Make it Crochet

If you want a small pattern to start with, this bucket hat pattern from ‘make it crochet’ has a little flower embellishment which uses popcorn stitches.

A close up of a crochet bucket hat with a crochet flower embellishment made from popcorn crochet stitches.
Popcorn flower embelishment

Fun to play around with! (Scroll down on the post for the free flower pattern section!

4. Lakeview Cabled Beanie from The Loopy Lamb

Crochet popcorn stitches look fabulous combined with cable work and post stitches, so if you want something a bit more intricate, check out this free hat pattern from the loopy lamb.

A woman wears a blue crochet hat with crochet cambers and popcorn stitches and a fluffy pom pom on top.
The Lakeview beanie from The Loopy Lamb

5. Zinnia Blossom Textured Square from Kirsten Holloway Designs

For something a little more delicate, try this pretty textured square from Kristen Holloway designs, which uses a 5 double crochet popcorn stitches

A coral and pink crochet square with lace stitches and popcorn bobbles.
Zinnia blossom square from Kirsten Holloway designs

Other crochet bobble style stitch tutorials

There are 4 common types of crochet bobble stitch. You can find tutorials for each below, and a comparison of the different styles of crochet bobbles here.

I hope you found this crochet tutorial helpful. You can check out some of my other crochet stitch tutorials here.

Happy Hooking


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