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How to Crochet Popcorn Stitch – Step-by-step Tutorial

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The popcorn stitch is a classic technique that adds irresistible texture to your crochet projects – and it’s really easy to do! In this article, I’ll walk you through how to crochet the popcorn stitch step-by-step.

a swatch of popcorn stitches on a background of single crochet in gold yarn on a gray background

The popcorn stitch creates a round, three-dimensional texture that pops off the surface of crochet fabric – almost like a popped corn kernel.  

The popcorn stitch is one of the simplest textured stitches to master – even easier than the puff or bobble stitches. To make it, crochet 5 double crochets into the same stitch, then draw them together at the top to create the rounded ball shape.

Popcorn Stitch

  1. Work 5 double crochet (dc) stitches into the same stitch.
  2. Drop the working loop from your hook. 
  3. Reinsert your hook into the top of the first double crochet.
  4. Grab the dropped loop with your hook and pull it through the first double crochet.

Gently tighten the stitch to create the rounded popcorn shape.

In this article, I’ll pass on everything I’ve learned about this fun technique. I’ll walk through exactly how to crochet the popcorn stitch step-by-step and share tips to help you incorporate it into patterns.

A Closer Look at Popcorn Stitch

Here are a few more details about popcorn stitch.

  • Abbreviation: The popcorn stitch is abbreviated “pc” or “pop,” depending on the pattern.
  • Stitch Multiple: A popcorn is worked into one stitch. In patterns, popcorn stitches are often separated by one or more regular stitches.
  • Row Multiple: 2, 4, or another even number. Rows of popcorn stitches are alternated with rows of regular stitches so that all the popcorn stitches “pop out” on the same side.
  • Is popcorn stitch reversible? The popcorn stitch is not reversible. The popcorn ball pops out on one side, and the other side is relatively flat.
  • Does popcorn stitch use a lot of yarn? Yep, it’s a yarn eater. A project made with a lot of popcorn stitches will use much more yarn – and be much heavier – than a less textured project.

There are a lot of variations on the popcorn stitch, too. You can make bigger popcorns by increasing the number of double crochets. Or, make smaller ones by using fewer double crochets, or even shorter stitches like single crochet. (More on this later!)

How to Crochet a Popcorn

In this section, I’ll show you how to make the classic 5-double crochet popcorn. Once you’ve got that down, I’ll explain how to crochet variations on the popcorn stitch. 

Popcorn (RS)

A popcorn can show on either side of the fabric, depending on how you finish the stitch. Here’s how to work a popcorn stitch so that it “pops” to the front of the fabric.

  1. Work 5 double crochet stitches into the same stitch. It will look like a shell or a fan.
  2. Drop the working loop from your hook.
  3. Reinsert your hook from front to back under both loops of the first double crochet of the 5-dc group.
  4. Grab the dropped loop with your hook and pull it through the first double crochet. This gathers all of the double crochet stitches together and completes the popcorn stitch.

Popcorn (WS)

You can also work popcorn stitches so that they “pop” to the back of the fabric.

  1. Work 5 double crochet stitches in the same stitch.
  2. Drop the working loop from your hook.
  3. Reinsert your hook from back to front under both loops of the first dc of the 5-dc group.
  4. Grab the dropped loop with your hook and pull it through the first dc.
crocheting a popcorn stitch in gold yarn on a gray background
Reinsert your hook from front to back to make a popcorn on the front side of the swatch.

Tip: Pull up on the working loop a little before dropping from your hook. That way, you’ll be less likely to lose it. Just be sure to tighten it up again after completing the popcorn stitch.

Variations on Popcorn Stitch

Popcorn stitches can be made with 3-7 dc stitches, depending on how “puffy” you want them to be. You can also make them with different height stitches, like half double crochet and single crochet.

  • Small popcorn (3-dc popcorn): Work only 3 double crochet stitches in the same stitch, then complete the popcorn stitch as normal.
  • Large popcorn (7-dc popcorn): Work 7 double crochet stitches in the same stitch, then complete the popcorn stitch as normal.
  • Single crochet popcorn (3-sc popcorn): The single crochet popcorn stitch is the same as the standard popcorn stitch, but uses single crochets instead of double crochets.
  • Half double crochet popcorn (3-hdc popcorn): The half double crochet popcorn stitch is the same as the standard popcorn stitch, but uses half double crochets instead of double crochets.

Popcorn Stitch Swatch

In this swatch pattern below, the popcorn stitches are placed in a staggered pattern. But you could also stack the popcorn stitches on top of one another for a different look.

Materials

Abbreviations

The pattern is written in US terms.

  • ch: chain
  • dc: double crochet (yo, insert into stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops, yo and pull through 2 loops)
  • sc: single crochet (insert into stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops)
  • pc: popcorn (see below)

Special Stitches

5 dc popcorn (pc): 

  1. Work 5 dc into the same stitch.
  2. Remove hook from the last dc worked.
  3. Insert hook into the first dc of the 5 dc group.
  4. Grab the dropped loop from your hook and pull it through the first dc.

Swatch Instructions

  1. Row 1: Chain 16. Work 1 sc in the 2nd ch from hook and each ch across. Turn. (15 sts)
  2. Row 2: Ch 1, work 1 sc in each st across. Turn.
  3. Row 3: Ch 1, 3 sc, *1 pc, 3 sc; repeat from * across.
  4. Row 4-6: Ch 1, work 1 sc in each st across. Turn.
  5. Row 7: Ch 1, 1 sc, pc, *3 sc, pc; repeat from * until last st, 1 sc.
  6. Row 8-10: Ch 1, work 1 sc in each st across. Turn.

Repeat Rows 3-10 until the desired size.

a swatch of popcorn stitches on a background of single crochet in gold yarn on a gray background

Projects Using the Popcorn Stitch

You can use the popcorn stitch to create a solid block of texture or an occasional pop of texture in a larger project. You can even use it to create noses, toes, and other details in amigurumi projects.

  • Mini Cat Amigurumi: The pattern uses the popcorn stitch to create cute little kitty feet.
  • Popcorn Blanket: This pattern uses popcorn stitch as a border on a throw.
  • Popcorn Pillow: Create an all-over texture on this easy crochet pillow pattern with the popcorn crochet stitch.

More Crochet Stitches

Check out these tutorials to add more crochet stitches to your repertoire.

a swatch of popcorn stitches on a background of single crochet in gold yarn on a gray background

Crochet Popcorn Stitch

Yield: 1

How to crochet the classic 5-dc popcorn stitch.

Materials

  • yarn

Tools

  • crochet hook

Instructions

  1. Work 5 double crochet stitches into the same stitch. It will look like a shell or a fan.
  2. Drop the working loop from your hook.
  3. Reinsert your hook from front to back under both loops of the first double crochet of the 5-dc group.
  4. Grab the dropped loop with your hook and pull it through the first double crochet. This gathers all of the double crochet stitches together and completes the popcorn stitch.

Notes

Check the post above to learn variations on the popcorn stitch.

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a pinterest image with a background of two popcorm stitch swatches with the text overlay "popcorn stitch"

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