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Puff, Bobble, & Popcorn Crochet Stitches: What’s the Difference?

Puff, bobble, and popcorn stitches are 3 different ways to create gorgeous raised texture in your crochet projects.

Each of the three stitches is beautiful in its own way. But, at first glance, they can look awfully similar. If you’ve mixed them up, you’re not alone! Even experienced crocheters can have a bit of trouble remembering which is which.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to make each of the three stitches. I’ll also share some variations on the puff, bobble, and popcorn stitches that you might encounter in your next crochet pattern.

How to make the puff stitches, bobbles, and popcorn stitches in crochet.  An easy crochet tutorial for beginners.

The puff, bobble, and popcorn stitches are three ways to create raised or “puffed” texture in your crochet projects.

Although they are different, the three stitches do have some similarities.

  • They are all constructed by working groups of stitches in just one stitch from the previous row.
  • They are also similar in that each stitch is closed at the top.
  • The puff and bobble stitches tend to be worked on the wrong side row. You can easily make popcorn stitches on either the right or wrong side.

If you like to read crochet symbols, here are the generally accepted symbols for each of these stitches:

stitch diagrams for puff, bobble, and popcorn stitches

For the swatches below, I’ve worked a 5-hdc stitch puff, 5-dc bobble, and a 5-dc popcorn stitch. Always check your pattern, because many variations on these stitches exist.

Making the Puff, Bobble, and Popcorn Stitches

For each of the swatches below, I’ve started by chaining 14 stitches, then working a row of single crochet (US terms) starting in the 2nd chain from the hook. I chained one, turned, and made another single crochet.

rows of crochet puff stitch in pink yarn

How to Make the Puff Stitch

Puff: Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch (or space as described in the pattern), yarn over, pull up a loop, (yarn over, insert hook in same stitch or space, yarn over, pull up a loop) 4 times. There will be 11 loops on the hook. Yarn over, and draw the hook through all loops on hook.

Tip: Think of making the puff stitch like making a group of incomplete half-double crochet stitches into one stitch.

Puff Stitch Variations:

Small Puff Stitch (3-hdc cluster): Yarn over, insert hook into the stitch or space, yarn over, pull up a loop, (yarn over, insert hook in same stitch or space, yarn over, pull up a loop) 2 times. There will be 7 loops on hook. Yarn over, and draw through all loops on hook.

rows of crochet bobble stitch in pink yarn

How to Make the Bobble Stitch

Bobble: Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch (or space as described in the pattern), yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops on hook. (There will be 2 loops on the hook at this point.) Yarn over, insert hook in same stitch or space, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops on hook 4 more times. (There will be 6 loops on hook.) Yarn over, draw through all remaining loops on hook.

Tip: Think of making the bobble stitch as if you were making a group of incomplete double crochet stitches into one stitch.

Bobble Variations

Small Bobble (3-dc Bobble): Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch (or space as described in the pattern), yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops on hook. (There will be 2 loops on the hook at this point.) Yarn over, insert hook in same stitch or space, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops on hook 2 more times. (There will be 4 loops on hook.) Yarn over, draw through all remaining loops on hook.

Large Bobble (5-tr Bobble): Yarn over 2 times, insert hook into the stitch (or space as described in the pattern), yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops, yarn over, draw through 2 loops again. (There will be 2 loops on the hook at this point.) Yarn over 2 times, insert hook in same stitch or space, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops, yarn over, draw through 2 loops 4 more times. (There will be 6 loops on hook.) Yarn over, draw through all remaining loops on hook.

rows of crochet popcorn stitch in pink yarn

How to Make the Popcorn Stitch

Popcorn: Make 5 double crochet in the stitch or space indicated in the pattern.

double crochet: Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, draw through the 2 loops on hook.

Pull the loop on the hook a little larger, so it’s easy to grab later. Drop that same loop from the hook.

Count back to the first double crochet stitch. Insert the hook from back to front through the first double crochet stitch. Place the dropped look back on the hook, and draw that loop through the first stitch.

Tip: Think of the popcorn stitch as if it were popcorns a cluster of completed dc stitches that are closed at the top.

Popcorn Variations

To make popcorn stitches from the right side of the work, insert the hook from front to back.

To make popcorn stitches from the wrong side of the work, insert the hook from back to front.

Smaller or Larger Popcorn: Popcorn Stitches can be made with 3-7 dc stitches, depending on how “puffy” you want them to be.

puff, bobble, and popcorn stitches in crocheted yarn

Comparing Puff, Bobble, and Popcorn Stitches

Now that you know how to make them, let’s compare the three stitches. You may be wondering what each is good for, and when to add them to your projects.

Here are some pros and cons of the puff, bobble, and popcorn stitches based on how much yarn they use and the quality of the fabric they create.

Yarn Use and Weight

These three texture stitches definitely use more yarn than your average double crochet. In fact, I would call them all yarn-eaters.

As you would expect, the puff stitches uses the least amount of yarn, and the popcorn stitch uses the most.

Therefore, you can safely assume that a project made with a lot of popcorn stitches will use much more yarn – and be much heavier – than a less textured project.

The weight of a project is an important consideration, especially for wearable items. That’s why you are more likely to see bobbles on a pillow cover, rather than a breezy summer tank.

Fabric Thickness and Drape

In a similar way, the thickness of a stitich is important to consider when designing a pattern.

For some items, like winter blankets or pillow covers, a lot of texture is desirable. Thick, heavy, textured fabric tends to wear well with moderate to heavy use.

For these types of projects, big clusters of stitches like bobbles and popcorns are ideal. You can also see how the fabric made from popcorn stitches is denser — the same amount of stitches produces a narrower, tighter gauge swatch.

On the other hand, if you want a thinner, flexible fabric that drapes well, you’ll want to use fewer textured stitches.

For wearable items like sweaters or tops, the puff stitch will give you the best flexibility and drape.

More questions?

I hope this tutorial was useful for you! If you have any additional questions, feel free to join my Facebook Group. I created this group for you to share your pictures, WIPs, ask questions, and help each other out

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How to make the puff stitches, bobbles, and popcorn stitches in crochet.  An easy crochet tutorial for beginners.

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Friday 19th of June 2020

[…] even more bobblicious greatness, you can check out Sarah’s post about the differences between Puff, Bobble & Popcorn stitches. She includes a little tutorial swatch for each which makes it easy to compare […]