Making a crocheted purse or crocheted amigurumi toy? If so, you might need a little extra structure to the inside of your project. There are a variety of materials that you can use to help shape your crocheted projects that are inexpensive, all while creating that structure you need to have your project looking its best. Explore special materials for your crochet projects with crochet expert Brenda K.B. Anderson in this lesson.
Crocheted bags and purses are items that typically need a little more structure added to them in order to hold their shape. A bag will naturally collapse on itself if no internal structure is added to it. Brenda shows some of her unique cake-themed purses and discusses the different materials that can be used to help them keep their shape. One useful material is fun foam (also known as craft foam), which can be purchased at craft stores. It comes in different thicknesses and can easily be cut with scissors to the size and shape you need.
If something a little bit stronger is needed to hold a shape, Brenda recommends using plastic canvas. This canvas is usually used for needlepoint projects—but it’s great for creating structure for your crochet projects too. She also likes using the plastic canvas because it’s easy to secure into a project. There are already holes in the canvas so you can use yarn and a tapestry needle to sew it into place.
When making amigurumi toys, there are lots of different materials that Brenda likes to use beyond the standard poly-fil stuffing. For items that have square edges, like crocheted toy blocks, she uses densified batting. It can be cut down to size with scissors and stacked up to be the height needed for the project. For animals and other toys, Brenda used plastic pellets or glass pebbles inside nylons or tights to add weight to the project. If she wants to make a toy be posable, she’ll use foam curler rods from a beauty supply store inside the arms and legs to make her project truly unique!