Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial {part 1 of 2}

A step-by-step full photo tutorial of how to work the crochet crocodile stitch. This is a complicated stitch, but makes a beautiful pattern. It adds a third dimension to your crochet projects!
Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial to Make a Clutch Purse
I used this stitch to create an adorable clutch! This stitch was quite tricky for me at first, and I had to really study several YouTube videos to figure it out. I really wanted a nice photo tutorial because videos drive me crazy – ย it’s so hard to rewind and impossible to watch in slow motion. So, if you also prefer photo tutorials, then you are in luck!
This is quite a tricky stitch, so I’ve broken it down in two parts. When you’re done with this one, go to part 2!
Let’s get started!
Step #1
Make a chain however long you want, as long as it’s multiples of 6. For a clutch, I made a 36 chains.
  • In the third chain from the hook, work 2 half double crochets (in the same chain).ย 
  • Chain 1, skip 2 chains and work 1 half double crochet.
  • *Chain 1, skip 2 chains and work 2 half double crochets in the same chain.
  • Chain 1, skip 2 chains and work 1 half double crochet.*
Repeat the length of your chain, ending with 1 half double crochet in the last chain.
Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial - Make a Chain of Multiples of 6

Here’s how the first 2 half double crochet will look, with the last 3 chains.

Step #2:
On the first of the two half double crochets, work 4 half double crochets from top to bottom.

Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial - Step 2 - Work 4 Half Double Crochets
Step #3:
Turn your work upside down and work 4 more half double crochets on the last of the set of 2 half double crochets from bottom (of the work) to the top.
Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial - Step #3 - 4 More Half Double Crochets
Here’s how step #3 will look after you’ve worked 2 of the half double crochets.
Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial - Step #3

Once you finish step #3 and turn your work right side up, the first completed crocodile stitch will look like this!

Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial - First Completed Crocodile Stitch Tutorial

Step #4:
Work a slip stitch on the next single half double crochet.

Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial - Step #4
Step #5:
Start the next crocodile stitch on the next pair of half double crochets by crocheting 4 half double crochets on the first post closest to your right hand and from top to bottom. Then, just like in step #3, turn your work upside down and work 4 more half double crochets on the second post.
Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial - Step #5

Completed step #5 – now you’ve finished two crocodile stitches!

Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial - Step #5 completed

Continue working steps #2 to #4 for the length of your work, working a crocodile stitch on each pair of half double crochets and a slip stitch on each single half double crochet. You will end with a crocodile stitch and it should look like this!

Crochet Crocodile Stitch Tutorial - Work steps 2 to 4

Now, head on over to part two to finish the project!

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. I started to follow your tutorial, and got as far as the end of step 1. Then I don’t get it… where is the turn? Why are you starting from the beginning again? do I need to fasten off and go back to the start?

    Thanks for your help ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Amie! I’m happy to help :). This is a confusing stitch to learn. So, after step one, you don’t fasten off, you just start crocheting onto the last half double crochet post you just finished working. Does that make sense? So, you start to work the crocodile stitch onto that last post. Then you turn your work upside down and work the next four hdc onto that second post. Let me know if you need more help!

      • That doesn’t really answer the question. In the tutorial you end with 1 HDC, in the pattern for the clutch, you say to end with 2HDC and that would total 18, but if you end with 2 HDC, you end up with 19 HDC. and in your pattern you say to chain 1 then turn. The actual stitch is not confusing, what’s confusing is this. I have watched other crocodile stitches and they all do 2 HDC or DC, in every 2 or 3 chs all the way across. Not 1 then 2, etc. I’m not a beginner and this is driving me crazy! If you can help or explain to me at all I would be VERY greatful. I’d like to make this clutch for my daughter.

        Tank you,

        • Hi Michelle – I’m still a bit confused by your question, but I’ll give it a whirl! So, it seems I made one tiny mistake in the pattern, and just like in the tutorial, you should end with only ONE HDC and NOT two. Sorry for the confusion – I don’t have any pattern testers and writing out patterns is very time consuming and tedious, so it’s very easy to make mistakes! I do the best I can.

    • when you get to the end of row one chain 1 then turn your 90 degrees so that the top of your project is facing towards the right (from your view) place 4 hdcs into the side of the second hdc from the top then turn the project 180 degrees so the top is facing the left and place 4 hdcs into the side of the hdc above the one you just did working back towards the top. I hope that makes sense to you. In between each crocodile stitch you will slip stitch to the single hdc in between the pairs before repeating the steps again doing down one side and up the other.

  2. Thank You very much,Awsome.I’m persian,And know little English,but very helpfull
    Thanks again,I hope you be succeed and happy

  3. It’s VERY hard to write a pattern, I now down to you for doing it over and over. I hope I didn’t come off rude, or angry. I’m
    Totally not! I love your blog and get a ton out of it. I still can’t figure out how once you end up with 1 HDC at the end, how do you start in the 2 HDC to begin the crocodile stitch? So your at the e d of the foundation row, you e ended with 1 HDC, then what? The instructions say chain one turn, but that doesn’t get us back to the 2 HDC. Are we. Suppose to skip that single HDC altogether and just start the crocodile stitch in the 2HDC?
    Gosh I hope this makes since! Can I just come over?!! Lol

    • Your comment is cracking me up right now, the “can I just come over?” is the best! I thought the same thing when I was writing to you – I thought, I just need to be sitting down with her and we’d be able to figure this out :). I should start making videos, but have NO time for that with two toddlers and a baby due in one month! ACK! I digress. Okay, so yes, basically you just ignore that last single HDC altogether and pretend it’s not there and start right to work on the set of two. Did I make sense this time :)?

  4. Got it!! Yeah!!’ Ill be sending you a pic when I finish this!! Congrats on the new baby!! Boy or girl?

  5. Hi Sara! Just wanted to let you know I’ve linked to both your photo tutorial here and your crochet crocodile stitch clutch today! Thanks so much, and have a fantastic day! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Tamara at Moogly recently posted..Crazy for Free Crocodile Stitch Crochet Patterns!My Profile

  6. I am so excited to try this! I’m totally new to this stitch and have been wanting to try it for some time. So happy to find this tutorial. The only question I have and forgive me if I just missed it somewhere. But what weight yarn and what size hook are you using? Again, I apologize if I missed it listed on the tutorial somewhere. Thanks so much!

  7. Oh my! Great tutorial and I’m SOOO going to do this and post the results to my site. (with the link back of course) THANK YOU!
    Rhianna recently posted..โ€œMindfulness isโ€ฆMy Profile

  8. how do you make another row? no one ever tells you how…

  9. This is indeed a very clear pattern. But how do you do the second row? The reason I ask is that I have a pattern for baby bootees (Bonita patterns) and just don’t get the instructions for the second row. If I could see a photo instruction like the one above, am sure I’d get it. The photo instructions on the Bonita patterns make no sense at all.

  10. Sara,
    Just found your tutorial for crocodile stitch…desperately want to do this stitch. But when I click link for Part 2, I get an error message:
    (Not found, error 404

    The page you are looking for no longer exists. Perhaps you can return back to the site’s
    homepage and see if you can find what you are looking for.
    Need part 2 if I am to get anywhere with this.
    I also saw in comments that there is an error in pattern…has that been corrected in the tutorial? or do I need to make that correction….don’t want to change anything if it’s already been changed….
    Thanks for your beautiful work and your willingness to share!

  11. I just tried to go to the part 2 of this to learn and it said when I clicked on the link to it “page not found.” Did you lose that page?

  12. cant wait to try this but does look a bit intimidating
    have to sleep on it lol

  13. I tried watching all the videos about this stitch…could never get it, there are variations from person to person even. This pattern was VERY helpful and with the knowledge of what I was doing, and seeing other people’s methods on video I decided a full double stitch instead of a hd stitch. I also added four stitches on each scale to make things very big and fluffy. I love this pattern, thank you for publishing it here!!


  14. Hi: I can’t seem to pull up the instruction for the crochet-crochet-crochet (in blue yarn.) What am I missing? Thanks for your help.

  15. The Green Haired Lady says:

    Hi, I used your wonderful tutorial about crocodile stitches a few months ago – i’ve just started a crochet blog and I’ve just credited you for the tutorial on my latest page

    Hope its okay to have done so!

  16. Anyway you could take a pic of the back? I would really like to see what it looks like.

  17. You are a remarkable instructor! Your instructions along with your fabulous and VERY EASY TO SEE pictures are a dream-come-true for anyone who wants to learn. Thank you!

  18. Hi Sarah, this is the best tutorial ever, for crocodile stitch. Thanks for your generosity in sharing it. I’m very new to pattern writing and I have just started my own blog. I am endeavouring to write a pattern for an owl door stop using mostly crocodile stitch. Would you mind if I used this tutorial, or at least a link to it in my pattern. I will of course give you full credit for it. If this is ok with you and I do manage to complete the pattern, I will let you know how it went.
    Cheers Maggie

  19. Heidi Higginbotham says:

    Just want to say thanks for your excellently prepared tutorials! I learned this stitch a few years ago but it took a while and finding the right video just like you went through. Now a friend is struggling with it so while we sit in the hospital tomorrow waiting for her mom to go through a procedure I will be showing her how to do this stitch. I plan to make this little clutch in order to teach her and it’s perfect for Valentines Day and gift giving! I think you are very generous to make such a well prepared tutorial and share it all for free; thanks so much.

  20. Shagufta Lalotra says:

    hi Sara,
    thank you so much for this beautiful design. now I can make a perfect dress fit my baby

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