How to Crochet a Shell Stitch


How to Crochet a Shell Stitch

Make all the shell stitch crochet patterns you want after learning this beautiful stitch.

The shell stitch is popular in crochet because there is a lot of variety in the ways it can be used. Follow this seven-step tutorial to learn How to Crochet a Shell Stitch. It's quite a lovely stitch and not very difficult either.

You can then use this stitch to work up any sea shell crochet pattern you wish. There are so many designs that use the shell stitch, so now that you've learned it there will be so many more options for you to crochet. From scarves and hats to home decor, you will love what you can do with it.

Take a look at this shell stitch tutorial below, with the images showing the steps. It's so helpful when learning! At the bottom of the page, check out some of the coolest shell stitch patterns featured on AllFreeCrochet and get started on something new today!


Materials List

  • Hook of choice
  • Yarn of choice

PLUS! Watch our Video Tutorial!

Are you more of a visual learner? Don't fret! Our sister site, AllFreeCrochetAfghanPatterns, have a video tutorial for the shell stitch, too. Watch this and learn or as a supplementary walk-through for this tutorial.

Crochet Shell Stitch Tutorial:

  1. Start with a chain.

  2. Double crochet in the 3rd stitch from the hook.

  3. Make 4 more double crochet stitches in the same stitch.

  4. Skip the next 3 stitches, make 5 double crochet in the next stitch.

  5. Repeat step 4 across the row.

  6. At the end of the row, turn, slip stitch in the first 3 stitches, chain 2, make 4 double crochet in the same stitch. Then repeat step 4 across the row.

  7. Repeat step 6 for each subsequent row of the shell stitch.

Projects that use the Shell Stitch

The shell stitch is one of the most basic crochet stitches and can be used for many different projects. It can be used as a border or to create a unique pattern. Shell stitches are the base for a wide variety of patterns: 

  1. To keep your head warm, try this pattern for Shelby's Slouchy Beanie or this Shell Stitch Beanie. They're the perfect lightweight hats for fall or a mild winter. 
  2. Create a soft scarf with this pattern for Bev's Shell Stitch Scarf--which would also make a great homemade gift!
  3. For a cute summer shawl, break out your hooks for this Flirty Pink Shell Shrug.
  4. The Snow Queen Blanket is actually the perfect pattern to make for the cold winter months. You'll feel like a queen as you sit in your living room watching the snow fall.
  5. Make a top you can wear every day with this Ribbed Shell Tee pattern. There are so many ways to customize it, but crocheting it in bright and bold colors creates an absolutely stunning look.
  6. Business cards end up all over the bottom of your bag and car, so why not fix the problem with a Shell Stitch Business Card Holder? Working women will adore this quick and simple pattern.

Unique Shell Stitch Tutorials

After you've mastered the basic shell stitch above, try changing up your patterns with these tutorials that are variations on the classic:

  1. Shells with Borders: Try this textured shell stitch that would look great in so many colors.
  2. Vintage Crochet Shell Stitch: This has the stunning aspect of the shell stitch, but with a twist. Learn how to recreate this stunning shell pattern using the treble stitch.
  3. Post and Shells Stitch: Learn how to combine shells and front post double crochets to create a unique and textured design. It's great for most projects, including hats, scarves and especially blankets!
  4. How to Crochet Sweet Shell Edging: Want a softer edging stitch that will add a nice subtle design? This edging gives more of a gentle edging style that will not be too out there and noticeable.
  5. Gratifying Textured Shells Crochet: This tutorial will teach you how to make this stich that uses shells and decreases for a very cool stripe effect. It's a lacy stitch that pops, great for tops, shawls or even afghans.

Your Recently Viewed Projects

Leave a Comment


Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

This is a nice, classic shell stitch tutorial. Very helpful!

Its posts like this one that make me so glad Santa brought me a Chromebook this year! Once a Beginner has mastered the basic Chain, Single, and Double Crochet stitches, its time to expand the repetoire. The Shell is a must learn because its so versatile. This excellent tutorial takes the crafter through each step, and now that I can carry this to the rec center, I can finally show my senior ladies the videos!

How do you slip stitch in the first three stitches. One at a time or all three together? I've never heard of this. Thanks

Hi mcavet, You would slip stitch in one stitch at a time, across three stitches. Thanks! Julia, editor for AllFreeCrochet

This pattern is excatly what I was looking for. however, I have tried and tried to do this but I cannot figure out how many chain stitches to do. I want to do a long narrow shawl. I have looked at the pattern and cannot figure it out. Please let me know.

i need pattern to make shell blanket

great instrution however i need to make a blanket with this stitch. how do i get the right size?

Just what I was looking for: a simple tutorial on the shell stitch for my crochet class. Thank you!

It's confusing because I don't know now many stitches to chain before I start the shells in order to not end up with a tail at the end. I'm not an expert or I might be able to figure out something that "simple" but I can't. First time I chained 10 and didn't have enough stitches to skip at the end so there was a tail of 3 stitches I didn't know how to continue. then I tried 12 stitches and then added 3 stitches for the first DC but I still had stitches left over. I'm gonna find a different tutorial that explains the formula for the number of chain stitches to start with.

First off, I think some people need to learn how to read, no where does it say they are making a blanket, they are showing you how to make the shell stitch, your stitches and chain length depends on what YOU are making, try reading the instructions again, thank you

What everyone is looking for is the repeat or a pattern, they never said this was the pattern, I will figure out the repeat and post it.

The length of the chain in # of stitches is not provided. How long is the starting chain? Please provide in "multiples" so that it can be adjusted accordingly.

This is so easy to follow!!

I love this pattern, would love to try to make a vest, but need correct pattern first?

Step 5 indicates you make 5 double crotchets, yet Step 6 states you make 4 double crotchets. The picture shows there are 5 doubles. Using an odd number of DC makes the shell off center.

"chain 2, make 4 double crochet in the same stitch" When it says chain 2, that counts as the first double crochet. Usually it says this in patterns, but this one didn't. It also says the same thing in step 2-3, but it's a little clearer since it's in two steps.

nice to learn with these pics so easy ! thank you!

Your directions are totally off. First off, you need to skip 4 stitches between shells NOT 3 or the pattern gets thrown off. Also, for a neat edge on the blanket you need to Ch 1, THEN turn and do the two slip stitches or the edge of the first shell after turning looks peaked. Maybe that's why you didn't show the edge of the blanket in your final photo.

Do you just make a row of them and then sew them together? Making the row as long as you want? I have been trying to find the pattern where I thought it was a shell stitch but when its done it looks like a shell Thanks Bev

this is a great tutorial


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Close Window