Shell Stitch Tutorial

Let's Learn a New Crochet Stitch - Shell Stitch Tutorial

Let’s learn a new stitch this week! This stitch is the Shell Stitch. It is one of my favorites and is used in one of my most popular patterns. This tutorial shows you how to do the shell stitch and how to make it into an 8×8″ square. Happy Crocheting!

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Shell Stitch Afghan Square


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ch(s) – chain(s)
dc – double crochet
hdc – half double crochet
sc – single crochet
sk – skip
st(s) – stitch(es)
t-ch – turning chain
() – indicates stitch counts
* – indicates instructions to be repeated


16 stitches=5 inches and 10 rows=5 inches




To make an 8″ x 8″ square,

With first color, Ch 31
Let's Learn a New Crochet Stitch - Shell Stitch Tutorial

Step 1: 2 dc into 4th ch from hook

Step 2: Sk the next 2 chs, 1 sc into the next ch

Step 3: Sk the next 2 chs, 5 dc into the next ch

 Step 4: *Skip the next 2 chs, 1 sc into the next ch, sk the next 2 chs, 5 dc into the next ch; Repeat from * until you have 3 chs left, sk the next 2 chs, 1 sc into the last ch, turn.step6

Step 5: Change to the next color. Ch 3,step7

Step 6: 2 dc into the sc from previous rowstep9

Step 7: *Sk the next 2 dc, 1 sc into the next st, sk the next 2 dc, 5 dc into sc from previous row; Repeat from * across, 1 sc into the t-ch.

Repeat Row 2, alternating colors, for 14 more rows (total of 16 rows)step10


  • Sc evenly around the entire square, making sure to place 3 sc sts into each corner.
  • To even out the top row of shells: 1 dc into the first st (the sc from previous row), *1 hdc into the first dc of the 5 dc cluster, 1 sc into each of the next 3 dc, 1 hdc into the last dc of the cluster, 1 dc into the sc; Repeat from * across. This should make the top row straighten out.
  • Block to size.


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  1. I made a blanket like this for my son while I was pregnant with him. My daughter is now expecting and I want to make her one. How many ch and rows for a 28×38 blanket.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Peggy Sue! For a blanket that is approximately 28×38 you will need a starting chain of 109 and will need to crochet about 76 rows. I hope that helps!

  2. I would like to make one size 50 X 72 how many Stiches would I need. I am going to make my Oldest Son a red,white and Blue Afghan like the Flag since he has been in the Service.I have been Makeing C2C Afghan’s but I wanted to make one in sera ight rows.
    Thank You Amy

    1. Thank You Very Much Amy. I am going to start Makeing my Sons as soon as I finish this Lap Afghan I am Makeing for Veterans in the Hospital.

  3. Well I have a few ideas but not sure what I would like.
    Kinda depends on how many chains they end up being. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jennifer! Here is what you will need to do for each size:
      66×90 – 253 chains, 180 rows
      80×90 – 307 chains, 180 rows
      90×100 – 343 chains, 200 rows

      These are just approximations based on the stitch multiple so they won’t work out to be exactly the size but very close. I hope that helps!

  4. I love this pattern. I have made the baby blanket you posted and it went very smoothly. I’d like to make a regular or adult size blanket of this particular pattern but am unsure about how many to start the chain with. I’m fairly novice when it comes to starting things and can’t quite figure out the ratio. What would you suggest? Thank you!

  5. In using just one color, do you have to start a new row each time or can you turn and continue with the same yarn?

  6. Made this blanket for my niece who is pregnant with a boy. The pattern said intermediate. I have only crochet one other thing and never the sea shells. I found the pattern along with the picture tutorial to be easy to do. I like how quick it went and love love the finished look of the blanket. I only used two colors in 6 rows each due to the fact that I was worried about my color changing skills as a newbie! Thanks choir sharing the pattern. I will be making more in direct colors. Wish we child post pics to get your opinion on the work.

  7. Would like to make this in a solid ivory color and would like it a little bigger about 40 x 60. How many chains what I need to start with? Also what size do you recommend?

  8. I know your blog is all about crochet..but, you just make it look SO easy. like..I can just pick up from when I stopped 20 years ago!

  9. I love the look of this stitch! It’s my favorite of yours and I’m going to try to extend it out to a 3’x3′ block!

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