Thursday, July 12, 2012

Penguin Flip Flops

My daughter loves penguins, so she asked me to make her some penguin flip flops for her trip to the beach.  So what I did was first make a mini penguin applique and sewed it onto the flip flops.  (The applique can be used for other projects as well.  I think it would be cute on a baby winter hat.)  Then I made the strap decorations and anchored them to the penguin and then sewed them onto the straps.

Here is the pattern I designed.  This is a relatively easy pattern once you understand how to do a magic circle.  I have detailed instructions in the pattern on how to make a magic circle, so don't be afraid to try it.

  • Sport or baby weight yarn in purple (or black) and white
  • Worsted weight yarn in orange
  • Black embroidery thread
  • C-2(2.75mm) hook
  • Embroidery or tapestry needle with a large eye
  • Flip Flops 
Note: this pattern uses the Sc2tog (Single Crochet 2 stitches together) to do decreases.  There are detailed instructions on how to do this stitch when it appears in the pattern.  Insert hook in first sc, yo, draw up a loop, two loops on hook.  Insert hook in next sc, draw up a loop, 3 loops on hook.  Yo draw yarn through all three loops on hook, one sc2tog made.

Penguin Applique:

Backing: With PURPLE(or black) YARN begin with a magic circle (sometimes called a sliding ring or a sliding circle).  (Sorry my pictures start with white yarn, hope it doesn't confuse you.)

For video instructions on how to do a magic circle check out this video by Crochet Geek.

Start by making a loop and inserting your hook

YO hook

Ch 1

YO hook, pull up a loop

YO hook (hold on to magic circle with left hand)

pull up a loop

YO again and pull through two loops, first sc made
Rnd 1:  6 sc in magic circle. sl st in beginning sc, ch 1. (6 scs)

6 scs made

Start to pull in magic circle by pulling on short tail end, making sure not to squeeze the scs  so tightly you can't insert your hook

Before you tighten the circle all the way, insert hook in beginning sc

Sl st in beginning sc

Pull short end tail to make magic circle as tight as possible

now the center is nice and tight

Rnd 2:  Do 2 sc in each sc. ch 1.  (12 scs)

Row 1:  Do 3 scs, one per sc, ch 1, turn. (3 scs)
Row 2:  Do 2 scs in first sc (inc), then 1 sc in each sc, to end, 2scs in last sc, ch 1, turn (5 scs)
Row 3:  Repeat row 2 (7 scs)

what your applique should look like so far

Row 4:  Repeat row 2 (9 scs)

Row 5:  sc2tog (dec), 1 sc per sc, but one sc2tog in last sc, ch 1, turn (7 scs)

To do a sc2tog insert hook in first sc and pull up a loop, two loops on the hook

Then insert hook in next sc and pull up another loop, 3 loops on the hook


draw yarn through all three loops on the hook

one sc2tog made

Row 6: repeat row 5 (5 scs)
Row 7: repeat row 5 (3scs). Fasten off.


Magic Circle
Rnd 1:  5 scs in circle, sl st in beginning sc, ch 1 (5scs)

Rnd 2:  2 scs in each sc, sl st in beginning sc. Fasten off.  Leave tail for sewing (10 scs)


Magic Circle
Rnd 1:  5 scs in circle, sl st in beginning sc, ch 1 (5 scs)

Rnd 2: 2 scs per sc for 3 scs (6 scs), then sl st around in each sc til you reach the first sc made in this rnd.  (3 sl sts), ch 1.

Rnd 3:  skip 1st sc, 2 scs in each of next 3 scs (6 scs). Sl st in next st, fasten off. Leave tail for sewing.

Now you are ready to put the applique together.  Start by sewing the face and body to the backing.
The face and body should look like this on the backing

whip stitch the face on to the backing

whip stitch the body onto the backing, sewing a few extra stitches between the face and the body

weave in the ends

Making the Beak and Feet

Sew a french knot in the middle of the face for a beak.
Thread the needle with the orange yarn and tie a knot in the end.  For instructions on an easier way to thread the needle, check out the end of the pattern

run the needle through the back of the applique in the middle of the face

Wrap the yarn twice around the needle and then run it back through the front of the face near wear you first pulled the orange yarn through.  Make sure the yarn is wrapped fairly tightly around the needle.

Beak made
Sew on the feet using french knots and sewing around the knots.

Weave the orange yarn through the back of the applique and put it in position for the first foot

make a french knot again, but this time wrap the yarn once around the needle

after making the knot, pull the yarn through again on one side of the knot

bring the needle around the back of the applique and pull it through again on the other side of the knot

once the yarn is pulled all the way through put the needle through the loop formed with the orange yarn

weave the yarn through the back of the applique to form the other foot

repeat what you did with the first foot, leaving a yarn tail to use for sewing the applique onto the flip flop
Sew french knots in black embroidery thread on the face for the eyes.

Next, sew the applique onto the flip flop.

Here's an easier way to thread the needle with worsted weight yarn
Unroll the yarn

Press it flat around the eye of the needle

slide the flattened yarn off the needle, keeping it flat, then push it through the eye

Sew the applique onto the flip flop.

Strap Decorations

Base (Make 2, one for each strap, base and other circles)
Start with a magic circle
Rnd 1:  6 scs in magic circle, sl st in first sc, ch 1 (6 scs)
Rnd 2:  2 scs per sc, sl st in first sc made (12 scs), ch 23 or as many needed to fit the length of the strap.  fasten off leaving a tail for sewing.

Make 5 more circles (3 purple (black), 2 white), like the first one, but omit the ch 23.  Instead fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing.

Sew the other circles onto the base circle, alternating colors.

weave the thread through to the end of the circle

Now it is ready to sew onto the strap
 Sew the circle piece onto the strap.

use the tails to secure each circle onto the strap

First attach the top circle to the penguin applique to anchor it

then secure the circle onto the strap
Secure each circle then weave in ends

Hope you enjoy the pattern.  I'd love to see pictures of what you've done with it.


sc(s)--single crochet(s)
sl st(s)--slip stitch(s)
sc2tog--single crochet 2 stitches together


  1. Great pattern! And I love the step by step photos too!

  2. What a great idea. Your instructions are great too. Thanks for sharing. x

    1. Thanks, I have to give credit to my daughter for the idea, she told me she wanted a penguin in the middle, with little balls going down the straps. I love making things as clear as possible.

  3. Congrats on your AFC link!!! Great pattern :)

    1. Wow, thanks! I was on vacation and I didn't even know I had been accepted until I saw your comment.

  4. So cute! Love the tutorial too! I featured a link to them on my blog this morning - :)