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Crochet Fish Scrubbie Washcloths

by | All Designs, Crochet, Free Patterns, Home, Kids & Toys, Summer

On our last date night, Drew and I walked around the “downtown” of the town we’re moving to this fall, you know, to get a feel for our neighborhood. We found this little doodads store that had a bunch of, well, doodads, and all sorts of vintage-y, charming things. I’m sure you know the type of store I mean. The kind you can just wander around in forever, wishing your house (and your wallet) was bigger so you can avail yourself of all the wonderful decor goodies and pretend your home was a magazine model. Anyways, I found the inspiration for my fish scrubbie washcloths there. I made up two designs: this is the shell-stitch one, and you can find the striped fella here.

Crochet fish scrubbie washcloths. Wouldn't this make great housewarming gifts? |

I call them scrubbies, but they can be washcloths or sponges or whatever. I think they’re great for a summer housewarming gift, don’t you? Oh, and they work up pretty quickly. The first one was a doozie to figure out, but the second one took about an hour.

Crochet fish scrubbie washcloths |

If you’d like to print this pattern, you can purchase an inexpensive, ad-free and comment-free printable PDF on Etsy. The PDF includes the full pattern and step-by-step photos. The file will be available for download immediately after payment. Thank you for helping me continue to provide these fun free patterns!


H (5 mm) hook
3 colors Yarnspirations Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn (extra scrap for eyes)
embroidery needle


sc – single crochet
hdc – half double crochet
dc – double crochet
ch – chain stitch
hdc2tog – half double crochet 2 stitches together (decreasing stitch)
sc2tog – single crochet 2 stitches together (decreasing stitch)

You can find help for basic stitches in my crochet tutorials section!


Round 1. ch 10. Slip stitch in first ch.

Round 2. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in each of next 4 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch] 2 times. Join to 1st stitch. (12)

Round 3. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in next stitch, 2 sc in next stitch] 6 times. Join to 1st stitch. (18)

Round 4. Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each stitch around. Join to 1st dc. (18)

Change to color B using the perfect stripes method.

Round 5.  Ch 1. Work [1 sc in each of next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch] 6 times. Join to 1st stitch. (24)

Round 6. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in each of next 3 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch] 6 times. Join to 1st stitch. (30)

Round 7. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in each of next 4 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch] 6 times. Join to 1st stitch. (36)

Fasten off using the invisible join.

Change to color C.

Crochet shell stitch in the round. |

Round 8. In the 2nd to last stitch of the previous row, work 1 standing sc. *Skip 1 stitch, then work 3 dc in next stitch. Skip 1 stitch, then work 1 sc in next stitch.* Repeat from * 8 times. Skip 1 stitch, then work 3 dc in next stitch. Join to 1st sc and switch to the alternate stripe color using the perfect stripes method.

Crochet shell stitch in the round. |

Crochet shell stitch in the round. |

Round 9. Ch 2 in same stitch as the color change. Work 2 dc in same stitch. *Skip 1 stitch, work 1 sc in next stitch. (This should be the middle dc from the previous round). Skip 1 stitch, work 3 dc in next stitch. (This should be the sc from the previous round).* Repeat from * 8 times. Skip 1 stitch, 1 sc in next stitch. Skip 1 stitch, work 1 dc into the same stitch that you worked the first 2 dc of this round. Join to 1st dc.

Crochet shell stitch in the round. |

Round 10. Repeat Round 8, except instead of using a standing stitch, switch colors using the perfect stripes method, ch 1, then work 1 sc into the same stitch. This becomes your “standing sc”. Then follow the instructions from Round 8.

Crochet shell stitch in the round. |

Round 11. Repeat Round 9.

Round 12-13. Repeat Round 10 and 11.

Round 14-15. Repeat Round 10 and 11.

Round 16. Repeat Round 10.

Round 17. Change colors as before. Ch 2. Work [1 hdc in same stitch, 1 hdc in next stitch, 1 hdc2tog in next stitch] 9 times. Join to 1st stitch. (27)

Crochet shell stitch in the round. |

Round 18. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in next stitch, 1 sc2tog in next stitch] 9 times. Join to 1st stitch. (18)

Before you move on to the next step, flip the fish inside out and make sure your loose ends of knotted, fastened off and woven in. This is where you can cut the first shell color and weave it in.

Crochet shell stitch in the round. |

Round 19. Flatten the round into 2 sides. Ch 1. Work 1 sc in each stitch across, inserting your hook through 4 loops for each stitch. (8)

Crochet fish scrubbie washcloths |

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Row 20. With the tail color, work 1 standing sc in 3rd stitch from the edge, work 1 sc in each of next 3 stitches. Ch 1. (4)

Row 21. Turn. Work 2 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in each of next 2 stitches, 2 sc in last stitch. Ch 2. (6)

Row 22. Turn. Work 1 dc in first stitch, 1 sc in each of next 4 stitches, 2 dc in last stitch. Ch 2. (8)

Row 23. Turn. Work 2 dc in first stitch, 1 sc in each of next 5 stitches, 2 dc in last stitch. Ch 2. Fasten the ch 2 at the base of the row.

Crochet fish scrubbie washcloths |

The final touch is to add eyes to the fish using a bit of scrap yarn in whatever color you want. I used an embroidery needle and sewed the eyes on, going through both layers of the fish.

For scale (pun intended), each of these washcloths/scrubbies are about the size of my palm, maybe 6 or 7 inches long.

Crochet fish scrubbie washcloths |

Crochet fish scrubbie washcloths |


You might also like some of my other free patterns:

Rainbow Cuddles Unicorn

Frozen Snowman Amigurumi

Little Monster Easter Egg



  1. DeAnna

    Those are sooooo C.U.T.E Thank you.

  2. Angela (Colour and Cotton)

    These are absolutely adorable, love them! What a cute idea for summer. I have a ton of leftover cotton, I think it has finally found its purpose!

  3. Pops de Milk

    So cute! Thanks for sharing the pattern!


  4. Rachel

    Well, these are just ridiculously cute. I love them!

  5. judith ham

    What I’m looking for is how to join the shell stitch and go on to the next row if you don’t change colors. you use the same color. I made a shell st with 5 DC and then a sl st to the middle DC of the next shell. I started with the shell and ended with the sl st. then I sl st to the first DC of the first shell. doing it that way, it leaves a line all the way from the back of the dress to the front of the dress where I join.

    I don’t want to do the invisible joining because I don’t want to “cut the yarn” maybe I should start out with a Sc instead of a shell? or maybe when I join, I should sl st to the middle of the first shell and work a Sc instead of a sl st? really would like to figure out how to eliminate the joining line

  6. ChiWei

    You can try the perfect stripe method I linked to in the post. Not changing colors should be much easier, just continue as the directions specified but using the same length of yarn.

  7. Patricia B

    ChiWei, oh my goodness, these are so cute! My son loves to fish, so I may use these are decoration in his room…… Thanks for sharing. Love ya’

  8. Roxie

    These are just absolutely the best scrubbie I have seen! I really love the use of your colors. You have a great talent in making and designs patterns. Thank you for sharing your gift with us all. Absolutely beautiful!

  9. Krissy

    Oh I love these! I really like the non shell stitch fish! Will you eventually be sharing that pattern as well? Would go lovely with my little fisherman hat! 🙂

  10. Francesca

    YOU are amazing! I love the fish scribes! I will be making some for the 4th of July weekend!. Thank you soooooo much for sharing your wonderful patterns!

  11. Barb

    would really like it I think they would make nice gifts

  12. Marilyn

    Chiwei, these fish are so cute! Thanks for the free pattern and wonderful tutorial!

  13. ChiWei

    Thanks Marilyn!

  14. ChiWei

    Yes, it’s all written down, I just have to actually type it up one of these days. Stay tuned!

  15. ChiWei

    Thank you so much Roxie!

  16. Sian Varnum

    Where can I find printable instructions? What s great ides for a baby shower giftl!

  17. Iris

    Printable pattern for scrub able fish

  18. Jean

    They look really fun, well done!

    Btw, you could make the scales look even more ‘scale-y’ by working the shell stitches in the back loops only. I just created a small bag using that method and it looks very different!

  19. Patti (tis981)

    I love this pattern, Thank You, I can’t wait to start, beautiful pattern! THANKS AGAIN!

  20. DeAnna

    Love this fish scrubby! Can I use the Red Heart “scrubby” yarn instead of cotton just for the fish body?

    Thank you!

  21. Wendy Tuominen

    i do not have time to even attempt to make these. Do you sell these?

  22. Shar

    These are darling and I love the stitch! Do you happen to have this stitch in a cap pattern? I crochet caps for cancer patients and this would be perfect for a cap!

  23. Christina

    Have you ever done videos on utube? I would love to make these but I struggle if I can’t watch a video.

  24. Janice

    Hi ChiWei
    Love the fish pattern for scrub bites. So cute to put one or two in the children’s Christmas stocking!

  25. Janice

    Would really be extra cute if you could put your hand inside. Perhaps to tail fins!,,,let me know what you think!

  26. Brenda

    Thank you for sharing. These are beautiful!

  27. Cheryl Michels

    I tried your fish pattern. I even modified it a little and added one more row of decrease before I flattenen the fish. This way I can continue right into the tail directions with 1 more stitch. I even made my fish using 2 colors and stripes so they would look something like a clown fish. My co-workes thought they were great and they ordered several for their kids or other family members as gifts. I was able to comeplete one fish in about 1 1/2 hours time.

  28. Krissy

    Oh yay….. That’s awesome! You’re the best! ❤

  29. Susan H

    I haven’t tried these yet, but I wonder if you crochet two of them adjusting the size then stitch the two together from head to fin across the top. Maybe putting a finishing sc edge around the bottom of the fish where the opening is for the head. This would be fun to make into a hat with softer yarn for babies!

  30. Susan H

    Make two of them and stitch or sc together from second to the last stripe up around head and back again. You would have to try your hand in it to see where to start for sure. Good idea!

  31. Susan H

    I love these…I think I will make some and use as a neighbor gift for Christmas with a bottle of dish soap. Thank you for being so creative and sharing!

  32. Susan H

    Just another thought – you could also attach it to a bottle of bath bubbles for kids.

  33. Akamatra

    These look amazing!!! I am taking the pattern with me at the beach! They are going to be part of my beach crafts this year, yeah!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  34. Myrna

    My skill is probably a level 1 or 2. Haven’t crocheted for years. Where do I start? These would make great gifts. I love them!!!

  35. Barbara

    Your crochet fish scrubbies are just what I’m looking for, a great bridal shower “wishing well” gift

  36. Carol Riffle

    Just saw your cute pattern for crochet fish scrubbies, gonna try it, but also thought about trying to make the belly open, with a closer of a button and loop, and make a “booboo” pouch, for little children with a need for cold compress. Just add a snack size plastic bag with a few ice cubes, and little kids would love a little fishy to make their owie better. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  37. Grace Scheffler

    Thank you , for the free pattern, I made it and it is so cute and adorable. It’s too cute to be used for washcloth.
    I love it, I will make a few More for gifts . Thank you so much

  38. Mary

    Thank you so much for such a cute creation. Just finished making one. Your pattern is perfect and very easy to follow. Will be making several of these for the Holiday Season, both for gifts and to offer for sale. Again, Thank you so much.

  39. ChiWei

    Booboo pouches is a great idea! Have fun!

  40. Wanda

    I’ve made 3 of these and will make more. I need 7 or so as I plan of putting money in the
    mouth for the grands at Christmas. 🙂 I would really like to try the other pattern though.
    Do you know if/when you might post it?

  41. Wanda

    Oh, and thank you for the pattern. 🙂

  42. Trish

    Thank you so much for the pattern – I’m making them look like the fish in my niece’s favorite book! Do you have any idea when you might be posting the pattern for the striped fish? She would love a few done like that as well. Again, thank you so much for sharing your talent with us. Your patterns are so creative and so much fun to work!

  43. Wanda

    Wouldn’t stitching 2 of them together make it entirely too thick? I think they would take
    too long to dry and make them much easier to get stinky.

  44. Dawn

    I made a fish with Red Heart Scrubby yarn.
    So cute!! Thank you for the pattern.

  45. Reni C

    These are so blasted cute! I’m making them for my 3 little grand daughters and really looking forward to adding your Stripey Fish pattern if/when available. Thank you for being so generous with the pattern.

  46. Wendy

    It would be nice if there was a printable button for those of us who cannot afford to print all 25 pages of this pattern, including comments. This is a wonderful design and you are very generous to share it with us. I don’t mean to sound rude but it is picture heavy and even condensing with the reader program still only saved me 4 pages. And I still got the header and footer of your webpage. Please consider a print friendly button or pdf converter.

    Thank you

  47. ChiWei

    Thanks for your feedback Wendy, but I have no plans to change how I offer my free patterns. As you can guess, providing all those photos require a lot of work, and my readers appreciate the extra details. I went to print this particular pattern and was able to choose to print only pages 3-8 to capture the pattern itself, along with a few photos and no comments, header or footer, which amounts to 6 pages total.

  48. Arena

    Thank you for a wonderful pattern, my friends have just got their own place and I think these will make a lovely housewarming gift!

  49. Linda DeHart

    Have you published the other fish pattern yet. I love the shell fish pattern. I have made twenty of them for Christmas Presents. So Cute

  50. Regina Montgomery

    These are so pretty they could make awesome wall art for my grandson.

  51. Chely

    Hermosos,muy encantadores. Gracias. Saludos desde México

  52. Helen Poelman

    How do I get a BRIEF but complete pattern for the fish scrubbies? I don’t want to print out several pages and the comments in order to get just the pattern! Love you creative ideas however, so please help.

  53. sharon

    I would like to teach this pattern to the widows in Malawi Africa next summer, but would like to add netting fabric to add the scrub fabric for them to scrub pots and still be durable. any suggestions how to?

  54. Wendy

    Could you please explain what a standing sc is
    Thanks wendy

  55. Hippiegirl06

    Thank you for this pattern I teach 2year olds and during the summer we have a ocean theme I am gonna have my room full of these beauties thank you again

  56. Shinari Bennett

    I love this pattern but, I am having so much trouble with it. DO you think you could make a video for it?

  57. Jane

    Very cute! Thank you for sharing.

  58. Claire

    In the past year I’ve taken up felting, and I used your wonderful pattern to create a 3-D felted fish Christmas ornament. They are amazingly cute, wish I could share a picture with you. Thank you for your inspiration; I love your work!

  59. Angeles

    So cute!!! love it!

  60. Linda Webb

    O yes , these are “Just My Cup of Tea”! They are just PERFECT for a Christmas gift I need . Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for your kindness.

  61. ChiWei

    You’re welcome!

  62. ChiWei

    Thank you!

  63. Kali

    I think it would be really cute for a kid’s bath time scrubby if you put a bar of soap inside before closing it up.

  64. A

    Thank you sooo much for sharing. Directions are spot on with clear precision. Enjoyed making these for my grandsons easter basket.

  65. Mary Jo Bush

    Do you know what shade of blue you used in the fish scrubbies? Trying to order but none of the colors seem to look anything like the blue you have used? Thank you if you or anyone else has any suggestions!!!

  66. Denise Nickerson

    I don’t understand why I am having so much trouble with this pattern. I am not a beginner with crocheting. 1st row is easy peasy. 2nd row I am not getting right. I wish there was a video on how to crochet these. They are SO ADORABLE! Is anyone else having trouble with this pattern? ChiWei, is there more help somewhere on this pattern?

  67. ChiWei

    Hi Denise, I’m so sorry, but I do not have a video on this, as it’s a very old pattern. Can you elaborate on what you’re having issues with? The 2nd round is 4 sc, inc, 4 sc inc, and then joined in the round.

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