Use the Crochet Shell Stitch for Bold Embellishment

The crochet shell stitch is beautiful, and it also happens to be one of the simplest decorative techniques to master. It’s done using stitches that create arch-like shells, which become even more eye-catching when stacked. Pair rows with colorwork and it only gets more gorgeous and bold.

Shell Stitch

Level: Easy


  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • sc – single crochet
  • st/sts – stitch/stitches
  • * – repeat instructions between asterisks the amount of times specified.
  • Instructions

    Foundation Chain

    You need multiples of 6 + 5 chains to start your shell stitch project. For this tutorial, we chained 23 (3 x 6 + 5).

    Row 1

    Ch 23. Sc in the second ch from the hook. *Skip the next 2 chains, make 5 dcs in the next chain. Skip the next 2 chains, sc in the next chain.* This is your first complete shell. Repeat from * to * until you have 3 chains left.

    Skip the next 2 chains and make 3 dcs in the last chain. If desired, switch colors, ch 1 and turn.

    Row 2

    Sc in the first dc. *Skip the next 2 dcs. Make 5 dc’ in the next sc. Skip the next 2 dcs. Sc in the next (central) dc.* This is your first complete shell for this row. Repeat from * to * until you’ve worked into each shell.


    There should now be 3 stitches remaining:  2 dcs and 1 sc.  Skip the last 2 dcs and make 3 dcs in the last sc. Switch colors if desired, ch 1 and turn.

    Row 3 – End

    Repeat Row 2.

    Changing Colors

    If you would like to change colors at the start of any row, do so before you make the turning chain at the end of the previous row.

    This technique also makes it simple to create a bold color pattern or ombré effect — all the more reason to love it!

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    2 Responses to “Use the Crochet Shell Stitch for Bold Embellishment”

    1. Christina

      Does the count for the foundation change if you choose to use the single crochet foundation chain?

    2. Elizabeth G. TANI

      Awesome loved this