TMNT: Leonardo

First off, I mentioned before that I used youtube to learn magic rings.. and being the type of person I am.. I don’t save youtube videos.. Unless they are songs I am obsessed with like this one from Bastille

So, I felt bad since I talk about the magic ring and I wanted to find a video to share with everyone in case someone does wanna pick up crochet and needs a good demonstration… This video from Happy Berry Crochet I found to be the closest to what I do.. Except, I don’t slip stitch to finish off my rows when I crochet in the round.

Now, every time I made the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (mind you, I have made Raphael once, Michaelangelo twice…actually 3 times, but the first time was me playing with the idea and I kept him as he is the most funky looking of the ones I made, and Leonardo once. I have yet to make Donatello as I don’t think I have purple… remember we still need to have that conversation about the yarn stash, but that’s besides the point!) someone else asks me to make them one or two.. or something.

And I first made them on whim because I was asked to make something for two little boys…

This last time, a girl in my class wanted Leonardo and just Leonardo because she “is obsessed with him” (her words not mine!) I said yeah, came home, made the swords for him out of fimo clay/sculpey/whatever brand of oven baked clay that I have since forgotten what I bought, then never made him as I got distracted making other things..

Thus I decided to actually write up a pattern for him (and any other TMNT you can think of!) as I keep having to improvise my pattern when I get asked to make another one.


For ninja turtles I use:

  • 4 shades of green yarn (different shades that is!)
    – 1 shade of normal green (green A)
    – 1 shade of dark green (green B)
    – 1 shade of olivey green (green C)
    – 1 shade of light green (green D)
  • TINY amount of colored yarn (in this case blue… but you can use red for Raphael, orange for Michaelangelo, or purple for Donatello)
  • Tiny amount of brown (For the belt/random bits) this is completely optional)
  • Size G crochet hook (which I made into the Master Sword from Zelda! You can use any size hook you like, as this is not a pattern for clothing!)
  • Safety eyes (I use 9mm ones) any color.. (you can use any method you’d like for the eyes, I found safety eyes to be the easiest thing thing to use)
  • yarn needle


As you can see, my color scheme. (and thus no labels as they have all disappeared. -.-)

The reason I use this many shades is due to the shell and the stomach lighter part. You could also replace the light green with a yellow… and I have replaced one of the other greens (dark or olive at other times) with a teal blue for my other turtles.. The shell.. I’ve tried to use only one shade of green for it, but if you look at pictures, the turtle shells are swirly, so I wanted to give that impression in my shells instead of making them 1 color that kind of blends together. This makes the shells probably the most complex (aka annoying) thing to make on the turtles.

Cheat sheet:
ch: chain
sc: single crochet
st: stitch (usually used for counting purposes)

Bandana: (color accent)

  • chain 45.
  • sc in each ch starting in the 2nd ch from the hook
  • Finish off leaving a semi-longish tail

Head: normal Green (Green A)

  1. Start with 5 sc magic circle.
  2. 2 sc in each st – 10 st.
  3. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in the next) around – 15 st.
  4. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in each of the next 2 st) around – 20 st
  5. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in each of the next 3 st) around – 25 st
  6. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in each of the next 4 st) around – 30 st
  7. sc around
  8. sc around
  9. (sc 2 sc together, 1 sc in each of the next 4 st) around – 25.
  10. (sc 2 sc together, 1 sc in each of the next 3 st) around – 20.
  11. (sc 2 sc together, 1 sc in each of the next 2 st) around – 15
  12. (sc 2 sc together, 1 sc in the next st) around – 10
  13. At this point, press the eyes through the bandana and the head somewhere in the middleish of the piece.. and stuff the head.

  14. (sc 2 together) around – 5sc finish off and leave a longer tail to stitch to the body.

After stuffing/finishing off the head, take a moment or two to stitch the bandana now to the head.. Use those yarn ends to stitch the x in the bandana making it kinda like it was knotted in the back.
I thread the ends until they reach where I want the X part..

The bandana and head before I placed the eyes.


Placing the eyes and judging where I want the bandana to lie. (sorry this one is blurry!)


Before stuffing.. after I have the safety eyes placed.


Finished head before the bandana is stitched on in the back.


Judging where I want that x to be, and how I want it to look..


Stitch it on.

Body: normal green (A)

  1. Start with 5 sc magic circle.
  2. 2 sc in each st – 10 st.
  3. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in the next) around – 15 st.
  4. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in each of the next 2 st) around – 20 st
  5. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in each of the next 3 st) around – 25 st
  6. sc around
  7. sc around
  8. sc around
  9. sc around
  10. sc around
  11. (sc 2 sc together, 1 sc in each of the next 3 st) around – 20.
  12. (sc 2 sc together, 1 sc in each of the next 2 st) around – 15
  13. (sc 2 sc together, 1 sc in the next st) around – 10
  14. At this point, stuff the body.

  15. (sc 2 together) around – 5sc finish off and leave a longer tail

Belly: Lighter green (green D)

  1. ch 7
  2. sc in the second ch from the hook to the end (you should have 6 st), 2 more sc in that last ch (8st), then sc along back side (this should be about 5 st, so you should be up to 13 st), 2 more sc in the last ch which will get you to the first sc.. (15 st total?)
  3. from here you will be working in rounds.

  4. sc 5x along the side, 2 sc in the next 3 st, sc 5x, 2 sc in the next 3 st – 22st
  5. sc x5, 2 sc in the same st, sc x2, 2 sc in the same st, sc x7, 2 sc in the next st, sc x2, 2 sc in the next st, sc x2 – 26 st
  6. sc x5, 2 sc in th4e next st, sc x3, 2 sc in the next st, sc x7, 2 sc in the next st, sc x3, 2 sc in thenext st, sc x4 – 30 st
  7. Now because of the way I crochet… My finish wasnt at the corner.. so I added this in:

  8. 5sc to corner. Finish off


The blue on it is where my row started… So you can see what I mean by I like to finish it at the corner.

Arms and legs (green A): Make 4 of these:

  1. 5 sc in a magic ring
  2. 2 sc in each stitch around – 10 st
  3. sc around
  4. sc around
  5. sc around
  6. sc around
  7. sc around
  8. Stuff these, finish off, leaving a tail.

Tail: Green A

  1. 6 sc in a magic ring
  2. sc around
  3. sc around. finish off.

no need to stuff this.

Shell: Make 7.
Start with Green B

  1. Start with a magic ring with 5 sc in it.
  2. Switch to Green C (olivey)

  3. 2 sc in each st – 10 st.
  4. Switch back to Green B.

  5. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in the next) around – 15 st.
  6. Finish off, leaving a long tail. (I also usually sl st back into the first st.. but it’s your choice)


The shell pattern.

Now I want you to place one of these circles in the middle of the other 6… Take your yarn needle and stitch the middle circle to all the others (then go down each open space between two circles and stitch those.)

This is the inside. Don’t worry about all the ends. They’ll be hidden by the time you’re done. You can see how I lay out my pattern.


Three of them stitched together.. I just use my yarn needle for joining pieces.. if you wanted though, you could sc them all together (sl st might be better)


All the little circles stitched to the center.


finishing off the outer shell. Again, don’t stress if you have loads of longer strings everywhere. You can hide them or even use them to stitch together the shell.

Underbelly of shell: Use light green (well, you can use olive or whatever green you want really)

  1. 10 sc in a magic ring
  2. 2 sc in each st – 20 st.
  3. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in the next) around – 30 st.
  4. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in each of the next 2 st) around – 40 st
  5. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in each of the next 3 st) around – 50 st
  6. (2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in each of the next 4 st) around – 60 st
  7. finish off.

Don’t stress if it doesnt look like a perfect circle. You can stretch it to fit the underside of your shell. If it doesn’t seem to fit (too big/too little) you can take away some rows or add on to them.

Stitch the underbelly to the shell. You can either use the darker green to stitch it on (especially since if you are like me, you’ll have lots of little green ends hanging out everywhere) or you can leave a long tail on the light green and stitch it with that. Before you completely finish it off, stuff the shell.


Stitching the underbody to the shell… You can see the opening where I stuff it.


And the finished shell.

belt: Brown (optional)
ch 29. finish off.

For Leonardo, if you want the chest strap part:
ch. 25. finish off.

Stitch together all the pieces. I’d recommend stitching the head, body, stomach, arms, legs, belt/chest strap on before you stitch the shell on. (or at least the stomach onto the body and the belt before you do the shell.)
For my arms, I dont completely stuff them. I leave the top part empty and stitch it closed. The legs I stitch all the way around.

You can see how I stitch the stomach to the body. Uh… do ignore my rather creepy coffee mug in the background.


And there you have it! Leonardo!

It’s really hard to make things and take pictures with this little one deciding they are her property.

***If this post seems disjointed in anyway, it is because I will be writing it in pieces as I go, trying to make it work better instead of me getting exhausted and being like “yeahhhhh… .just do this….”

Any free patterns I post are yours to use to make gifts for your friends, family, yourself, etc. I ask that you pleaaaase do not use them to make money off of it since I do not own any of the series/trademarks/etc that I get my crochet ideas from. Also, feel free to share pictures or ask questions. XD

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