Free Pattern: Casey the Crab

Casey the Crab Cover

I have a fun free pattern for you today. Meet Casey the Crab!

To make Casey the Crab you'll need:

  • 1/4 yard of red fleece (felt, wool, cotton, or other fabrics will work, too)
  • 1 pair of 6mm safety eyes (I got mine at Joann's, but they're also available here)
  • black embroidery floss or Perle cotton, 12-inches
  • fiberfill stuffing
  • optional: hemostats, freezer paper, and an awl

Note: I love freezer paper. In the U.S. you can purchase a roll for just a few dollars in the aluminum foil aisle of the grocery store. Here I'll show you my method for using it to easily sew small pieces with accuracy, but if you don't have freezer paper, don't worry! Just trace the pattern templates onto your fabric with a fabric marker!

Okay, let's get started.

Download and print the templates right here.

Trace your templates onto the matte side of a piece of freezer paper.

From red fleece cut two shells (cut along the solid lines and stitch along the dotted lines).

Crab Face

To make the face, transfer the markings for the eyes and mouth onto the right side of one shell piece. Thread an embroidery needle with a 12-inch length of black embroidery floss (use just 3 strands from a piece of 6-ply floss) or Perle cotton. Tie a knot in the end. Chainstitch the mouth, tying off on the wrong side. (Watch my 2-min. video for a refresher on how to chainstitch.)

To affix the safety eyes, use an awl or the tip of a pair of embroidery scissors to poke a hole for each eye. Be careful to only poke a small hole! Push the shank of a 6mm safety eye through one hole, from the front to the back. Slide the washer down the shank so that it's flush with the fabric. Repeat to attach the other eye. (Watch my 1-min. video for a refresher on how to apply safety eyes.)

Crab Claw

I'm going to use my freezer paper method to sew the pincers so I cut my template out on the dotted stitching line. Now cut two pieces of fabric slightly larger than the pincer template and place the fabric right sides together. Press the pincer template on top. For increased accuracy sewing around small curves, set your sewing machine at a short stitch length (I like 1.8).

With the freezer paper still adhered, stitch directly around the pincer leaving two openings as marked. Pull off the freezer paper and trim around the pincer to within 1/8-inch of the stitching line, clipping the seam allowance in the curvy spots.

Hemostats for Turning

Turn the pincer right side out. I love hemostats for this job! Repeat to create a second pincer.

Crab Lots of Claws

I'm using the same freezer paper method to sew the claws so I cut out the claw template around the dotted stitching line. Then I traced the claw template six times.

To sew the claws, cut two pieces of fabric slightly larger than the six claw templates. Place the fabric right sides together. Press all six claw templates on top, leaving some space between each one.

With the freezer paper still adhered, stitch around each claw. Pull the papers off. Trim around the claws to within 1/8-inch of the stitching and clip the seam allowance in the curvy spots. Turn each claw right side out.

Basted Claws

To get ready to sew the crab together, baste the claws and pincers to the shell. Notice the position of the claws and pincers.

Pin the second shell piece on top, right sides together. Stitch around the shell, leaving an opening as marked, catching the raw edges of the pincers and claws in the seam. (Be sure to push the ends of the pincers into the body while you're sewing so that they don't accidentally get caught in the seam.)

Remove the basting stitches. Clip the seam allowances around the curves. Turn the crab right side out (again, hemostats are awesome for this!).


Stuff the pincers through the small openings left in them. Stuff the crab firmly, being sure there are no lumps or hollow spots. Close the openings with ladder stitch.

Look at this cutie! Give Casey the Crab a big hug and give him to someone special.

Casey the Crab


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  1. Terri says

    What a cutie and perfect for me and my horoscope character — I’m Cancer and he’ll be perfect, hehe, oh of course as gifts too — THANKS!! : )

  2. says

    Thank you for this really lovely softie pattern. I will be making them for the Angels for the Forgotten charity adding a label with your blog address so that they know where it came from. Thank you so much.

  3. Lisa says

    I have a friend who had a baby a week ago on her birthday. Several months ago, she was telling me that everytime she sees baby clothes with crabs on it she wanted to buy them since both she and the baby would be Cancers.
    The day that she mentioned this, I happened to check your blog and found this little guy. I printed out the pattern and reduced it by 70% in my photocopier and made a mama and a baby crab for her and her new baby boy.
    They turned out great and are so cute.
    Thank you for the serendipitous crabs, they made a perfect birthday present.

  4. Debra says

    I am in the process of making Casey, Penny, Roger (2) and Maya (2) for grandchildren Christmas presents. They are all so cute and so far, pretty easy to make. Quick question……the claws on Casey the crab are not stuffed at all, correct? I know this was not instructed in the pattern, but looking at the pictures, sometimes the claws look a little full like they ARE stuffed and other times they don’t. I just want to be sure. Thank you so much for your cute patterns. I am planning on purchasing a few more soon…….AFTER I am done with these 6 that I am making now!! (BTW, I found you through the Shiny Happy World’s website!)

    • says

      Thank you so much for sewing from my patterns. I love Wendi and I’m so glad you found me through her. You’re right that the little claws on the crab are not stuffed, just the larger ones. If you wanted to put a bit of stuffing into the tips of each one, you certainly could, but it’s not necessary. They’re pretty tiny and hold their shape well without stuffing.
      Thanks again! Happy sewing.

  5. Linda H says

    THANK you for the freezer paper tip. What a marvelous short cut. One suggestion, Why not just leave one opening in the pinchers…the end that attached to the crab body. Stuff through that opening before attaching, then no need to stuff and ladder stitch after wards.

    • says

      You’re welcome about the freezer paper. Your suggestion of stuffing through the end of the pincers before putting them on the body and then sewing the body up is a good one. I sometimes find it difficult to fit a lot of pre-stuffed parts inside the body of a toy or doll which is why I leave the extra opening. That way I can leave the appendages unstuffed, sew them into the seam of the body, and stuff them after turning the body right side out. Here, though, they would probably fit just fine pre-stuffed.

  6. says

    I made a casey today, I posted to instagram and tagged you to thank you for the amazing pattern.
    I just felt the need to write on here how amazing the pattern really is. My Crab came out perfect – I may have to make a few more of these in the future with different expressions!
    Thank you so much for the free pattern, it made my rainy sunday afternoon very enjoyable!

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