I have to tell you… The first time I laid my eyes on the crochet box stitch, I was in LOVE! The box stitch is so dainty and lovely, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on yarn and my hook to start playing.
While the box stitch packs a massive punch of personality into your crochet and looks a little intimidating, it’s actually a lot easier than one would think! Trying to reverse engineer this stitch would drive you crazy and, I have to admit, when I learned the Box Stitch I was completely lost in diagrams and written instructions that made zero sense to me.
My Box Stitch Crochet Wall Hanging just released and I thought there was no better time than the present to bring this stitch into your world. You’ll be able to practice the crochet box stitch before getting your hands on my pattern and be smooth sailing from the get go.
That’s why I’m here to answer the question: Just how do you do box stitch?
Don’t you worry, this photo tutorial using bright, contrasting colors is going to walk you through how to crochet this gorgeous stitch. This crochet stitch tutorial walks you through every step of every row with clear pictures to indicate when and where to place your stitches.
This tutorial might even be a little too hands on…. After taking the pictures, I realized I had nearly 60 pictures! Yikes. I have definitely cut the amount of pictures down while still keeping the instructions clear.
But first… Let’s talk technical stuff.
Stick with me! Every crochet stitch has some technical stuff you should know before you get started. I know, I know, we want to get to the good part! However, if you want to make more than just a practice swatch, there are some things you’ll want to know.
Starting Chains: The crochet box stitch has a starting chain of multiples of 8+2. So, in “English”, the actual stitch repeat itself requires 8 chains to start, plus two chains to turn. In this tutorial, I chain 26 (8 chains x 3 repeats = 24+2 = 26). This is a decent swatch to start with to check your gauge for bigger items.
You can make almost anything from the box stitch. Soon, I’ll be releasing my new box stitch wall tapestry which is a fun, quick way to get used to this stitch. You can also use this stitch for blankets, pillow cases, bags… you name it, you can do it.
Additionally, you can choose to work the box stitch in one color, several different colors, or a variegated yarn. Each will have their own personality and each will be as gorgeous as the last.
Let’s talk yarn: You can use this stitch with ANY yarn. However, pay attention to the structure of the yarn when you’re deciding on your project. Cotton yarn (used in the first picture on this page), for example, has a ton of structure. Acrylic yarn, though, will have a softer look in like the image below.
Alright, let’s get to the good stuff…
How to Crochet the Box Stitch
In this photo tutorial, I will walk you through each step of working the box stitch (probably to a ridiculous degree!) in both US and UK terms.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I am using contrasting yarn so you can specifically see the stitches but you can work the box stitch in one color, several colors, or variegated yarn for a little more of an ombre effect. The yarn I’m using is all medium (4) weight yarn, however, you can use whatever yarn you prefer. If you choose to work this stitch in multiple colors, you will want all of your yarn to be the same weight.
I’m using Red Heart with Love in Corn Silk and Red Heart Super Saver in Country Blue for this tutorial. I’m also using my 5 mm H-8 Furls Swirl Cookies and Cream hook.
I will also explain when to change your yarn color if you prefer to stripe.
The stitch terms will be written with US terms first and UK in parentheses. Example: sc (dc) – US: Single Crochet (UK: Double Crochet)
- sc – single crochet
- hdc – half double crochet
- dc – double crochet
- tr – treble crochet
- sl st – slip stitch
- ch – chain
- dc – double crochet
- htr – half treble crochet
- tr – treble crochet
- dtr – double treble crochet
- sl st – slip stitch
- ch – chain
Let’s Get Started
As I mentioned above, this stitch’s starting chain needs to be a multiple of 8+2. For this tutorial, I am chaining 26 (8×3 = 24 + 2) for three repeats. I would recommend using the same starting chain so you can follow the tutorial exactly, however, you can use any multiple of 8+2 you wish. If you do decide to make a larger swatch, though, you will need to repeat certain parts of the rows more than indicated.
For row one, you will work the following:
US: sc 2nd ch from hook, [hdc, 1 dc next 2 stitches, tr, 1 dc next 2 stitches, hdc, sc]. Repeat inside the brackets two more times. You should end your last chain with a single crochet.
UK: dc 2nd ch from hook, [htr, 1 tr next 2 stitches, dtr, 1 tr next 2 stitches, htr, dc]. Repeat inside the brackets two more times. You should end your last chain with a double crochet.
Row two: ch 4, turn and dc (tr) in same stitch. [Chain 6, skip 7 stitches and dc (tr) in sc (dc). Ch 2, dc (tr) in same stitch]. Repeat inside brackets 1x. Ch 6, dc (tr) in last stitch. Ch 1, dc (tr) in same stitch.
Don’t worry, I’m going to break this down for you:
R2 Step 1: Chain 4 (counts as dc(tr) and ch 1) and dc (tr) in the same stitch. The nose of my scissors are pointing to the stitch.
R2 Step 2: Chain 6, skip 7 stitches to the sc (dc). This stitch is easy to find because it is the smallest stitch in the row. In this stitch, place dc (tr), chain 2, dc (tr).
The nose of my scissors are pointing to the sc (dc). I’ve also enlarged the picture so you can see it a bit better.
Repeat this step one more time.
Completed Step 2, ready for repeat.
R2 Step 3: Chain 6, dc (tr) in last stitch, chain 1, dc (tr) in same stitch.
For row three, I am going to use the blue yarn for contrast so that you can see exactly where each stitch is placed and what it looks like before and after working the row. You do NOT want to change color here, continue working with the same color for row three.
At the end of this row, you will see a picture where I have removed the blue and reworked the row in yellow so you can see what it should look like.
Row three: ch 3, turn place 4 dc (tr) in ch 1 space. Skip 3, sc (dc) in top of tr (dtr) around chains. [9 dc (tr) in next ch 2 space, sc (dc) in top of tr (dtr)] Repeat inside brackets 1x. 4 dc (tr) in last ch 1 space, 1 dc (tr) in the 3rd chain of ch 4.
R3 Step 1: Chain 3, place 4 dc (tr) in ch 1 space.
The nose of my scissors are pointing to the space you want to place your four dc (tr) in.
R3 Step 2: sc (dc) in top of tr (dtr) AROUND the chains. Make sure to capture the chains within your sc (dc).
This was one of the most confusing parts of learning this stitch for me. A lot of tutorials do not explain that you have to work around the chains.
Check out the image below for visual.
In the top left image, you can see I have gone into the stitch with my hook and both the stitch and the chains are over my hook. In the top right image, I have completed a yarn over and pull through. Bottom left, I’ve completed the sc (dc). Bottom right, you can see the chains captured within the post of the sc (dc).
R3 Step 3: Place 9 dc (tr) in ch 2 spc.
These 9 dc (tr) in this ch 2 space is considered a “fan”. This might feel a little strange as if there isn’t enough room for all the stitches.
You might even have to push your stitches to the side a little bit. Don’t worry. Trust the pattern.
R3 Step 4: sc (dc) in top of tr (dtr) while capturing the chains and place 9 dc in the next chain 2 space.
Repeat R3 Steps 3 and 4 one more time.
R3 Step 4: In last ch 1 spc, place 4 dc (tr) and 1 dc (tr) in the 3rd chain of ch 4.
If you prefer to change colors while practicing this tutorial, you will change color now.
Row four: ch 1, turn. sl st in the very first dc (tr). Ch 3, dc (tr) in tr (dtr) from the first row. Ch 2, dc (tr) in same stitch. [Ch 6, dc (tr) in tr (dtr), ch 2, dc (tr) in tr (dtr)] Repeat 1x. Ch 3, sl st in top of ch 3.
Okay, this seems like a doozy and you can see where in the written instructions, it makes basically zero sense. Let’s walk through it together – I promise it’s not as scary as it sounds
R4 Step 1: Sl stitch into the very first stitch and chain 3. You now want to place a dc (tr) into the top of the tr (dtr) from the very first row.
See where the nose of my scissors are pointing? Yep! THAT’S where you want to place that stitch. You will be working over (or around) the sc (dc) from R3.
So, go ahead and place your hook into that tr (dtr) and work your first dc (tr).
See how long the bottom of that dc (tr) post is? You want it to look like this. The length of that post creates the point of the “bell” shape.
R4 Step 2: Chain 6, and place your dc (tr), chain 2, dc (tr) in the next tr (dtr) from the first row. You will work this the same way you worked the previous one.
Repeat one more time.
R4 Step 3: Chain 3 and sl st into the top of the chain 3.
Completed row four! We’re getting there!
Row five: ch 1, turn. sc (dc) around the sl st [9 dc (tr) in ch 2 space, sc (dc) in 5th dc (tr) of fan, capturing ch 6] Repeat 1x. Ch 3, sc (dc) around sl st.
R5 Step 1: See how the sc (dc) which is still on my hook is worked AROUND the slip stitch? You want to work that sc (dc) into the same stitch you worked that slip stitch to achieve this.
Next, you want to work 9 dc (tr) into the chain 2 space indicated by the nose of my scissors.
Once you’ve completed the 9 dc (tr) fan, sc (dc) in the 5th dc of the fan from the previous row, making sure to capture those chains!
Repeat Step 1 once more.
R5 Step 2: In the last ch 2 space, place 9 dc (tr).
R5 Step 3: Place sc (dc) around the slip stitch.
Same as before, you’re working your sc (dc) into the same stitch you worked your slip stitch.
Completed Row 5!
And that’s it!
But don’t head off to practice yet, there’s a little more information you need to keep going:
From here, your pattern repeat is four rows: Row 2 through Row 5. HOWEVER, there is an adjustment to row two and 3. They work the same, but the written directions are slightly different so I want to be sure to explain it in detail for you.
Stating to just repeat row two can be confusing because the stitch names are different. Many tutorials were like: “Okay Shannon, just keep going, follow row two through row five and you’ve got it!” But, if you remember from row two, we were working into treble (double treble) stitches from row one. Beyond row one, we do not have the treble (double treble) stitches anymore.
So, for the sake of this tutorial and our collective sanity, here are accurate written instructions for your repeat. Keep in mind, these work the same as the picture tutorial above so if you get lost, refer back to those pictures. They’ll guide you through.
Any time you wish to change color, make sure to change it on the start of a row in which you’re chaining across most of the row.
“Repeat R2 through R5” US TERMS
R2: Ch 4, turn and dc same stitch. [ch 6, sk 7 sts, dc in sc, ch 2, dc in same sc]. Repeat 1x. Ch 6, 1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc last st.
R3: Ch 3, turn. 4 dc ch 1 spc. sk 3 sts, sc in 5th dc of fan (capturing chains). [9 dc in ch 2 spc, sc in 5th dc of fan] Repeat 1x. 4 dc in last ch 1 spc, 1 dc in 3rd ch of ch 4.
R4: Ch 1, turn. Sl st 1st dc. Ch 3, dc in sc from previous row. ch 2, dc in same st. [ch 6, dc in sc, ch 2, dc in sc]. Repeat 1x. Ch 3, sl st in top of chain 3.
**In these written directions, “dc in sc from previous row” is exactly like R4 Step 1 in the picture tutorial, it’s just in a single crochet instead of a treble.
R5: ch 1, turn. Sc around sl st. [9 dc in ch 2 spc, sc in 5th dc of fan below, capturing chain] Repeat 1x. Place 9 dc in last ch 2 spc, sc in last st around sl st from previous row.
“Repeat R2 through R5” UK TERMS
R2: Ch 4, turn and tr same stitch. [ch 6, sk 7 sts, tr in sc, ch 2, tr in same sc]. Repeat 1x. Ch 6, 1 tr, ch 1, 1 tr last st.
R3: Ch 3, turn. 4 tr ch 1 spc. sk 3 sts, dc in 5th tr of fan (capturing chains). [9 tr in ch 2 spc, dc in 5th tr of fan] Repeat 1x. 4 tr in last ch 1 spc, 1 tr in 3rd ch of ch 4.
R4: Ch 1, turn. Sl st 1st tr. Ch 3, tr in dc from previous row. ch 2, tr in same st. [ch 6, tr in sc, ch 2, tr in dc]. Repeat 1x. Ch 3, sl st in top of chain 3.
**In these written directions, “tr in dc from previous row” is exactly like R4 Step 1 in the picture tutorial, it’s just in a double crochet instead of a double treble.
R5: ch 1, turn. dc around sl st. [9 tr in ch 2 spc, dc in 5th tr of fan below, capturing chain] Repeat 1x. Place 9 tr in last ch 2 spc, dc in last st around sl st from previous row.
Phew, we’re at the end! I told you I would hold your hand through this crochet box stitch tutorial. Maybe I held on a little too tight? Either way, you now know how to work gorgeous stitch.
If you work up some practice swatches while waiting for my tapestry pattern to come out, don’t forget to show me on Instagram by tagging me @theloopholefoxcrochet! I’d love to see what color combinations you come up with and root you on!
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