The Simple Shell Crochet Washcloth is made with alternating rows of solid stitches and groups of shells, creating a pretty surface for scrubbing anything you need in the bath and kitchen!

This crochet washcloth is worked in rows using chains and double crochet stitches, so it is a great project for beginners who are looking to learn more or people with more experience who like to learn new stitches.

Grab your hook and your favorite cotton yarn and let’s crochet a washcloth that is just as fun to make as it is to use!

The Shell Crochet Washcloth pattern is a great project to work up because:

  • Washcloths are fun projects to learn new crochet stitches (especially when you follow our crochet chart with the written instructions)!
  • You can use these in the bath or kitchen (plus, they make great gifts)!
  • This project works great with cotton yarns (just one skein or less)!
  • You’ll get to practice a lot of crochet skills: rows, stitch tension, stitch counting and recognition, shells (5 double crochet stitches into 1 space) , borders, gauge & size, finishing techniques & more!

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Simple Shells Washcloth Crochet Pattern Close up - American Crochet Association

Shell Stitch Washcloth: Introduction

What is a crochet washcloth for?

Crochet washcloths can also be called dishcloths.

These practical items are super versatile and can be used in so many different ways! Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Cleaning: When made with cotton yarn, these are great for washing dishes, wiping surfaces, and cleaning up spills!
  • Bathing: The softness of natural fibers like cotton are gentle on the skin, and perfect for washing the face and both.
  • Gifts: Crochet can be such a unique and thoughtful present, especially if a set is created in colors that match the decor of a kitchen or bath. That’s probably why these typically sell so well at craft fairs!
  • Learning: To build up your skills, crochet washcloths are a simple and quick project that will help you to practice new stitches and techniques.

Experiment with different weights, textures, and colors of yarn because these are exactly the kinds of projects you can make your very own!

What is a crochet shell stitch?

In crochet, a shell stitch is solid a group of stitches worked into a single stitch or space.

A crochet shell stitch can include any basic stitch (single, half double, double, triple), and can include any number of stitches (3, 4, 5, 6, 7…).

While you will not see the term “shell” in the specialty stitch and technique section of this pattern, the group of five double crochet stitches worked into one place is a “crochet shell stitch pattern”.

Either way of writing the instruction is correct, and we hope beginners enjoy the simplicity in this version (the stitch chart should help, too).

Selecting The Perfect Yarn

What yarn was used for this washcloth?

Fabric like this one is best suited for the kitchen and bathroom, so it is important to choose a yarn that is durable and performs well with water.

Cotton, for example, is a fiber that is naturally absorbent and super durable, which is why it is such a popular choice for these types of projects.

With that in mind, Peaches and Cream Stripey yarn is my favorite choice for this project; it is a smooth yarn that is soft, made of 100% cotton, comes in a variety of great colors, and is economically priced.

Other important characteristics to consider when choosing the best yarn for crochet washcloths are:

  • Colorfast Yarn: These are treated to prevent color bleeding when washing.
  • Organic Cotton: Made from pesticide-free and environmentally sustainable cotton crops.
  • Softness: While cotton is generally soft, some brands offer yarns that are stiff and scratchy, so be sure to feel yarns to determine their best use.

Finally, washcloths are meant to be practical, so choose characteristics that will make these projects functional and durable.

Is cotton best for crochet washcloths?

If you look at the labels, your favorite kitchen and bath towels are probably made of cotton fibers. Am I right?

Cotton is a natural and durable fiber, even when it becomes wet, which is exactly why it is the most recommended fiber for a washcloth.

To find other natural fibers, or other brands that carry cotton yarn, I suggest looking on and comparing the Peaches and Cream yarn used to write this pattern with others.

For the closest matches to Peaches and Cream yarn on the market today, I recommend you review each of the suggestions here first:

Finally, if you’re interested in learning even more about yarn, and how to substitute yarn for your crochet projects, I have some tips for you right here: Understanding Yarn Substitution – An Easy Reference For Crocheters

Sizing Options

What size is the Shell Crochet Washcloth?

The Shell Crochet Washcloth pattern is written in just one standard size: 7.25” wide x 6.5” tall.

The hook and yarn sizes you use to work up this project, and your own personal stitch tension, may create larger or smaller sizes than the pattern indicates.

However, the overall size of this project is not crucial, so you don’t have to try to perfectly match the stitch and row gauge and size perfectly.

How can I use this stitch to create other projects?

Crocheting a washcloth is the perfect way to test and practice new stitches and techniques!

If you love the look of this crochet stitch pattern, and you want to use it to create another crochet project, the stitch repeat for this pattern is really easy to adjust.

You can easily customize the stitch repeat in multiples of 5+2 (+2 for the turning chain), then work any odd multiple of rows. 

Give this shell stitch a try in other yarn weights, types, and sizes that you have on hand when you follow these tips about working up a test swatch right here:

Helpful Resources

Project Inspiration

The Shell Crochet Washcloth pattern has been worked up many times, with various brands of yarns and in lots of different colors.

For a jolt of project inspiration, you can view all completed projects on Ravelry right here:

Learn even more crochet stitches

Learning how to crochet different stitch patterns is a fun way to build up your crochet skill, and try new crochet techniques.

The American Crochet Association has dozens of crochet stitch tutorial videos you can watch for free, right here:

More crochet washcloth patterns

Now that you’re hooked on the Simple Shell Crochet washcloth, we have a few more patterns you can try out!

Other crochet washcloth patterns with interesting stitches and fabrics are you here to view for free on our website:

Policy for Individual Use

This crochet pattern is designed by Salena Baca Crochet for the American Crochet Association.

Pattern instructions are protected by copyright laws.

Users must acknowledge and respect the intellectual property rights of pattern creators and designers as follows:

  • This pattern is for personal use only. Pattern instructions may be accessed and used by individuals for personal, non-commercial purposes only. Users may create finished products based on the pattern instructions for personal use or gifting. 
  • Users may not reproduce, distribute, modify, or create derivative works of pattern instructions without explicit permission from the copyright holder.
  • Selling or commercially exploiting products made from pattern instructions will require additional permissions or licensing from the copyright holder.
  • It is unlawful to share or distribute pattern instructions in any way, including but not limited to: print, digital, video.
  • It is unlawful to create derivative works based on pattern instructions, including but not limited to translations, adaptations, or variations.
  • Users should provide proper attribution when sharing or displaying finished products made using these pattern instructions, giving credit to the original pattern creator and source. 
  • Users are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical and respectful manner when using pattern instructions. Users should not engage in plagiarism, claim others’ work as their own, or misrepresent the origin of pattern instructions. 

By accessing and using pattern instructions, individuals agree to abide by the usage policy herein.

Users may be held responsible for any damages or legal liabilities resulting from their non-compliance with this policy. 

Purchase a PDF file on Ravelry

Click Here to purchase a downloadable PDF version of this pattern!

Simple Shells Washcloth Crochet Pattern - American Crochet Association

Making the Simple Shell Crochet Washcloth


Peaches and Cream Stripey, Worsted #4 yarn (100% Cotton; 102 yds/93 m per 2 oz/56.7 g skein):

Hook and other Materials

  • US H/8 (5.00 mm) Hook
  • Yarn needle 


  • 15 pattern sts = 4”
  • 8 pattern rows = 4”

Finished Size

  • 7.25” wide (stitches)
  • 6.5” tall (rows)

Stitch Key

Pattern Notes

  • Stitch pattern is worked in multiples of 5+2 (+2 for turning Ch), and odd row multiples.
  • Row 1 determines the right side of the fabric, making the solid row of double crochet the front; the shells are meant to slightly bulge out on one side. To learn more about right and wrong sides in crochet stitches and fabric, here are my best tips: Right and Wrong Sides in Crochet: What does this mean?

Simple Shell Stitch Pattern Chart

This stitch chart is a visual aid when following the individual stitches and their placement for the Simple Shell Crochet Washcloth pattern.

Stitch charts can be used as a helpful guide to provide a clear overview of the steps as you follow the written instructions.

Written instructions are included and valuable for this pattern, and this stitch chart offers an easy-to-understand visual roadmap.


Simple Shell Crochet Washcloth

Ch 29.

Row 1 (Right Side): Skip 3 Ch (first Dc, here and throughout), work 1 Dc into each Ch across – 27 Dc

Row 2: Ch 3, turn, skip 2 Sts, work 5 Dc into next St, [skip 4 Sts, work 5 Dc into next St] until 3 Sts remain, skip 2 Sts, Dc into last St – 27 Dc

Row 3: Ch 3, turn, work 1 Dc into each St across – 27 Dc

Repeat row 2-3 until 11 rows complete (ending on a row 3 repeat).


Round 1 (Right Side): Ch 1 (not a St), rotate  to work along left side. Work 2 Sc around side of each Dc St (22 Sc), rotate to work along row 1. Work 1 Sc into each St (27 Sc), rotate to work along right side. Work 2 Sc around side of each Dc St (22 Sc), rotate to work along row 11. Work 1 Sc into each St (27 Sc), Sl St into top of first Sc to join, fasten off – 98 Sc

Finishing: Sew in ends, trim excess.

Video Chat

To hear more about this Simple Shell Crochet Washcloth pattern, watch my quick video chat right here: Simple Shells Crochet Washcloth Pattern

Click Here to share your finished project in our community!

Peace + Love + Crochet


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