How to Crochet an "American Girl" Sized 18 Inch Doll

Dream | Play | Empower

The Payton Doll was designed for you so you can crochet and create the doll of your favorite little girl's dreams! She will treasure it forever.

"A little girl's dreams are only as big as we let them be so let's inspire them to think BIG! "

The Payton Doll measures 18 inches tall. That means she can easily play alongside an American Girl, Journey Girl, Our Generation or any other 18 inch doll. Since she is the same size as an American Girl the clothes you make for your Payton Doll will also fit your daughter's 18 inch dolls and vice versa. Now that is winning! The accessories, clothes and possibilities are limitless.

"Imaginative play creates great social skills, builds confidence and works out fears"

But who is Payton?

The idea of the Payton Doll came to Jess (maiden name "Payton") after suddenly losing her father in August of 2020. Joel Payton was a recording breaking fullback for THE Ohio State University. He scored so many touchdowns they named the end zone "Payton's Place". Joel always planned to pass down his jerseys and namesake to his kids. To honor that, Jess named the doll after her late dad so he could live on each day as people all over the world crochet dolls for their little girls and pass them on to their little girls.

"I hope dad is looking down watching all of his "dolls", his wife, and his granddaughters with lots of pride and love...I hope the Payton Doll becomes a family heirloom in households all over the world, passed down generation after generation."

The Payton Doll was designed with you in mind. The yarn used is easily accessible. There are no crazy stitches. The pattern has loads of photos and explantations plus Jess is always happy to help!

"Let's teach our girls to grow up to be confident women who shatter glass ceilings, know their worth, and run the world."

Now that you know what the Payton Doll is all about let's get down to the fun stuff...

What kind of yarn should I use?

To make a Payton Doll you will need some worsted weight yarn. You can use acrylic or cotton, which ever floats your boat. You'll need about 8 oz for your skin tone, 4 oz for the hair, and scrap amounts for the facial features.

This doll is made with cotton:

This doll is made with acrylic:

Both equally adorable. I use Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Cotton"and Lionbrand's "Skein Tones". But, If you are going to use acrylic yarn, shoot for an "anti pill" to prevent your doll from shedding.

Here is a comprehensive list of all the materials you will need to make your Payton Doll:


“C” 2.75mm Crochet Hook 8 oz of worsted weight yarn in skin tone 4 oz of worsted weight yarn in hair color Small amount of black, white and pink yarn for the face Poly Fil (about 5oz) Scissors Safety Eyes (12mm) Yarn Needle Stitch Marker Tape Measure (optional) Push Pins (optional)

The pattern is written in US crochet terms for and advanced beginner and these are the stitches and abbreviations used throughout the pattern:

Mr: Magic ring Sc: Single crochet Inc: Single crochet 2 times in the same stitch Dec: Single crochet 2 stitches together (I recommend an invisible decrease) Flo: Front loop only Blo: Back loop only Ch: Chain St: Stitch Rnd: Round Sl st: Slip stitch F/o: Finish off

Now, before you start crocheting, listen to mama for a second. I know you don't want to but pleeeeeease make a gauge swatch. I promise it will not take long! If you want your doll to be 18 inches, a gauge swatch is an ABSOLUTE must. So, just do it, because I said so. ***said in my best, serious mom voice***

Gauge: Grab your "C" hook. and ch 12. Sc in the 2nd ch from the hook and each ch across. (11) Now repeat for rows 2-5

Ch 1, turn. Sc in each st across (11)

Your swatch should measure approximately 2 x1 in.

See, I told you it wouldn't take long. If you're off by a half inch or so don't fret but anything more than that I would recommend making some adjustments. You can try adjusting your hook size if you need to. If your swatch came out too large size down, if your swatch came out too small, size up. Additionally you may try to tighten or loosen your tension.

A few other housekeeping notes before we get into the nitty gritty:

A special stitch used is the invisible decrease. Anytime you are decreasing I encourage you to use this technique. There are several ways to do this but here is my favorite, it is actually "invisible".

Insert your hook into the flo of the next 2 sts. Yarn over and pull through the first 2 loops, 2 loops remain on the hook. Yarn over again. Pull through the remaining 2 loops. Invisible decrease complete.

For a full photo tutorial check out the printable PDF here.

Let's talk about what you can and cannot do with your Payton Doll:

You have permission to sell items you make from this pattern, in fact, I hope you do! However, you may not use my photos as your own. Also, please do not distribute, modify, or copy this pattern as your own. Thank you.

Don't forget to share your finished Payton Doll for a chance to be featured on our page! Follow and tag me on IG @butfirstcrochet and use #paytondoll

If you would like a printable PDF or digital version for your iPad find it here:

or here:



Okay, for real this time. Let's start by making the arms. You will need to make 2. Be sure to mark the first stitch of each round.


1. Mr, ch 1. Sc 6 times in Mr. (6)

2. (Inc) 6 times. (12)

3. (Sc, Inc) 6 times. (18)

4. (Sc in 2, Inc) 6 times. (24)

5-8. Sc in each st around. (24)

9. (Sc in 2, Dec) 6 times. (18)

10. (Sc, Dec) 6 times. (12)

11. Sc in each st around. (12)

12. (Sc, Inc) 6 times. (18)

Flatten the hand. Start lightly stuffing. Do not over stuff the hand. Continue to crochet the arm, stuffing as you go.

13-36. Sc in each st around. (18)

F/o and repeat for the other arm.

Next, let's move on to the feet and legs.

Feet and Legs

First let's work on the foot

1. Ch 10. Sc in 2nd ch from hook (mark stitch with a stitch marker) and each st across. Rotate and sc on the bottom side of each st. (18)

2-10. Sc in each st around. (18)

11. Sc in the next st.Ch 1.Turn ( now work back and forth).Sc in the same st as the ch 1.Sc in the next 7 sts. (8)

12-15. Ch 1. Turn.Sc in each st across. (8)

16. Ch 1, turn.Sc in the next st.Mark st. Sc in the next 7 sts. Continue crocheting on the rough edge.

Sc 5 times until you reach the top of the foot.You will have to create your own spaces for sts.

Sc across the next 10 sts.Sc 5 times on the rough edge. (28)

17. Sc in the next st.mark st w/ st marker.Sc in the next 10 sts. Dec.Sc in the next 2 sts.Sl st in the next 6 sts (loosen your tension for the sl sts).Sc in the next 2 sts. Dec.Sc in the remaining 3 sts of the rnd. (26)

Please make sure to double check your stitch counts for this row and the next, it’s so easy to lose a stitch!

18. Sc in the next 8 sts. Dec, dec.Sc in the next 8.Dec, dec.Sc in the last 2 sts. (22)

19. Sc in the next 13 sts. Sl st in the next 5 sts (loosen your tension on the sl sts).Sc in the last 4 sts. (22)

Lightly stuff the foot. Continue to stuff the leg as you go.

20-21. Sc in each st around. (22)

22. Inc. Sc in the next 6 sts. Inc. Sc in the remaining 14 sts of the rnd. (24)

23-35. Sc in each st of rnd. (24)

36. Sc in the next 7 sts. Dec, dec. Sc in the next 9 sts. Inc, sc, inc. Sc in the last st. (24)

37-39. Sc in each st around. (24)

40. Sc in the next 7 sts. Inc, sc, inc. Sc in the remaining 14 sts of the rnd. (26)

41. Sc in the next 21 sts. Dec, sc, dec. (24)

42. Sc in the next 3 sts. Inc. Sc in the next 12 sts. Inc. Sc in the remaining 7 sts. (26)

43. Sc in the next 11 sts. Inc. Sc in the next 12 sts. Inc. Sc in the last st. (28)

44-46. Sc in each st around. (28)

47. Sc in the next 6 sts. Inc. Sc in the next 13 sts. Inc. Sc in the remaining 7 sts. (30)

48-54. Sc in each st around. (30)

F/o the first leg. Repeat for second leg but do not f/o second leg, continue to body.

Grab your first leg and we are going to connect them in the next step as we start the body of your Payton Doll.

Sc in the next 7 sts (Be sure to mark your first st). Ch 6.Pinch the top right side of the other leg to find the center stitch.Connect to the other leg with a sc. Scaround until you reach the ch 6.Sc in each ch.Continue to Sc in the next st of the other leg. Sc around until you reach the stitch marker.


1. Sc in 7. Sc in the next 6 sts back across to the other leg.Sc in the next st of the leg.Continue to Sc around the remaining sts of leg and across to the opposite leg until the marked stitch is reached. (70)

2-5. Sc in each st of rnd. (70)

6. Sc in the next 4 sts. Inc. Sc in the next 5 sts. Inc. Sc in the next 5 sts. Inc. Sc in the next 20 sts. Inc. [Sc in 4, inc] 3 times. Sc in the remaining 17 sts. (77)

Now is a great time to get comfy and turn on Netflix, zone out, and work some rounds. What are you currently binging? I need something new, I'm so sad I blew through "Bridgerton" soooo fast.

7-12. Sc in each st around. (77)