How To Crochet Portraits – Make A Crochet Graphgan – Free crochet tutorial

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Learn the secrets of how to crochet portraits into a stunning graphgan from an existing photograph with this tutorial.

I made a crochet portrait of my late boss Daniel Salomon, M.D. from The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA. It was a gift for his wife who absolutely loved it which made me very happy.

When posting a finished picture of it on social media, lots of people asked how I made it. Well, this post will hopefully answer all the questions on how I made the crochet portrait.

How to Make a Graphgan or Portrait Tutorial - convert picture to crochet pattern free

How to crochet portraits process

First of all, there is no real pattern on how to make a crochet portrait. It is a graph that I designed using THIS LINK. I started by uploading a picture that I wanted to make into a graphgan.

Though I did not try the WinStitch/ MacStitch program I was told it lets you upload a picture and turn it into a written pattern.

In case you would like to try it, HERE is the link. No guarantees that it works as I never tried it. But hopefully will soon though.

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I had a picture of my late boss but changed the colors of the picture. I changed it from colorful to black/white/grey using PowerPoint.

Yes, you do not need any fancy tools to turn a great-looking picture into graphgan.

Once I uploaded the picture to the link mentioned above (microrevolt), I clicked on the “big” size as well as the “crochet” stitch size. I printed it out and used it as a template to get my yarn to use for the project.

START YOUR OWN BLOG IN UNDER 5 MINUTES! See how to do that HERE! I did, so you can too!

Secret to Making a Graphgan and how to convert picture to crochet pattern

At first I did not know how much yarn I would use. It is hard to determine considering everyone has a different image, tension and different color amount.

I bought 4 skeins (1 white, 1 black, and 2 different grey tones) of Caron One Pound. I have plenty of it still left over

But I used more white and black, as you can tell from the picture.

Did you know I work in Research and work with DNA? Well, I created a DNA helix that can be used in schools as models to teach children the importance of science! Get the FREE pattern HERE

How To Crochet Portraits Video Tutorials

Below you can find a video tutorial on how to crochet portraits and create a beautiful graphgan or a framed picture.

This is an updated video that should better explain the process.

Here is also the Video tutorial on how to make a crochet graphgan/crochet portrait on a small example (ORIGINAL VERSION):

How to crochet from the graph

I used all single crochet for the crochet portrait, meaning one single crochet equals one tile on the graph.

You can also use the Waistcoat Stitch instead of single crochet as that probably looks neater in the end. HERE is a tutorial for the Waistcoat Stitch.

Also, I recently created a tutorial on how to change colors using the bobbin method! Check it out HERE! It sure will help you keep your colors organized!

I went back and forth in rows, meaning I turned my work and did not crochet only in one direction.

Using a 5.0mm hook and the “big” size graph my crochet portrait turned out to be a 24×30 inch picture. Perfect for a frame that size.

By the way, the frame I bought had plexiglass. Because crochet creations usually are not the thinness of a paper, it would have never fit into a frame with glass.

However, some people also make it into a blanket. You can sew a fabric to the back of the portrait to hide all the ends. It saves on time not having to weave it in which is the reason I used a frame for the finished display.

Learn to Make a Graphgan or crochet portrait

Crochet Edging

After finishing the crochet portrait, I went all the way around it to make an edge. I used 1 double crochet per stitch (3 dc in the corner stitches).

Before weaving in or tying off some of the ends so they do not show in the front.

To better explain how you can make a graphgan, I created a video using a small image of a heart.

It shows you how to change colors and create a good (right) side and a bad (wrong) side.

The wrong side has all the yarn accumulations whereas the right side shows the actual image that is created.

I hope this post as well as the video below helps you to make a beautiful graphgan on your own. It really is not that hard.

I think patience is the only thing I recommend you to have. This is not a project that is finished overnight. I took about 2 weeks, sometimes working on it all day.

Also here are some progress pictures and pictures of the finished project. As you can tell on the pictures, I used a green pen to mark off when I finished a stitch or to count stitches.

I usually marked every 10 stitches which made it easier to count when one colors was a long row.

Please see the picture below on how I clipped my yarn balls onto a board to keep them from tangling. It also helps and makes turning your work so much easier.

convert picture to crochet pattern free

I hope you love this how to crochet portraits tutorial as much as I do.

If you love it, please use the social media share buttons above or below and share it with the world and your friends. 

Do not forget to pin it to your Pinterest Board so you can easily find it later.

That way you will find it easily again when you need it and you also provide the world and your friends with the ability to gain extra crochet knowledge as well. 

And to top it off, you help me as it allows me to create more content that you love already and want to see more of – free crochet patterns and tutorials. So, thank you for sharing.


You can have the most amazing pattern and yarn in the world, but if you don’t have the knowledge on how to crochet in a way that makes you proud, then all your work is for nothing.

Maybe you have a dream of having perfect straight seams or have less yarn to weave in?

Let me introduce you to THE CROCHET CLUB – AN ALL-ACCESS MEMBERSHIP! It is exactly what it says on the tin. If you sign up for the membership I will teach you different techniques and tips on how to improve your crochet projects!

You will get access to all my patterns in PDF formats and full support from me to guide you through the tricky bits. I will also teach you what YOU want to learn! Join me in THE CROCHET CLUB – AN ALL-ACCESS MEMBERSHIP!


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  1. Hi I went to the link and clicked big size but how do you pick the crochet stitch size because I would really love to try this it is gorgous you are so talented.

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