How to Crochet HDC Shell Edging

An easy crochet scalloped edge free pattern

Holiday Scarves with HDC Shell Edging
Holiday Scarves with HDC Shell Edging. Amy Solovay

It's easy to crochet this beautiful crochet shell stitch edging pattern. This pattern features instructions for turning corners so that you can use it on a diverse array of different projects, not simply those such as towel edgings where you might only work along one edge. You can use this free crochet shell pattern for crocheting blanket borders or for finishing off any other type of project that needs a nice scalloped crochet edging.


Skill Level: Beginner

This is a very simple crochet pattern that uses basic stitches, particularly the half double crochet stitch. It is a great choice for a beginner to use when adding an edging to a simple afghan or washcloth.

Crochet Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:

HDC Edging Free Crochet Pattern

This edging is a multiple of 4 + 1 stitches. This means if you are starting with a chain then you crochet a multiple of 4 plus 1 (for example, 21 or 37 stitches.) You may not be starting with a chain; you may instead be starting by working into the edge of a finished work such as a blanket. The basic concept and counting will be the same.

Basic Crochet Edging Instructions

  • Sl st in first st.
  • [Skip the next st, work 5 hdc in the next st, skip next st, sl st in next st.]
  • Repeat sequence in brackets all the way across the row. You'll end this row with a sl st.
  • End off. Weave in these ends and any other remaining loose ends.

Versions With Corners

You can use this as an afghan edging or edging for other items with corners, where you want to work the shell border all the way around the entire piece. To do so, use the instructions as given above; when you get to a corner, ch 1, sl st in first st on the next side, and continue working in pattern.

If you want the corner to look a little fancier, you could work a picot stitch into the corner instead. Here's how to do that ... When you get to the corner, after working the last sl st in the row, ch 3, sc in 3rd ch from hook, sl st in first st on the next side, and continue working in pattern.

Adding Colors

This scalloped crochet dging pattern looks best when the shell stitch is worked in a color that contrasts yet harmonizes with the project.

You can add another color to the edging itself by easily by working a row or round of surface crochet slip stitches to create an outline where the edging touches the main body of the project.

Vintage Crochet Inspirations

This crochet edging pattern is inspired in part by the shell stitch edging shown on Page 92 of The Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches book by Sylvia Cosh and James Walters published in 1986 by Lyric Books Limited. However, that pattern uses double crochet stitches instead of half double crochet stitches, making the version here shorter. Additionally, the vintage crochet pattern uses sc stitches where this one uses slip stitches. Both this pattern shown here and the one in the Harmony Guide are derivatives of traditional classic shell stitch patterns originally published in vintage crochet manuals.