Dumpster Fire Crochet Pattern w/ 100% Soft

crocheted version of 100% Soft dumpster fire

Let’s knock out 2020 with THE BEST CROCHET PROJECT OF THE YEAR!!! It’s 100% Soft‘s Dumpster Fire!!! Truck asked if I wanted to translate his iconic and super popular Dumpster Fire into a crocheted plush, and I said OF COURSE.

crocheted version of 100% Soft's dumpster fire

I stayed as true as I could to his original vinyl toy. I didn’t want y’all just crocheting a box with some weak flames inside. This means that the construction is a little bit more involved than with some of my other projects, but I truly feel the results are worth it. I mean, just look at this dude!

Twinkie Chan and her crocheted dumpster fire, also wearing a black dumpster fire t shirt by 100% Soft
bottom of crocheted dumpster fire
back view of crocheted dumpster fire

I have a YouTube tutorial for you also. It’s my longest yet at 2 hours and 15 minutes long. Get ready to hunker down with me. If you don’t need the video, you can find the free pattern below, and also a more gorgeous, printer-friendly PDF in my Etsy shop.

I can’t wait to see all of your lil dumps!

DUMPSTER FIRE CROCHET PATTERN

MATERIALS

Some of my materials links are affiliate links, which means I earn a very small percentage of the sale if you make a purchase.

I used Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran, but any worsted weight yarn will work.

– Approx. 50 yards of Teal (Paintbox in Marine Blue) 

– Approx. 20 yards of Yellow (Paintbox in Buttercup Yellow)

– Approx. 20 yards of Grey (Paintbox in Slate Grey)

– Approx. 10 yards of Orange (Paintbox in Blood Orange)

– Less than 1 yard of Black (Paintbox in Black)

– Two 9mm black round safety eyes

– G6/4.0mm crochet hook [I like a bamboo-handled Susan Bates]

– Scissors [cute as heck]

– Tapestry needle [my favorite size]

– Stitch markers or a piece of scrap yarn in a contrasting color

– 2 good handfuls of of Polyfil stuffing

– Optional: heavyweight interfacing, cardboard or plastic grid (plus fabric glue) to strengthen the crochet structure

– Optional: straight pins

GAUGE – I wouldn’t worry about it. Honestly. If your toy is bigger or smaller than mine, that’s okay. All toys are beautiful.

FINISHED SIZE – mine was approx. 4.5 inches wide and 5 inches tall including the flames

Abbreviations in U.S. terms

BLO: back loop only

ch(s): chain(s)

rnd(s): round(s)

RS: right side

sc: single crochet

sc2tog: single crochet 2 together

sk: skip

sl st: slip stitch

st(s): stitch(es)

WS: wrong side

YO: yarn over

(  ): work everything inside the parentheses into the next stitch

[  ]: repeat everything inside the brackets the number of times indicated

Stitch Refresher

sc2tog – single crochet two together – Insert hook into desired stitch, YO, pull through 1. Insert hook into following stitch, YO, pull through 1. YO, pull through all 3 loops on hook.

Notes

– Some of you might wonder why I designed this in so many separate pieces. Yes, it would have been possible to consolidate some of them and reduce the amount of sewing, but since certain sides of the dumpster have various embellishments, it is easier for me to communicate and for you to visualize where these embellishments go if you only have to handle one small section at a time. I also feel like it’s easier to visualize how to assemble. 

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Front Panel

– With Teal, ch 13. 

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly. – 12 sts

Rows 2-6: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly. – 12 sts

– Break off and weave in both ends.

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Back Panel

– With Teal, ch 13. 

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly. – 12 sts

Rows 2-10: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly. – 12 sts

– Break off and weave in both ends.

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Bottom Panel

– With Teal, ch 13. 

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly. – 12 sts

Rows 2-11: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly. – 12 sts

– Break off and leave an arm-length yarn tail for sewing later.

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Side Panels – Make 2

– With Teal, give yourself an 18-inch yarn tail, then ch 7. 

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly. – 6 sts

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly. – 6 sts

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. (2 sc), 5 sc. – 7 sts

Rows 4-5: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly. – 7 sts

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. 6 sc, (2 sc). – 8 sts

Rows 7-8: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly – 8 sts

Row 9: Ch 1, turn. (2 sc), 7 sc. – 9 sts

Rows 10-11: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly. – 9 sts

– Break off leaving an 18-inch yarn tail.

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Handles – Make 2

– With Teal, ch 10.

Rnd 1: Sk 1st ch, 8 sc. In last ch, (2 sc). Working on the opposite side of the foundation ch, work 8 more sc. Don’t join the rnd. – 18 sts

Rnd 2: Sl st evenly around, then sl st to 1st sl st to join. – 18 sts.

– Break off leaving 18 inches of yarn for sewing and weave in other end. The RS of your work should show on the outside of the Handle.

– It’s ok if your Handle doesn’t lay flat. It’s not supposed to. You’ll eventually be folding it in half length-wise to sew it onto a Side Panel.

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Top Panel

– This is going to look a little weird. The Top Panel needs to have a big hole in it to make space for the Flame Bucket and dumpster flames.

– With Teal, ch 13. 

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly. – 12 sts

Row 2a: Ch 1, turn. 6 sc. Leave remaining sts unworked. – 6 sts

Rows 3a-12a: Ch 1, turn. 6 sc.

– Break off and leave an 8-inch tail for sewing. Weave in other end.

– Now you will complete the other side and the top edge of this panel, thus enclosing the big space.

Row 2b: Without turning your piece, the WS of Row 1 should be facing you now. Re-join Teal into the far left stitch, which is the 1st sc of Row 1. Ch 1, work 1 sc. – 1 st

Rows 3b-10b: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc. – 1 st

Row 11b: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc. Then ch 6. – 1 st and 6 chs

Row 12b: Sk the 1st ch from your hook, then 5 sc evenly in remaining chs. Complete this row by working 1 sc into the top of the sc from Row 11b, making sure that this row of 5 sc points toward the “A” section of stitches and is not sticking out the opposite direction. – 6 sts

– Don’t break off because you’re going to keep crocheting later to attach the Top Panel to the top of your dumpster. Pull the loop on your hook to make the loop really big and avoid accidentally pulling out any stitches while you work on other parts. You can also break off leaving a tail of 5 yards for using later, or just break off and weave in the end, knowing that you’ll have to rejoin in the same spot later.

– Next, you need to close the gap between Row 12a and 12b. Do this with a tapestry needle and the remaining yarn tail from 12a. Sew a whipstitch or two and tie down. Weave in that end.

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Flame Bucket

– This is going to be the base for your flames. We want the flames to look like they are shooting out from inside the dumpster and not just sitting on top of it. So we’re creating a bucket for them to sit in. Not only will this help make the flames look like they are shooting out from inside, but it will also be a lot easier to sew the bottom of the flames down. This piece will be a rectangle the same size as the hole in the Top Panel, with a couple rounds of sc around it to form the sides of the bucket.

– With Teal, ch 6.

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly across. – 5 sts

Rows 2-10: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly across. – 5 sts

– Now you’ll start to work around this rectangle.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, turn. In BLO, work 5 sc. Now working in the side of the rectangle, 9 sc evenly. Across the bottom edge, work 5 sc. Then across the last side, work 9 sc. Sl st to 1st sc to join. – 28 sts

Rnds 2-4: Ch 1, turn. Now working in both loops, sc evenly around. Sl st to 1st sc to join. – 28 sts

– Break off leaving 24 inches of yarn for sewing and weave in other end.

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Big Flames – Make 2

– This flame is made like a pillow, with 2 of the same pieces sewn together and lightly stuffed.

– We’re also going to play around with increases and decreases to create curves in the flame shape.

– With Yellow, give yourself an 18-inch yarn tail and then ch 7.

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly. – 6 sts

Rows 2-4: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly. – 6 sts

Row 5: Ch 1, turn. (2 sc), 3 sc, sc2tog. – 6 sts

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. Sc2tog, sc2tog, sc, (2 sc). – 5 sts

Row 7: Ch 1, turn. (2 sc), sc2tog, sc2tog. – 4 sts

Row 8: Ch 1, turn. 2 sc, sc2tog. – 3 sts

Row 9: Ch 1, turn. Sk 1, sc2tog, then work one more sc in same st. – 2 sts

Row 10: Ch 1, turn. Sc2tog. – 1 st

– Break off Yellow.

– With the RS of Row 10 still facing you, join Orange in the bottom right corner, where your beginning Yellow yarn tail is sticking out. You’ll be working a rnd of sc, just along the long edges of the flame, and not the bottom. Because there are curves involved, we will need to add some extra stitches here and there.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, in next st work sc and sc again in next st. (2 sc), then (2 sc) again. Then 6 sc evenly to get to the top.  The next stitch should be the single sc2tog from Row 10 at the tip of the triangle. In this st, work (sc, ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, sc) to create a nice point for the flame. Then 2 sc, (2 sc), sc, (2 sc), 5 sc, then sl st into the corner to join.

– Break off leaving 24 inches of yarn for sewing and weave in the 2 short ends.

– When you make the 2nd piece, you don’t need to leave long tails at the beginning or end, and you can weave in all ends.

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Little Flames – Make 2

– This piece is similar to the Big Flame except it will be 2 flames stuck together that are shorter and thinner.

– With Yellow, give yourself an 18-inch yarn tail, then ch 6.

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly across. – 5 sts

Row 2a: Ch 1, turn. 3 sc evenly. Leave remaining 2 sts unworked. – 3 sts

Row 3a: Ch 1, turn. Sk 1, sc, (2 sc). – 3 sts

Row 4a: Ch 1, turn. (2 sc), sk 1, sc.– 3 sts

Row 5a: Ch 1, turn. (2 sc), sc2tog. – 3 sts

Row 6a: Ch 1, turn. Sk 1, 2 sc. – 2 sts

Row 7a: Ch 1, turn. Sc2tog. – 1 st

Row 8a: Ch 1, turn. Sc. – 1 st

– Break off Yellow. 

– Work on the other small triangle of this piece. With the RS of Row 2 facing you, re-join Yellow in the next free st in Row 2. 

Rows 2b-3b: Ch 1, sc evenly. – 2 sts

Row 4b: Ch 1, turn. Sk 1, sc. – 1 st

Row 5b: Ch 1, turn. Sc. – 1 st

– Break off Yellow. 

– Work a rnd of Orange along the top of the flames, and not the bottom edge.

– With the RS of Row 1 facing you, join Orange in the lower right corner, at the beginning of Row 1.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in the next st, then 4 more sc evenly along the edge until you get to the top of the first peak. Work (sc, ch 3, sk 1st ch from hook then sl st in next 2 chs, sc), then 4 sc evenly down the other side. You might not be all the way down at the bottom of the triangle but that’s ok. This will help keep the Little Flame from getting too wide. Now you’ll be working on the next triangle. I work my first sc into the side of Row 3a. 5 more sc evenly up the side. At the top of this peak, work (sc, ch 3, sk 1st ch from hook then sl st in next 2 chs, sc), then 3 sc, (2 sc), sc, (2 sc), 2 sc. Sl st into the corner to join. 

– Break off leaving 18 inches of yarn for sewing later and weave in other Orange end. There will probably be a bit of a gap in the middle of Row 3-Row 4, and you can use a Yellow yarn tail to sew up this gap as you weave in the rest of the short ends.

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Top Lid

– With Grey, ch 12.

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly across. – 11 sts

Rows 2-7: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly across. – 11 sts

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Back Lid

– With Grey, ch 9.

Row 1: Sk 1st ch, sc evenly across. – 8 sts

Rows 2-7: Ch 1, turn. Sc evenly across. – 8 sts

– Break off leaving an arm’s length of yarn for sewing later and weave in other end.

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Hinges – Make 4

– With Grey, ch 4.

– Break off. Your yarn tails don’t need to be very long here. Maybe just like 6-8 inches each.

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Wheels – Make 4

– With Grey, make magic circle, or ch 3 and sl st to 1st ch to form ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, 6 sc into ring. Sl st to 1st sc to join. – 6 sts

– Break off leaving an 18-inch yarn tail.

– With a tapestry needle, weave the long yarn tail through the 6 remaining sts and pull to close up the stitches and create a small ball. The WS of my stitches will end up on the outside of the ball. Tie off and keep this end for sewing later. Weave in the shorter end.

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Assembly

  1. If you want, you can block all of your pieces before sewing them together. I’m honestly too lazy to do this and don’t mind if there are some inconsistencies and asymmetries in my finished plush. 
  • You don’t have to reinforce any of your pieces with heavyweight interfacing, but I choose to do so for the Bottom Panel. Cut a piece of interfacing that is slightly smaller than the size of the Bottom Panel. You want to keep an edge of crochet clear around the interfacing so you have room to sew through the edges of the panel for assembly. I also round the corners of the interfacing so there aren’t any corners poking out of my crochet work. Use fabric glue to attach.
  • If you want to reinforce the Front Panel, you need to be mindful of the safety eyes. I didn’t reinforce anything except the Bottom Panel, so if you don’t want to either, ignore the parts where I talk about the interfacing from now on. Cut out the interfacing slightly smaller than the Front Panel. With Row 6 of the Front Panel at the top and Row 1 at the bottom, insert safety eyes (don’t snap the backs on yet) in Row 4, with 5 stitches in between them. You can use your own judgment for placement, but that’s where I placed mine. You’ll need to cut a small hole or X in the interfacing so that the post of the safety eye goes all the way through. If you’re using interfacing, you’ll need to add a mouth before snapping the safety eyes closed on the Front Panel and the interfacing. If you’re not, go ahead and snap the eyes here.
  • With Black yarn, create a small smile with surface sl st or an embroidery stitch of your choice. It only takes a few sts. I used 3. Break off and weave in ends.
  • If your you’re using interfacing, you can now line up the interfacing with the Front Panel, snap the eyes into place, and secure the interfacing with fabric glue.
  • Sew one Handle to each Side Panel. The top of the Side Panels is the edge with all of the increases, and the bottom is the edge with the yarn tails sticking out. Be sure before sewing each Handle down that you’ve got one Side Panel oriented to the right and the other to the left. The Handles can be squished to be flatter or more 3D. I press the long sides together so that the Handle is more 3D before sewing. Pin in place before sewing if that’s easier. If you want to reinforce the inside of each Side Panel, go ahead and do that now with interfacing and fabric glue.
  • Place the Bottom Panel on a flat surface. Use that yarn tail to sew the long edge of the Bottom Panel to the long edge (Row 1) of the Back Panel.
  • Place the Bottom Panel on a flat surface. Use that yarn tail to sew the long edge of the Bottom Panel to the long edge (Row 1) of the Back Panel.
  • Grab the Side Panel that has a Handle facing the outside of the dumpster with its tall side lined up with the edge of the Back Panel. They should be the same height. Sew the bottom of this Side Panel to the Bottom Panel.
  • Grab the Front Panel, and with the face toward the outside of the dumpster, sew the bottom of the Front Panel to the Bottom Panel.
  • Grab the other Side Panel, making sure the Handle is facing the outside of the dumpster. The tall side should align with the Back Panel. Sew the bottom of this Side Panel to the Bottom Panel. 
  • Sew together all the edges of the panels to create a box with an open top. You can use all the extra yarn tails to do this. The box may seem a little lopsided, but you can manipulate and pull and stretch the pieces a bit. 
  • Now you’ll work on the Top Panel and the flames. Line up the corner of the Flame Bucket so that the openings of the two pieces match. I start with the long yarn tail of the Flame Bucket in the top left corner of the Top Panel hole. Think of the Top Panel as a countertop and the Flame Bucket as the sink. Pin down in the corners first if helpful and then whipstitch the edges together all around.
  •  Take the 2 pieces of the Big Flame and lay one on top of the other, matching the shapes. The RS of the Orange rnd should face up toward you. Use the Orange yarn tail to whipstitch the orange edges together. To reduce bulk in the seam, I whipstitch only one loop from each piece, and I use the loops that are closest to where the 2 pieces meet, i.e. the back loop of the front piece and the front loop of the back piece. Leave the Yellow edge open and put in a little stuffing. You don’t need too much. If you want to make your flames removable, sew this bottom seam closed and skip the step for sewing the flames into the bucket.
  •  Repeat previous step with the Little Flame.
  •  Arrange Big Flame and Little Flame inside the Flame Bucket. You can play with how much stuffing you want to put in the flames here and see how they fit in the bucket. Use the long yellow tails to sew the bottom edges of each flame to the bottom of the bucket. I sometimes find it easier to pop the bucket up and out toward me so that I can easily see how the bottom of the flames and bottom of the bucket meet. Before tying any knots, pop the bucket back down and make sure you like the placement of your flames. This stitching doesn’t have to be perfect. Nobody will see it, and you just want to make sure that the flames don’t fall out or sit in the bucket in a weird way.
  •  Put the Top Panel on top of the dumpster. Arrange a little bit of stuffing under the flame bucket and in front of it, and also stuff the right side of the dumpster. You won’t need a lot. Use your judgment and what looks best to you. With the dumpster face looking at you, line up the corner of the Top Panel and the last stitch you worked in it with the back left corner of the dumpster. You will be sc’ing through both layers to attach the Top Panel to the top of the dumpster and create a border with a slight ridge. Pin the Top Panel in place first, especially matching up the corners, all the way around, to make sure nothing shifts while you crochet.
  • You’ll want the WS of this rnd of sc stitches to show on the top of the dumpster. This is really important and can alter the entire look if the RS of the stitches end up showing on top. Place your hook back into the live loop on the Top Panel. Ch 1 and TURN. Insert your hook through the Back Panel and then the Top Panel and work your single crochet. With each subsequent sc, your hook will first go through the Back Panel and then the Top Panel to work the stitch. 12 sc total across this edge. In the corner, work (3 sc). Now 10 sc evenly across the next edge. Check your level of stuffing here and add or subtract. (3 sc) in the corner again. 12 sc across the front, (3 sc) in the corner, 10 sc again across the last side edge, then (3 sc) in the last corner. Sl st to the first sc of this rnd and break off. Weave in ends. 
  •  Each lid will need 2 Hinges. Place the Top Lid on the right side of the dumpster. You should still be able to see some teal border around it. The lid shouldn’t meet any of the dumpster top edges exactly. If you need to, add or subtract rows to get the look that you want. Pin in place, leaving yourself some room to work on the top/back edge. Decide where you want the 2 Hinges. Attach them by piercing the top of the lid with one of the Hinge tails and then securing it with a knot underneath the lid. Then, with the other yarn tail, take the Hinge over the top edge of the Lid, pierce through the top of the dumpster without crossing over the dumpster edge and without seeing your stitch on the back of the dumpster, then bring your needle back up through the top lid, and you can either secure with a knot on the dumpster or underneath the lid. Doesn’t matter where as long as the Hinge is secure and the ends are all hidden under the lid. Repeat with the other Hinge. If you find that your Hinges seems too short or too long, adjust how many chains long they are.
  •  Pin Back Lid to the back of the dumpster, making sure that the top edge of the Back Lid peeks over the edge of the dumpster by about 1 row. Arrange the Hinges. With the front of the dumpster facing you, take one end of a Hinge and pierce your needle into the top and back of the dumpster, basically into the lip created by the sc round. Tie a knot on the back of the dumpster. Nobody will see this since the Back Lid will cover it. The other end of the back hinge will come over the top of the lid and into the back wherever the Hinge naturally lands. Tie a knot underneath the lid to hide it. 
  •  Flip the dumpster over to see the bottom. Arrange 1 Wheel in each corner, slightly away from the edges. Sew down and weave in ends. This is the last step!

YAY! YOU DID IT!

Don’t forget to tag @twinkiechan and @100soft if you post photos of your finished dumpsters.

We’d love to see them and share!

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16 Replies to “Dumpster Fire Crochet Pattern w/ 100% Soft”

  1. Mankycat says:

    This is so cute, so this year s symbol, I have been through chemotherapy and all the pain that goes with breast cancer triple positive , and you make me smile , laugh I haven’t in a hellish year with all the covid complications breast cancer triple positive treatment has been alone no support allowed ,but I could take my yarn . Keep up the good work you may never know how much you help some one thanks…

    1. TwinkieChan says:

      Hello! I’m so glad that you are here and laughing and crocheting. Your message really made my day. Thank you for supporting my work. I’m so glad that we both have crocheting :). I hope you are able to have a happy holiday and know that I am here thinking of you and supporting you!

  2. Chy says:

    Your blog pattern is stunning! I love your photo quality and your aesthetic. It’s too cute!

    1. TwinkieChan says:

      Aw hello! Thanks so much! 🙂

  3. D Aryd'ell Hotelling says:

    With the virus, politics, and general population worries, this gave me a huge smile and will be a treasured ornament to recall that this too, shall pass. Thank you for doing this in such great detail!

    1. TwinkieChan says:

      I’m so happy it makes you happy! 🙂

  4. Lori says:

    Adorable!! I have the feet to do and then I’m done!! 2020icon for sure Thanks!!

  5. Kristen says:

    This is the BEST thing ever! I’m not sure if my beginner crochet skills are up to it, but I’m gonna try anyway and laugh along the way. THANK YOU!!

    1. TwinkieChan says:

      I’m sure you’ll do great! The crocheting part is probably easier than all the sewing hehehehe.

  6. Rachael says:

    This is such a lovely pattern, thank you! It made me very happy to ring in the new year making it, and it was quite a challenge to translate your pattern into my three differently sized yarns! (Smaller, darker teal, similar red and orange and larger grey). I wish I’d had a similar colour to your teal (so bright and happy!), but I really think the thicker grey yarn did wonders (looks like it’s corrugated the way bin lids are!). I ended up doing something like half as many stiches!

    1. TwinkieChan says:

      Yeah I can’t really account for when people have all different weights of yarns but it sounds like yours turned out great!

  7. Triahay321 says:

    Hello! So I’m in the process of making the parts for 3 of these little guys. I’m working on the lids. Are the tails actually necessary on these pieces, or should they just be woven in? In the directions, I’m just see how to assemble with hinges, so I’m not sure what my tails are for. Thanks so much!

    1. TwinkieChan says:

      The hinges only hold down the lid at that one point. If you want the lid to be flat all around, you still need yarn to sew the lids down.

  8. Andrea says:

    I love mine so much!! It came out soooo cute <3. I bought the Etsy pattern so I could print it out. The pictures help so much to ensure I’m doing it correctly. Love love love your blog. I came here a while back for Baby Groot and your projects are some of my favorite.

    1. TwinkieChan says:

      Thank you, Andrea!!! It makes me endlessly happy that you are enjoying the projects, and thank you so so much for your support and buying the dumpster pattern! <3

  9. Erica says:

    Love this! You are such a great artist, Twinkie!

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