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Teddy Bear History | Crafts
The tools you will need to make your own teddy bear.
NOTE (1) See craft tips for cutting felt
- Long nosed pliers
- Scissors - one pair for cutting fabric and one pair for cutting paper and felt. NOTE (1)
- Metal ruler
- Thin felt tip pen
- Interfacing or cardboard - for making patterns
- Beeswax - to wax thread prior to sewing. This makes it stronger
- Thread - carpet or button thread for heavy duty sewing.
- mercerized cotton thread for general sewing needs
- Cotter pins and washers - needed if making a jointed bear
- Needles - 8 to 12 inch toymaker's. These are used to attach the eyes
- T-pins - these will hold pieces together firmly.
- Straight pins - general sewing
- Toothpicks or popscicle sticks - spreading glue
Stuffing comes in several mediums. Polyester fiber is the product that is available everywhere. Other types of stuffings are
cotton batting, the same material used in making quilts. Plastic pellets can be mixed with polyester to give the bear some weight. For
a sweet smelling bear, fill it with dried lavender flowers mixed with other materials. Kapok, a material that has a silky feel to it, is like
silk twist floss, hard to find and is known to be quite expensive.
To prevent fiber stuffings from "lumping", pull them apart. Using small pieces of material may cause lumps to form later. It is
best to keep the stuffing in as few of pieces as possible. Take your time when inserting stuffing. The end result should be smooth and
firm with no bulges or hollows.
The bear will come alive when it's eyes are added. Choice of eyes may range from buttons to movable glass with shank or
wire backs. If the bear is to be a gift for a young child, it is recommended to use acrylic eyes that come with lock washers or simply
embroider eyes in place. Eyes are sold in various sizes and this needs to be considered depending on the size of the project. Eyes that
come with wire shanks will have to be afixed using long nosed pliers and wire cutters.
Fabric & Floss
Choose fabric that best suits your pattern. Be sure to have enough on hand should you make a cutting or sewing error.
Suitable materials for the body, arms and legs and head might include velvet or velveteen, felt, fleece, textured wool and jersey-backed
fur fabric. The bear's paw pads and the bottom of his feet should be made from a contrasting material and/or the same material in
a contrasting color.
Embroidery thread is commonly used to stitch the nose and mouth and is readily available in almost any color desired to
finish your project. The pattern being used may call for silk twist floss. This is not a common product and customarily it is only
found in white or a neutral color. The use of regular embroidery floss is by far the best choice.