Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Gift a Day Gift Six: A Fancy Teddy Bear

This ranks up there with one of the hardest gifts I've ever made and I'm not kidding.

I was at the thrift store last year and ran into a bag in the craft section.  In the plastic bag there was pieces of a partially made teddy bear and the entire thing was attached to a book about making teddy bears and clothes.

I wasn't even sure if the teddy bear was actually made according to the book or not, but for 1.25 for the book and bear pieces I had to give it a shot.  Man was I nuts *laugh*.

The teddy bear, it turns out, was articulating, which was hard to see in the bag I got the parts in, but they were all there.  I read through the book and was able to figure out what I needed to do to finish the bear.  It took a while to do, but four hours later I had a teddy bear looking at me.  I did learn that getting a stuffed animal articulating is not easy, but I got all the parts working, got the threads matching and everything working right after some figuring.

It is still kind of loose in the joints, but I'm not sure if that's something I did wrong or just the nature of the "making it yourself articulation" beast.  Overall, though, I was happy with the result.

So, I put the bear in a drawer and there it sat for this year's Christmas presents.  I wasn't sure who I would give it to, but when it came to gift giving, I like to give my daughter one home made toy a year, so I decided the bear would fit the bill.  So, of course, I had to figure out a way to make the bear "fancy" for her!

Remember this skirt I made for her?

Well, I figured it'd be fun if the bear kind of matched her new skirt, so I used a remnant of fabric that I had left over from making the skirt to make the bear a matching skirt.

I then took some lace that my step mom had sent me in one of her boxes and some 3/4" elastic (another bit of leftovers that I'd been keeping) and made a head band for the bear, completing the band with a flower applique I'd gotten in with like six other flowers at the used store a couple of years ago.  The applique had a sticky dot on the back, so I wonder if it was for scrap booking or something originally, but I sewed it onto the head band by hand so it'll stay put and look cute.

I then took some elastic string and some of my many beads and made the bear a matching bracelet and necklace.  And voila!  One fancy bear!

I made the skirt long enough, too that the skirt can be pulled up under the bear's armpits to make a short dress.

Now, you don't have to make your own teddy bear to do something like this for someone special.  Check your local thrift stores for a in really great shape stuffed animal (I've seen them with the tags still on them even) or watch for really good sales at your local stores and then just make some quick clothing for the animal out of materials and scraps you have.  It will add that personal touch that will make the gift your own and still save you a bunch of money in the long run :).

Total Cost of Gift:  1.25 for the book/instructions and bear pieces and probably about .50 in total materials otherwise.

Total time to make gift:  4 hours to construct bear (thank you to the unknown person who did the really hard work for me!) and 1 1/2 hours to make accessories.


  1. Erika, that is one cute looking teddy bear! I would have never guessed that you actually sewed it. Great Job!!! That teddy is looking pretty spiffy with all those accessories too. Your daughter will love it!

  2. That is a really cute bear. your daughter is going to love it. :)