Teddy Bear Joints
Hi! Time to carry on with my first bear project George. Here I begin with stuffing and jointing one of Georges legs. When stuffing teddy bears it is best to use small amounts of stuffing at a time. Pack it in firmly and avoid leaving any air spaces which will be hard to sort out later.
The stuffing process is very much a part of the art of bear making. The way you stuff your bear will alter both the look and feel the finished bear. I was amazed at how different I could make Georges head look depending on how I put the stuffing in. The wooden spoon has become a full time member of my teddy bear making toolkit. Apart from making a terrific stuffing tool it is great for stretching out seams.
Making Teddy bear joints
Here I am making the hole for the cotter pin to pass through. The picture below shows the awl that made it’s way from my woodworking tool kit into my teddy bear making tool kit. Does a great job!
Teddy bear joints useful tool!
I decided to round off the edges of the hardboard discs of the teddy bear joints as they are quite shape and could cause wear to the fabric. A bit of glass paper is good for this. A small washer goes on the cotter pin before the pin is inserted through the disc.
The whole assembly is then fitted through the hole in the fabric. The stuffing is completed and the top of the leg sewn up neatly using ladder stitch. When doing the last bit of stuffing and sewing be sure to leave a bit of an angle on the inside leg where the leg meets the body so that the finished leg runs fairly parallel with the body in the standing position.
Nicely placed teddy bear joint with stuffing going in.
Below the teddy bear joint has been fitted through Georges body. Another disc has been sanded and placed and another washer fitted.
The next step of making you teddy bear joints is splaying the cotter pin in readyness for your needle nose pliers or cotter pin joint tool.
I made myself a cotter pin tool out of an old screw driver. This was a fiddly job though works a treat. I’d recommend buying one unless you are handy with an angle grinder and don’t mind taking risks!!! It is a great tool for making your teddy bear joints though.
The tool (or a pair of needle nose pliers) is fitted on the end of one side of the cotter pin and wound up a bit like a key on a sardine tin.
with both sides done you end up with a nice tight joint and neat finish. That’s how to make teddy bear joints!
Teddy bear joints should be fairly tight though not so tight that they do not move freely without causing too much wear on the fabric.
Here’s George with only one arm to go before stuffing his body and closing up with another bit of neat ladder stitch.
And here’s George – My first bear completed!!! I added the embriodered claws to offset Georges features.
Time to think about bear number two! A little chap named Rufus.
Good luck with your teddy bear joints and happy bear making!