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 Teddy Bear Making Skill Centre
Basic Tools

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 The Skill Centre Index< Basic tools


These are some of the basic tools that you will need when you start teddy bear making

A permanent marker pen.
Used for marking out your pattern on the cloth. Go lightly here as a heavy hand can bleed the marker through the backing. Some people use pencil, but these can smudge and the graphite can get on your hands.

Sharp scissors. A minimum of 2 pairs - large (8 inch) and a small (2 or 3 inch) Needed for cutting the fabric and for trimming the fur.

An assortment of Needles - in various sizes, including a long one
Plus you will also need good quality sewing thread, extra strong thread (for closing) upholstery thread is ideal, a thimble and an assortment of perle embroidery threads for the nose, paws and pads detailing - a Black and a Brown will be enough to get you started.

An Awl and Needle nose pliers (or cotter key) - used with making your joints.
Choose a jointing system - plastic safety joints are most often used but also you can also use hardboard discs and cotter pins. There are other jointing systems on the market, but you will find these as your experience grows.

A Teasel Brush - or a “dog comb” is ideal.
Used for grooming your finished teddy and for teasing out any stray hairs that have become trapped in the seams during assembly of the material. It looks something like a small suede brush.

Stuffing Tools - You will need a minimum of two.
A wooden kitchen spoon is ideal for the medium sized stuffing tool (use the handle end) and a smaller narrower one, about the thickness of a pencil for the smaller one, which you would use for the tiny corners.

Small or miniature bears obviously need appropriately sized tools and of course, if you are making LARGE bears, you will need a LARGE stuffing tool which we will leave to your imagination - perhaps a broom handle!

Stuffing - Polyester Fiberfill and Excelsior (Wood Wool) are the most common fillings, with
non-allergenic polyester fiberfill being the favourite. We highly recommend the CamPlus from Camtex

    To add weight to your stuffing, you will need plastic pellets, glass or steel shot. Some people also use sand and even pebbles are not unknown, although these last two are NOT recommended. Use a linen or cotton bag as plastic inside a teddy is not recommended.

    Please also note that in these security concious days - steel shot may cause problems!

    You can also place a growler inside the tummy - but make sure that you place it the right way up to operate.

    Lastly, it is always a good idea, as well as being very thoughtful, to insert a couple of scrap pieces of the original fabric to the stuffing just before you close the teddy and this will help any repairs that may be needed in the future.

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An assortment of Eyes.

These are usually a blob of glass on a looped or a long wire. Mostly black although other colours are now readily available.
Safety... Usually plastic with a non-removable star washer.

Long glass headed pins - coloured heads are easier to see.

A Sewing Machine.
Although a sewing machine is not absolutely essential, it does make life MUCH easier. For the heavier mohair fabrics, a size 14 machine needle is suggested.

A place and space to work with good lighting and a comfy seat.
Something like a kitchen or dining table is adequate. Although not essential, a place where you can leave out the materials and a part finished teddy can be very useful. A comfortable seat is rather more important if you are to avoid back problems. A good light is needed to avoid straining your eyes - daylight is best.

The basic tools - Some of the tools that you may need
Bear making expressions - What are they talking about?
Fabrics - an overview
Fillings - High quality polyfibre from Camtex Ltd
Patterns - laying out
Sewing up - Joining your pieces
Teddy Care - Caring for your teddy bear.

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