Who doesn't love teddy bears? You loved them as a kid, your kids love them. They're innocent, fun and an all around great toy or decoration. You can make a teddy bear tons of different ways, but one of our favorite ways to make them is with yarn; or more specifically, pom poms - which are made out of yarn.
We've made quite a few of these yarn or pom pom teddy bears in the past, but thought it was about time to make a Winter themed bear. So that's what we want to share with you today.
What you'll need:
- Yarn (however many colors you'd like - two is best)
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
- Craft paint
- Needle or hook (for pulling yarn through)
- Paint brushes
- Clear vinyl or silicone mat (optional)
- Ribbon (for bow) - optional
Step 1: Check Out the Video
Here is a video of the process that shows a bit more of each step. If reading is more your style, continue on to the next step for some literary (and pictorial) goodness.
Step 2: Creating a Pom Pom
The whole project really consists of just making pom poms and then attaching them to each other. So, before we start forming a bear, let's look at how to create a pom pom. It's really quite simple.
Start with whatever color yarn you would like to be the body and head. Then, start wrapping it around your hand. Not too loose and not too tight... especially not too tight. Your fingers will thank you later. How many times you wrap it around your hand will depend on how big you would like the bear to be. In the images that accompany this step we are creating the head. We kind of have a system for how we do this, but you can really just wing it as far as the amount of times you wrap the yarn around your hands.
For the head we use four (4) fingers. That is, we wrap the yarn around that many fingers. The same goes for the body. Now, the size is determined by how many times you wrap around your hand. For the head, Amy wrapped the yarn around her hand 300 times. Yes, she counted. Just for you.
After you have made your hand look like a boxing glove you can cut loose the yarn from the skein.
Now you will want a length of yarn about 12" long or so. This will be inserted through the center while the wrapped yarn is still on your hand. After it is through, it needs tied a few times. Then, you can remove it from your hand. You will also need to run another length through it and tie it on the other side once you have removed it from your hand.
Now, the sides need parted and a length of yarn needs tied around the newly formed ball in the opposite directions.
Once everything is tied up and snug, you can proceed to turn it into a pom pom. This is achieved by cutting toward the center from the side, but not all the way to the center. Then you gradually cut around the perimeter of the flattened ball while keeping the scissors away from the middle. It's hard to explain, but you'll understand once you start cutting. Basically you are just cutting all of the loops of yarn. Once they're gone your done.
Once you have a stringy yarn mess in your hand you can trim it so that it resembles the head of a teddy bear, or more simply put; a ball.
Step 3: Making the Body, Arms, Legs, Tail and Ears
The Teddy Bear Body
The body gets made the same exact way as the head with one exception. Instead of wrapping the yarn around your hand 300 times, it gets 500 fun-filled wrappings. Again, she counted, just for you. This number can be whatever you want though and you really don't even need to count if you don't want to.
Arms and Legs
The arms and legs are where things start to get a bit different. For the head and body, four finger were used, but for the arms and legs, three fingers are used. Also, these get wrapped a lot less. The arms were wrapped 100 times and the legs 150. Everything after the wrapping is just the same as the head and body.
Tail and Ears
The tail and ears are each created with two fingers and each receive 50 wraps a piece. Easy enough.
Step 4: Attaching the Head to the Body
Attaching the head to the teddy bear body is a simple concept, but you have to work at it a little bit.
You will need to thread some yarn through a decent size needle or you can use a crochet hook. We have found that the needle works best. Burning the end of the yarn makes threading the needle a bit easier.
You will need a pretty decent length of yarn for this step, so cut about 2-3 feet of yarn from the skein.
Now, the object is to pass the length of thread you have cut through the center of the body and the center of the head. Once they are through both you will draw them together by tying the yarn tight a few times. We also recommend that you pass another piece of yarn or even two through again. The more yarn you add at this point will only make it stronger.
Step 5: Attaching the Rest of the Pom Poms
The rest of the pom poms get attached the same way, by running a length of yarn through the center of the body or head and the center of the appendage and then drawing them together and tying them off. After you have attached the head to the body you'll have no problem doing the rest.
Step 6: Progress
So far you should have something that looks like a scruffy little monster. That being said, now is a good time to clean it up by giving him a haircut. Just trim the yarn how you see fit to get the shape of bear you want.
Step 7: Extras
We like to add a bow to ours, right around the neck line. This helps separate the head from the body visually. This is just a standard bow made out of cloth ribbon. Again, this is optional, we just think it looks nice.
Step 8: Making the Face
The funnest part about this teddy bear project is probably making the face. This is where you get to give your bear some personality. We make our faces with hot glue. This works really well and is incredibly durable.
To make things easier we size up the head on a piece of paper and then draw the face we would like to make. Then, we add a layer of clear vinyl over the paper and fill in the facial features with hot glue.
Once it's dry we add some paint. You can use any color, but we usually just use black and white. Once the paint is dry it should come loose from the vinyl fairly easy.
These get attached to the bear with hot glue as well. You really need to glob a lot on the back of these. If you do, and press it well into the yarn it will stick extremely well.
Step 9: All Done!
The first yarn teddy bear you make might take a little while. I think the first one we made took about three hours. As you learn the process and get quicker at it, you can knock them out in no time. In fact, this particular bear only took Amy about 45-60 minutes to make, and that's with glue and paint drying.
We hope you enjoyed this DIY project and the video that goes along with it. If you have any questions or comments please let us know, we'd be more than happy to help you out. Thanks for checking out this Instructable.