KidsPost: Make a teddy bear out of material that's close to your heart

You can use this bear pattern or draw one whatever size you want.
You can use this bear pattern or draw one whatever size you want.
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Teddy bears can be very comforting. We hug them, we tuck them in, and we often keep them as we grow up because they hold special memories for us.

With a little bit of fabric, a small investment of time and some imagination, you can create your own unique teddy, one that helps you feel close to someone who is important in your life.

Maybe you have a sister or brother who is going off to college. Maybe you are going away to camp this summer and would like to take something along that reminds you of Mom or Dad. Maybe a treasured relative has died recently.

You can make a memory bear from clothing that your family member enjoyed wearing but no longer needs.

Or, maybe you have a friend who is moving away or going to another school next year. You could make memory bears for each other out of clothes you've outgrown.

How big or small your bear will be is entirely up to you, but always ask permission before cutting up any skirt, pants, shirt, dress or pair of pajamas! And, consider practicing on scrap fabric before you use any special material.

You'll need a pattern. (We've included a very basic idea for one you could draw. Others can be found online or in craft books.)

You'll also need a pair of scissors, two pieces of fabric that are several inches larger than your pattern, a needle and thread (or a sewing machine), some straight pins and some stuffing. (You can get stuffing material at craft stores or fabric shops.) A fabric marker will be useful, too. You might also ask for help from mom or dad.

First, put your two fabric pieces together, with the pretty sides facing each other. Pin your pattern on top and trace around the edges with a marker.

Remove the pattern, but leave the fabric pieces pinned together so they don't slip. Now, carefully cut your bear out.

Start sewing, using whichever method you are comfortable with, but make sure your stitches are close together. Leave a couple of inches open along the side so you can stuff the bear. You'll sew that part later.

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