How to make a teddy bear out of old clothes

How to make a teddy bear out of old clothes
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Mary-Frances Main

Got some old and damaged clothes? Instead of throwing them why not make a stuffed animal? It is quite easy to make a teddy bear out of old clothes. Here’s how.

First we begin with the pattern. You can find one online or you can simply draw one yourself. It is not that difficult. Take a piece of paper and hand draw a simple outline of a teddy bear. Once you are happy with the shape, you can redraw it once again into a bigger or a smaller version depending on what size you want the teddy bear to be.

Next is deciding whether you want to make the teddy bear in just two pieces or more. Two pieces means cutting two identical pieces with the entire shape of the teddy bear. This is the easiest way, but also leaves you with the least amount of options.

It is better to have several separate pieces. For example cut away the head and paws from the main pattern. This will give you more options to reshape and stuff the pieces the way you envisioned them.

Next lay the chosen clothes on the table and cut two identical pieces from each pattern piece. For example you have cut two pieces for one ear. Place them with their outer sides facing each other and sewthem together. Always remember to leave one side unsewn so that you can turn the pieces inside out and then stuff them.

Do the same for the other ear, four paws and the main body. If you prefer you can cut the body with the shape of paws already on it, but that woud mean you can only make a teddy bear with paws spread wide.

Take your time and don’t rush. If you have to redo a certain piece, don’t worry, it’s normal. Simply make another one.

If you want to experiment, you can alwo try and cut two different pieces for the head. One is to be flat, the other one is to have a muzzle. In order to do that, you could have the front piece made out of two side pieces or have the whole head made out of two side pieces with a seam in the middle. That though would not be a great look for the teddy bear so it is best to have just a muzzle that you can then sew on the head. As you can see the possibilities are quite a few and it all depends on your preferences.

After you are done with the head, stuff it with polyfil, foa, cotton or whatever else is that you have or prefer. Vary the amount of stuffing in accordance with your preferences for firmness. It is now time to add the facial features. There are several ways on how to make eyes, how to make whiskers, how to embroider a nose. You can also use a simple seam to draw the mouth and nose or you can cut felt and glue it or sew it in place.

Next it is time to sew all of the pieces together. Sew the head to the body all around the neck. This will make it well fastened and will close off the opening for stuffing nicely. Then sew the paws and check the teddy bear for any last minute issues or if it needs more stuffing. When done close off the body seam and welcome your new teddy bear into the family.