How to Make Memory Bears

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Megan Shoop

    About the Author

    Megan Shoop has Bachelor of Arts in English literature and is proficient in both AP and MLA styles. As an editor of her college newspaper for one year, she assisted with copy editing, proofreading and layout design. She also wrote art and movie reviews and articles about campus events.

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    Memory bears are teddy bears made from the clothing of a loved one that has passed away or is very far away. These bears can be ordered from many online companies, but this can take a long time and be expensive. A faster, cheaper way to get a memory bear is to make one yourself. Since you will be using a loved one’s clothing, few materials need be purchased. All you need is some sturdy cloth and sewing experience.

    Things You'll Need

    • Sewing machine
    • Teddy bear pattern
    • Clothing pieces
    • Thread
    • Needles
    • Scissors
    • Stick pins
    • Chalk
    • Fiberfill batting

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    Choose the clothing for the body of the bear. A T-shirt will make a small bear, but you can choose a piece of clothing for each limb if you like. Patterned clothing is ideal. Denim, flannel, cotton and felt are sturdy and easy to sew.

    Cut the clothing into large, square pieces. Cut away and discard seams, especially in denim. These are difficult to pass a need through and are unattractive.

    Find a teddy bear pattern online or at a craft store. Print and cut out the pattern. Pin each pattern piece to the desired fabric.

    Cut around each pattern piece, being careful not to cut the paper. Remove the paper pattern from the fabric once all the pieces are cut out.

    Make a mark in chalk about a pinky’s width inside the edge of each fabric piece. This marks the line where you will pin and sew the pieces together.

    Pin together the front and back pieces for the head, limbs and body with the "good" side of the fabric facing inward. Do not join the body together yet.

    Thread your sewing machine according to the machine instructions. Slowly feed each pinned body part through the machine, removing pins as you go. Leave an opening in each piece so it can be stuffed. Leave five openings in the main body for the limbs and head.

    Turn each sewed piece inside-out. Gently stuff batting into the pieces. Do not squeeze the batting; this will make the bear lumpy. Stuff enough batting into the pieces so that they are firm but not hard.

    Hand-stitch the arms and legs closed and feed them into their corresponding holes in the body. Pinch the hole closed around each limb and stitch the hole closed, passing the needle through the part of the limb in the hole.

    Press the neck of the head into its corresponding hole. Stitch the neck to the body and your memory bear is finished.

    Photo Credits

    • David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images