Sunday, October 2, 2011

Teddy Bear Joints

Teddy bear parts are sewn, and almost ready to assemble.

I needed to press some of the seams open or the stuffing will look lumpy, and needed a tool that would get inside the small openings.  I had some thick felted upholstery wool, so I glued a bit of it around an old towel rod, and sewed the seam where the edges butted together, and closed the end with a few stitches.
It worked well.

On my trip to the hardware store, I purchased the joint supplies for eleven bears. 
1 1/4" x 1/4" fender washers, 8 per bear
3/4" x 1/4" hex bolts, 4 per bear
1/4" Lock nuts with nylon insert, 4 per bear
7/16" hex nut driver
I already had the 7/16" socket and ratchet.  The red plastic circles were cut from old laundry detergent bottles, and the center circle was drilled out on the drill press.
Here is a close up of one half of the joint.  This part will go inside the arms and legs, because it doesn't stick out as much as the nut side of the joint.  The red plastic goes against the fabric.  The other halves of the joints are in the background, another red plastic disk, a fender washer, and the lock nut.
I decided I needed an awl to start the hole for the joint.  This one is about 1/4" in diameter.
Here I am, using the awl to gently pull the weave apart.  So far I have successfully gotten the bolt through without cutting anything.
The bolt will go through the hole in the body, where the awl is poking out.
I used the nut driver inside the leg, and the ratchet, which is a bit bigger, inside the body.  The nut driver just holds the bolt from turning, and the ratchet does the work of tightening the nut.  The legs and arms need to be pretty tight, just barely able to turn.  Once they are stuffed, they will move easier.
Two legs are on.  Arms will be next, but that is for another day.


  1. I would never have guessed there was so much hardware inside a Teddy. Thank you for the well taken photos and explanation.
    I'll be patient about waiting to see the finished Teddy. ;)

  2. These little 11" bears are surprisingly heavy with all the hardware!