Paper Teddy Bear

In this project, you will make a Teddy Bear using a grocery sack. The finished Teddy will look something like the Teddy in the project image below.

This project is rated: MODERATE

Materials needed:
  • Computer paper
  • Large grocery sack
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons or paint
  • Polyester filling
  • Optionally: thread or embroidery floss

Project Instructions

  1. Print two copies of the pattern at right. Because the pattern is larger than will fit on one piece of computer paper, only half the pattern is shown. The pattern is sized for legal-size paper (8.5″ by 14″), so be sure to select that paper size in the printer dialog box and load some in your printer. (You don’t have legal size paper? That is all right. Go ahead and print on letter-size paper. Each half pattern will be printed on two sheets of paper. You can cut out each part and tape the pieces together.)
  2. Cut out each pattern half. Turn one piece over and butt the two halves together. Put tape over the joint between the two halves. You now have a complete pattern.
  3. From a large grocery sack, cut out the front and back of the sack.
  4. Place the pattern on one of the sack pieces and trace around the pattern. Then, cut it out. This piece will be the front of the Teddy Bear.
  5. Now is a good time to color the Teddy. You may use crayons or paint. You may use any colors or designs you wish to use. I suggest you make: eyes, nose, mouth, shirt, belt and pants. See the picture at right, below.
  6. Turn the Teddy over, and on what will be the inside, run a bead of glue around the very edge of the cutout. Do NOT put glue along the top of the head between the ears. Use a glue that is good for paper such as Elmer’s Craft Bond Tacky Glue.
  7. Turn the piece over and place it on the unused, other piece of the paper sack. Press the cut piece against the uncut piece so the glue makes a good bond. Press outward all around the edge of the cut out piece. If there is excess glue, it should be squeezed outward rather than inward.
  8. Let the glue dry. To assure a good bond, cover the Teddy with a piece of wax paper, and place books or magazines on it to press the two pieces of paper together firmly while the glue dries.
  9. When the glue is dry, cut away the excess paper of the uncut sheet following the contour of the cut piece.
  10. The Teddy is now ready for stuffing. Through the opening at the top of the head, push small pieces of polyester filling into the arms and legs. It is best to use small pieces since they can be packed in better to fill the space. Large pieces are difficult to make conform to the shape of the Teddy. Use the blunt end of a pencil, dowel rod, chopstick, etc. to poke the filling into the desired positions. Be careful not to poke too hard or try to fill the Teddy to tightly because you might cause the front and back to come unglued. Be sure to push a little filling into the ears to plump them out.
  11. To complete the Teddy, you must close the opening. Put glue on one side and then press the front and back together to seal it shut. The two parts must be held together while the glue dries. You can use spring type clothes pins, alligator clips, even paper clips to hold the seam shut while the glue dries.
  12. When the glue is dry, remove the clips and you have a completed paper Teddy Bear. It may not be as durable or as cuddly as a cloth toy, but it can be a toy to sit on a shelf to show off your handiwork.

Teddy Bear illustration
Teddy Bear
Teddy Bear pattern
Teddy Bear illustration

Optional Instructions

Use cloth instead of a sack to make a softer version of the Teddy bear.

  1. Make your pattern as before. But, you will need some cloth (two pieces, about 14″ by 14″, about the size of an old pillowcase.)  
  2. Place the two pieces of fabric right-side to right-side. Then place your pattern on the two pieces of fabric and pin the pattern through both pieces of fabric.
  3. With chalk (or other type fabric marker) mark the fabric around the pattern adding a seam allowance of about 3/8 inch.
  4. Cut the fabric along the outline you have made. Where there are sharp inside corners (under the arms, etc.) make a “V” cut into where the stitching will be.
  5. Machine stitch around the fabric keeping the seam 3/8 inch from the cut edge. Do NOT stitch between the ears. Start at one ear, stitch around it, around the rest of the Teddy to and around the other ear. The top of the head is left open.
  6. Turn the Teddy right sides out by passing the body through the opening between the ears.
  7. At this point, you may want to add some facial features. A couple of black buttons can be sewn on for eyes. The nose and mouth can be embroidered. (You might want to do this before stitching the two sides together; but that will require you to unpin the pieces after cutting and re-pin them prior to stitching.)
  8. Stuff the Teddy with some filling. See step 10. of the previous instructions for directions. When done with the filling, the opening at the top of the head must be hand sewn closed.

You now have a soft, cuddly Teddy bear.

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