Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Leather Teddy Bear Project with Charlie Davenport

Leather Teddy Bear Project


9038-01  4-5oz or Lighter Veg-Tanned Leather, was used for the front

9118-02   Hair-On Calfskin, Brown & White, was used for the back

2608-04  Eco-Flo Hi-Lite, Chestnut Tan

2608-02  Eco-Flo Hi-Lite, Coffee Brown

2602-20  Eco-Flo Cova Colors, Gold

2602-01  Eco-Flo Cova Colors, Black

3447-00  Sponge

2610-01   Eco-Flo Super Shene

1366-03   Synthetic Crystal Rivets

2526-01   Tanner’s Bond Rubber Cement; or/

2540-01   Tanner’s Bond Leathercraft Cement

1227-03 Nylon Thread, White



3031-00        Precision Craft Knife

35048-00    Swivel Knife

8039-03        Modeling Tool

3240-00        Deluxe Rotary Punch

3462-00        Decorative Rivet Setter Set

1192-13          2 – Harness Needles Sz 000

3607-00        Wing Divider

8091-00        Craftool Spacer Set, #5 whl

3318-01         Flat Side Awl Haft

3319-05         Sm Diamond Awl Blade

3132-00       Lacing & Stitching Pony

PATTERN: Leather Teddy Bear Pattern


Using the pattern, I made a cardboard template for future uses; this is great if you want to make multiple bears at the same time. Place the template on the flesh side of the leather you are going to use for the bear. Remember to flip the template over when you trace around for the back piece. Once you have the pattern transferred to the leather, cut the pattern out with leather shears or craft-knife.

Using the wing dividers set at 1/8” apart, scribe a line all the way around the front of the bear. If you would like a more professional look and have, your stitching recessed into the leather use the stitching groover instead of the wing divider. Follow the scribed or grooved line with a #5 overstitch wheel marking your stitch placements.

If you are using veg-tanned leather as I have for the front, lightly dampen (case) the entire piece, and then transfer the face portion of the pattern to the grain side of the leather. Use a swivel knife to cut the lines, be careful not to cut more than half the thickness of the leather especially if you are using leather thinner than 4oz. You can use a modeling tool to bevel around the nose and under the mouth. If you are going to use crystal rivets for the eyes as I have done, this is when you would want to punch the holes for the rivets.

It is coloring time! I colored mine in a few steps. First, I applied Desert Tan Hi-Lite over the entire front piece, and wiped of the excess. Then, using a wadded up paper-towel dipped into some Coffee Brown Hi-Lite, I dabbed this around the edges to produce an aged effect. After the Hi-Lite was dry, I used the Cova-Colors black to outline the facial features. Finally, I sealed the front piece with Super Shene.

To set the crystal rivets for the eyes, I used some scrap leather with matched holes to thicken the area of the eyes to allow the rivets to set better. Remember to have a poundo board or similar item under the rivets so they are not shattered while setting the rivets with the rivet setter.


Once all your surface decorations are complete, flip both front and back pieces over so the flesh sides are up. Apply a small amount of glue around the inside edge of the bear, leaving a space from ear to ear free of glue to be able to stuff the bear later. Carefully join the two pieces of the bear aligning the edges all the way around.

With the front and back pieces now joined, use the awl to make your stitching holes. I find that an easy way to do this is to lay the bear down on a poundo board face up, and keeping the awl straight up and down press down through both layers of leathers. After all the stitching holes are complete, I place the bear into the stitching pony to stitch together from ear to ear using the saddle stitch technique. Once you have stitched around to the other ear, remove the bear from the stitching pony.

Prior to completing the sewing, it is time to stuff the bear. I used poly-fill to stuff my bear; my kids use dried black-eyed peas (they are less expensive). Once the bear is stuffed to personal preference, complete the sewing of the bear. For an extra touch, I trimmed around the bear, evening up the edges. You could also add an edge dressing for a more professional look.

I hope you have as much fun making your bears, as we did making ours.


C. Davenport

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