30 October 2007

How to make a teddy bear out of moss

One of my bloggfriends asked me how I made the teddy bear. So please be welcome to the teddy bear making lesson! I wish you good luck and hope you have fun while doing it! ( I always have....)

You need: chicken-wire, thin steel wire, cutting nippers (pliers) and moss. I sometimes use ordinary sewing thread instead of wire because it is easier to work with and not so visible as wire is. If the moss seems dry then spray it lightly with water and put it in a plastic bag over night.

Cut two pieces of chicken-wire with the pliers. One piece is going to be the actual body of the teddy bear and the other piece is the arms. You can make the teddy bears any size you like but if you make them too large the head sort of gets to heavy and it’s difficult to get them to sit up straight. The largest I’ve made was 70 cm in all but mostly I make them 40-50 cm tall.

Start making the body by shaping the largest piece of chicken wire in to a cylinder shape. Let the two ends of the netting meet in the back and “sew” 2/3 of the cylinder together with wire ( this makes the head and body of the bear)but leave the last 1/3 open. (this is going to be the legs). Now you cut 1/3 of the front side of the bear open too and you have two legs. To make the legs more stable you can shape them by “pressing” the netting together. Now you have a cylinder with two legs. Then shape the head, ears and the neck by pressing the netting together.

To make the bears arms you roll the second piece of chicken-wire into a smaller and more firm cylinder. Mark where you want the arms on the body and cut two holes in the netting with the pliers. Pull the cylinder through the holes and the bear has arms. If the arms seems unstable fasten them to the body with wire.

Now the skeleton is finished and you can start covering it with moss.

I usually start with the head and work my way down. I fix the moss with very thin wire or with thread. To make the nose you first cover the head with moss and then add a second piece of moss and shape it into a nose. Put it on top of the "face" and fix it with wire. When I pick moss in the woods ( you are allowed to do that in Sweden) I try to find large but rather thin pieces of moss. Then I can sort of drape the moss over the netting like a piece of fabric. With moss that grow on stones you can usually remove the whole piece without it breaking.

If you want the bear to have a more Winnie the Pooh look about him you can make his tummy bigger by adding layers of moss in the same way that you shaped the nose. When your bear is all covered with moss you give him a finishing touch by bending his arms and legs in the position you want. If you want him sitting down, standing up or maybe hold something in his arms. The good thing about chicken-wire is that it’s so flexible.

The finished result.

I sometimes sell my teddy bears. Then I usually give them a name and put “adoption papers” on a ribbon around their neck. Usually it’s quite hard to part with them because every bear you make gets its own personality.


Angela Louise said...

Oh so cute! You are always making the best things Jeanette. Being a nature lover myself I'm always trying to think of ways of using all the incredible things nature has to offer...seeds, pods, twigs,etc...so I just love your teddy. My mind boggles thinking that you have all this moss at your disposal! When I was a little girl I use to grow moss as best as I could in our dry climate and I even read up all about it so I knew how it reproduced and everything. Ours is only the little short variety so I couldn't do much with it except enjoy its greenness....unlike what you have done.
I just read your last post and had a good laugh about your rat story. Perhaps you need a resident carpet snake like ours!*!*! We USE to have rats!
Thankyou for the encouraging comment you left me. I really feel like I want to get going with this charm thing and I just needed a little push.
A very happy week and weekend to you and your family,
Hugs, Angela.
PS. I haven't forgotten about your charm and will send it soon.

EVA AGNES said...

Hjälp så fin och gullig. Väldigt bra beskrivning. Fast jag tror ändå inte att jag kan skapa en sådan fin nalle som din.
Kramar Eva Agnes

Homeleightigger said...

Wow Jeanette, this is amazing! Such brillaint instructions too. I live in a very damp area, and clearing up my garden recently ready for Winter, I noticed loads of moss around. I usually make a Xmas Wreath for the door with some of it, but a Bear would make such a wonderful change - and get all the visitors enquiring where I got it from? Thanks so much for sharing. Val