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Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

My question is has anyone used unusual stuffing? I used sand once to give weight in the tummy, but would welcome any reasons not to use it? I also once used dried lentils as beads (money was tight at the time and I could not afford plastic). I kept that bear and its 12 years old and still OK.
I have also heard of people using dried lavender.
I will be ready to start making bears again soon and would welcome your feedback.

Acipenser Bine-Teddies
Posts: 862

Hi Amanda!
The most unusual stuffings I have used are kapok and foam rubber. Not very unusual I am afraid. Kapok compacts very well and is great for minis and muzzles, but the fibres become easily airborne and I have read that one can become allergic to it. I made toys as a teenager and foam rubber in small irregular pieces was cheap. I don't recommend it, because you can't stuff hard and the pieces can be felt through the fabric, well at least that's how I remember it, but I was young and inexperienced then.



Bumpkin Bears Bumpkin Bears
Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 2,190

Hi Amanda, this reminded me of another topic a little while back about scented teddies and whether it is a good idea - may well answer your thoughts on lavendar.

I would also be a little cautious about using lavendar just incase over the many years it goes 'off'.  I know that I have lavendar sachets that are still fine after many years but I would probably avoid them in a ted's tum.

I hope this helps a bit,

plushkinbear BEAR ME SHOOTKA
Vladivostok, RUSSIA
Posts: 2,139

I stuffed one of my bear with beans in a soft plastic bag. Bag gave a bear funny sound. My liitle daughter love it.

Once I put decorative small rocks for home plant inside. What a heavy bear I've got!!:lol::lol:

I like to use glass beads I have in stock. I love beading as well. If you going to embroide the area you filled with beads be carefull cause needle gets into a hole in a bead. Just take extra time. :/

That's my experiments.

Hugs, Julia

lw2ndstar Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 78

I am usually too impatient to wait for pellets or shot to arrive - I want to finish the bear!  -  so when I want to give a bear some weight I have used new, clean aquarium gravel.  It is pretty cheap and available in any pet store.  It's also colorfast, since it is used underwater!  Best for bears at least 10".  It makes an interesting scrunchy sound, and is very heavy.

My goldfish don't seem to mind me using up their gravel supply! :D


Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Lynne... just went to your website (visitor 18; yay!) and your bears are WONDERFUL!  They have a really terrivic old-time Steiff look, and you've got that sweet curving little smile down just right.  Really great work!  You're not selling yet?  I'm sure you'd have a willing audience of collectors.  Rethink that, won't you? bear_happy

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

Just wanted to put my two cents in here... I HATE the smell of lavendar and would be put off of a bear if it said it was filled with it.... yuck and by no means do i have a senstive nose

lw2ndstar Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 78

Shelli - thanks for the compliments!  As for selling, I am thinking, thinking...  maybe by the Christmas season I will give it a try.   Just to dip my toes in.:D   I have read so many useful tips for selling on Teddy Talk!  Just reading the posts is like taking a course in marketing bears!

Another thing I've thought to stuff inside a bear is balsam fir needles.  They are used in oh, I think, potpourri pillows, and a friend of mine has them in a "draft stopper" thingy.  You can get them online.   They smell like Christmas when you squish them, but I am afraid they'll eventually poke through the backing. bear_shocked Painful!


Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I'd also maybe worry about the resins in them leaking out at some point and staining, or making the bear sticky.  But gee, I sure love the concept!  That's a fabulous aroma and it brings me right into the holiday season.  Mmmm.. bear_happy

MadScientwist Posts: 65

I couldn't find stainless steel I went to a sporting store to see if they had any for BB guns...they didnt have steel but they had copper...since copper changes color over time I didn't trust it...but I did find heavy plastic BB' I am going to see how they work out...I am guessing they will be good because they are just like plastic beads...just heavier...has anyone else done this before? I will report how it works out...

Pat Klein Faux Paw Bears
Tallahassee, Florida
Posts: 167

Try Wal Mart, sports section...they have an assortment...I figure I'm keeping it out of the hands of small boys and usually grab as much as I can't beat it for most weight in smallest space...I like that...especially for feet as I like my bears to stand.


MadScientwist Posts: 65

Yeah I went to Walmart first, but it seems new Walmarts...or at least the ones around me do not carry that type of stuff anymore. Maybe I will check the old Walmart a town over.

EvaJ EJ's Crafts
Fort Mohave, Arizona
Posts: 829

I tried rice once for stuffing when I ran out of beads and money.  It seems to be okay as it was put in a plastic bag first.  I never thought of the plastic pellets for BB guns.  Might look for those as no one around here sells the plastic beads anymore.

2catkiss LALand Bears
Posts: 448

Hello ~ I like the idea of rice.  Seems very natural  bear_flower  I have used copper BBs but always worried if they would make it through customs or not...worried about that poor little baby having his tummy opened due to suspicious content ?? bear_shocked
The other day, I did a bunch of laundry and was gathering up the used dryer sheets to dispose of them.  Noticed they still have a faint smell, so I put them in the bag with my cotton batting.  I was thinking maybe these would work to lay a tiny piece in at the last step, to cover the filling, whatever it is, and lie directly under the seam?  Also, would give off a very faint but nice smell.

Haven't tried it yet...but it would certainly be great if those could be recycled instead of thrown away. Maybe even shred them up a bit, and add in with the cotton fiber stuffing?

Best Regards
Lee Ann

amber Honey Valley Bears
Posts: 210

I would be careful with scents incase people are allergic to it.  If you stuff a bear with it you could be limiting your market.  Enough people are allergic to some of the materials we use, but adding scents to it could really be a problem for some people.

Just something to consider

Laura Lynn Teddy Bear Academy
Nicholasville, KY
Posts: 3,651

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Since this thread has been brought up again, I thought I would mention that I would NOT use food stuffs as stuffing.  You are inviting bugs into your bears over time - and they could spread to other bears that may not even have food as stuffing.

K Pawz Guest

I would also be very careful of putting sand in any bears...especially if you ship to Australia! Sand is a no no going through customs there and I have heard of a many doll and teddy being ripped opened by customs to find the banned substance. As a side note to this I always place a sample of whatever the animal is stuffed with in a clear sealed baggy on top of everything in the box with a note saying sample of stuffing just in case it gets opened in customs they don't have to rip the creation open to see whats inside.

I stick to poly fil, steel shot (Sassy Bears has a great deal when you buy 10lbs at a time) and poly pellets.


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