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Shelli Makes - Teddy bears & other cheerful things by Shelli Quinn
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TeddyB Posts: 83

Hello everyone  bear_original
  When you are making minis what is the size of a mini? Should it be under 5"?I ordered two kits from Sassy but I would like to design and make my own.
How do you get into designing do you follow someone else's pattern and then change up some things to make it your own?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

I can answer the second question. I'm not sure there is an answer to the first question that carries through the whole industry. It seems various contests call a bear under 6 inches a mini while others may say 5 or 4 inches.

So, to the second question.... some artists just get out a blank piece of paper and start drawing. This amazed me when I first started out! Many likely have some sort of design experience. I started by using someone else's pattern and tweaking it here and there. This really helped me understand the various pieces, the significance of their shape and what happened if I changed a curve or length, etc. It helped me better understand how they fit together and I could see how the size of the head compared to the body, compared to the length of the arms, compared to the legs.... you get the idea. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to start designing your own... do what you are comfortable with. There are many books with info on designing bears, proportions, etc. that might help you. I don't about books specific to minis cause I don't make minis (I was just snooping around the Miniatures forum being nosey bear_tongue ). Perhaps someone will be able to recommend one.

Oh, and we have had discussions on what makes a pattern your "own" if you want to sell your bears or the pattern and not break copyright rules. I believe you have to make the whole pattern yourself... not alter an existing pattern. … =203760403The first, second and fifth links up from the bottom on this page are ones you might find very helpful.

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

Teddy: I think Daphne has it right. Take patterns you really like and tweak them ie: making a longer nose or lengthen the arms or legs....I think once you work with patterns you will get to understand how they fit together. From there you will begin to start drawing patterns on your own. 

There are several book on designing teddy bears. The principles are the same for minis or larger bears. One book I like is Ted Menten's Teddy Bear Studio: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Your Own One-Of-A-Kind Artist Teddy Bear by Ted Menten. You can find it on This book helps you learn about various shapes of the pattern pieces to achieve a certian look. Once you draw out your pattern, you can shrink it on a copier to the size you want. 

Hope this helps.


Pumpkin & Pickle Bears Pumpkin & Pickle Bears
East Sussex
Posts: 2,047

I've always classed a mini as 4" or less.

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