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


I used mini t-head cotterpins to joint my little mini bear (3") but it was really tricky getting into the bear to do it and I felt there was not much space between the turned joints inside the body.  Do you use cotterpins for such little minis or do you string joint?  If you string joint, what do you use to do this with?  Can you use the special sewing threads on little reels that I got from Sassy fabrics?  If you use cotter pins which way do you turn them (ie snail or other way) for minis?


MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

I like to use cotter pin joints for the heads and then depending on the size of the bear - thread joint. I use either the Sassy thread or a thin strand of sinew for thread jointing. 


Terrie Terries Bears
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,614

I use cotter pins and snail turn them. There isn't very much space to work in, so when I sew the body pieces together rather than sewing the seam as far as you normally would, sew it part of the way and leave a long thread,  then finish the seam after the cotter pins are in place.

melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789

Hi Catherine

I see you're getting truly bitten by the mini bug!   bear_grin   In my smallest minis, I use one of the tiny discs from sassy's with a jewellery head pin rather than a cotter pin.  I get it into place and then cut off a good lenth of the pin with pliers, then roll down the remainding bit.  It's tricky to get them tight enough but it leaves much more space in the body cavity.  I thread joint the limbs on my smallest (2 inches and under ) minis.  I find I can get them nice and tighter than cotter pins - it also brings the top of the limbs snugly into the body thus avoiding that bulgy bulky look you can get with minis. 

If you thread joint, do it from the inside of the arm rather than the outside - that way you avoid the dimples.

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

Hello Catherine: Well I tell you, for the real little bears like 2-3 inches I use sequins (stack about 3-4 together) and plain old copper wire from home depote. I cut a piece of wire and put a black craft bead in the center and fold the wire. I put the wire through the stacked sequins. There you can put it in the base of the head and sew around like you would with the cotter pin. When attaching it to the body, use another stack of 3-4 sequins like you would a disc and pull the wire through it and curl the wire.

I know other people will use a hold punch and lids to butter tubs. You punch out a lot of little rounds, using your awl poke a hole through them and there you have a homemade disc. Use wire and craft beads as mentioned about for jointing.

So I like both methods. They work well....

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

As the spouse of a 3rd generation electrician, I can tell you that copper wire (even with its insulation intact) makes the secondmost softest wire. Aluminum is softest. 

Use Michelle's technique: many old-timers still use these method of a bead in the wire's center, fold in half so it's at the top (in place of the loop or the T) and push the wire legs through the disks. 
But use floral wire instead; it's available in so many thicknesses and so cheap. 

I'd just hate to think of the copper wire breaking and the joint loosening. We cannot know if our precious treasured bear is going to be sitting in a protected cabinet all its life or will be handled and continually re-posed.

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

I cotter pin joint all of minis including my recent 2.25" bear which is the smallest bear I've ever stitched. I personally don't like thread jointing minis and even though cotter pin jointing IS difficult on a mini, I think it gives a much more professional look than thread jointing. I do however thread joint my needlefelted bears, but these are usually the ones that I do as companions for my stitched minis so they are only about 1" tall.

I can understand thread jointing bears of 2" and under but I think it's well worth the effort to cotter pin joint the ones over 2".

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

This is one of those personal preference things.... I've done both ways, but now I almost always thread joint the limbs of my minis.  My heads are cotter pin and disk though. 

I use either a nice, strong beading thread or upholstery thread.  I run the thread over a piece of beeswax first so that it's easier to tie a nice tight knot (the threads then kind of grab onto eachother rather than slipping).

Try both ways Catherine, and see what works best for you.   bear_flower

Kim Basta

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