I've been trying to find a way to add more weight to my bears. They are smallish, 9" and under. I started using the micro stainless beads, then went to a bigger steel shot. I get a decent weight, but would like some to be heavier (without using any lead.) Does anyone have any ideas?
you could try jointing with nuts and bolts if you don't already do so..im not really sure what else as youre already using steel shot. maybe you could find some small weights at a fishing store..surely they would have some that aren't made of lead?? I'll be interested to see what others suggest
Dear Ellen: Try "Copperhead" steel BB's. I use to buy them at Walmart. They are for air guns. If you can't find them there, you can get them on Amazon.com:
I also read in Teddy Bear and Friends that an artist uses gravel to weight her bears. I don't know if that is heavier than the BBs or not.
I use glass beads, available from edinburgh imports or crs crafts. you can also buy them in bulk from industry suppliers by the 50#, 5 gallon pail. sandblasting beads come in a number of different weights and sizes, you want to be sure to use the large clustered type bead. I'd be wary about using any sort of copper, be it BB's or I've even heard of some who use pennies. copper will oxidize and discolor, turning green over time and could leach out into your fabrics. stainless steel bb's are fine, of course.
a combination of glass beads and plastic pellets will give you a lovely weighted feel.
Hi Kelly and Lynne,
Thank you for your help!
Kelly, I have some glass beads I ordered a long time ago, but never used them because they are so fine - like fine sand - and thought they might cause a problem. Where do you get the larger glass beads?
Lynne, I only use the shot in the tummies, so adding in the legs and arms, too would help with weight.
Does anyone know a source for larger stainless steel shot? I can only find the micro stainless beads.
I agree to stay away from copper shot as it does turn color like anything copper does!
Stainless steel shot is heavier than glass beads.
I get my glass beads from CRsCrafts and I use mohair with a tightly woven backing so no problems with it coming out but if you're concerned you can make a pouch out of muslin, fill it with glass beads then insert into tummy.
I use nuts and bolts and also always fill the feet and ankles with steel shot or glass beads. That can help them to stand too! Once in a while I fill the whole leg or all of the body with weight. It's quite easy to get a bear toooo heavy actually!
Kelly wrote: I'd be wary about using any sort of copper, be it BB's or I've even heard of some who use pennies. copper will oxidize and discolor, turning green over time and could leach out into your fabrics.
I wrap the BBs in plastice wrap and put them in a pouch made of scrap material. I did this not because of them turning green (for I did not know that), I did it so they were not loose in the belly and fall out from the seams or when trying to sew the seam.
Now do tell Teddy Bear Friends what about buying the BBs in steal? See link below. Will they be o.k.?
Steel rusts. Copper can slow down the process but not eliminate it.
That is why we've often discussed STAINLESS STEEL shot and why such places as Sassy Bears and Fabrics sells just stainless steel shot.
You might use the library or search function to look for discussions we've had here in the past about steel shot... I think you'll find a lot of info.
It is true that steel will rust. But one of the things that it needs to rust is water.
My husband is a used license plate dealer, and we have plenty of steel laying around here. There are very old plates that we have here that have little or no rust even though they have been used on a car. There are also plates that are so rusted there are holes. The difference is how much moisture they have been in contact with. The old plates from dry places like here in Arizona hold up well, east coast plates not so good.
I guess that what I am saying is that bears are not really exposed I hope to the kind of moisture that would cause a great deal of rust.
What are nuts and bolts made of, and cotter pins? Do we have to worry about them rusting too?
No we don't and they usually aren't right up against the backing of the mohair which steel shot may be depending on how a person stuffs their bears.
My teddy mentor showed me a tupperware container of steel shot she'd had for about 20 years. It was sealed tight and stored in her attic untouched all that time. There was so much rust in there you couldn't see through the container and if you touched the shot the rust was all over your hands. She lives in NH, her attic isn't climate controlled... we get snow and rain and plenty of humdity. I'm sure some of our artist bears end up in storage in people's attics, basements, etc.... some for years even perhaps. I'd rather not take a chance I guess.
I use Garnet, it's quite fine like sand. I love it and I wont use anything else now, it gives a lovely smooth finnish and gives the bear a weighty feel. I was worried when I first tried it that the garnet may work itself through the fabric backing, but have been using it for around 18 months now and have had no problems with it.