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Karon Posts: 751

I thought this  might be a fun thread and could be informative!

My favourite piece of teddy bear kit is my Clover graduated bradawl.

not only do I like because of the way you can make large or tiny holes for joints eyes etc. without breaking the thread, but I love the fact it is so tactile.

A few monthis ago it "went for a walk" and never came home - after a short while I couldn't stand it any more and had to purchase another one - and they are not cheap!.

I also have a pair of really pretty, and expensive, Italian scissors, they are also a joy to use.


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

Ooh, GREAT topic Karon!  :clap:

Umm, I can't pick just one, so can I have 2.....if I say pretty please??

Ok, my first is my Fiskars soft touch micro tip scissors - they are sprung loaded and take a bit of getting used but I LOVE mine for cutting out mohair/alpaca/suede etc.

And second are my forceps - I used them for stuffing my bears up to 12", pulling needles through mohair, turning limbs etc...they're soooo versatile and I'd be lost without them....was also very excited to find a very small pair a few years ago that are excellent for minis!

Gemma X

Posts: 1,586

bear_wub There are so many tools to use for bears, and some are good and some are not.  I guess my favorite right now is the Featherweight Machine I purchased from Cathy.  the big machines do not compare to this little beauty.
I would now be lost without it.  And I do value my hand made stuffer, a fondue fork with the tips broken off leaving just enough metal to pull at the fiberfill.  Great thread.
Hugs Pat bear_flower

Lovethosebears Yorkshire
Posts: 1,899

Good topic Karon! 

Mine must be my small scissors that I use to sculpt the puffy cheeks.  I hope they never go 'walk abouts' coz I can't remember where I got them from  bear_ermm

:hug:  Ali

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

I am with Gemma and the Fiskar scissors.  I have two pair and I couldn't cut out any fur without them.  I don't know how I even cut fur for 20 some years before I got my scissors 3 years ago.   They do take some getting use to but they better never disappear. bear_original

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

My stuffing tool..... there are similar ones to mine out there but NONE are as strong yet skinny with the right shaped "fork" on the ends as mine! Mom and Dad got it for me on a trip to AZ at a store that closed a few years ago. I'll never find another so if this one ever leaves me I will have to quit bear making. SERIOUSLY!

(Pat, of all the things I've used and recommend to students for use as a stuffing tool I never thought of a fondue fork! Brilliant idea!)

enchantmentsart Feather Heart Creations
Posts: 419

Oh fun topic.   :dance:
I would have to say my fav tools are my hemostats.  I have large to small & I use them for stuffing, turning, pulling needle though tought spots, holding cotter pins in place and just about everything else! Best thing they are only a few bucks on e-bay  bear_grin

Linda Benson Bears
Posts: 562

My stuffing/turning tool which is a round file I "borrowed" from Chris' chainsaw bag, too many years ago to remember! I use this same tool for my miniatures and for my really big bears. With all the travelling I do teaching workshops I have pared my "essential" tool kit down to minimum as it's too easy to collect too many and they get heavy!
And of late my thimble, a new one I bought from a quilting store. It's just a little concave, dimpled disc of stainless steel which attaches to your finger with double sided tape. I put it on in the morning and it pretty well stays there all day, I forget I'm wearing it.IMG_3263.JPG

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

My round nose pliers...I can't do anything till they are by may side...they turn all my joints...pluck the nose area clean...and pull the needle through when I sew....couldn't work without them.

eteddys eTeddys
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 880

OH definitely my stuffing tool, I make them myself and my forceps.  These are really expensive forceps That came out of my sisters surgical kit.  They are not your run of the mill, can buy them anywhere pair.  My sister has got me cheapies but they just don't compare.  She was so nice to give these to me. 

Daphne, did your parents buy the tool at Bear Makin's???  Because I make the stuffing tool that they used to sell.  Only, I make a longer version since my bears are bigger.


minkbears Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
Lakewood CA
Posts: 1,387

I totally agree about the Fiskars scissors, they are the best!

And I'm going to look for that Ultra Thimble that Linda shared.

But the one tool that I could not be without are the scissors that I sculpt my bears faces with, my bears are small so the scissors have to be small with very pointed ends to get into tiny areas. I found that eyebrow or mustache scissors were perfect for that task, so I have several in different sizes and shapes.

bear_thumb  ~ Kathy

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,564

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I've been trying to decide what answer I would put here since you posted, Karon, but I can't come up with one, two, or even three favorite items.  They all have equal importance and I can't think of any one of them that I would want to do without.  After 13 years of bearmaking, I've tried different things, adapted several items, and now have the tools that I prefer for each stage of creating the teddy.  I'm a happy camper.

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

Daphne, did your parents buy the tool at Bear Makin's???  Because I make the stuffing tool that they used to sell.  Only, I make a longer version since my bears are bigger.

Yes, probably 8 years ago atleast. It has a grey handle. is about 12" long and looks like it's a heavy duty German doll needle with the tip of the eye cut and the ends filed. Does that sound familiar? I've found Barbara Willis's Stuffing Fork to be close but it's not strong enough and it bends.

KJ Lyons KJ Lyons Design
Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,413

So many things! Probably my gingher scissors, expensive but worth it. I've had them sharpened many times. Then my dyeing and coloring equipment. I'm constantly refining what I use; coloring is so important with my cats.

Clarebear Fulrfun Bears
Alice Springs
Posts: 503

I agree with lots of you - none of my tools are much good on their own but I am definitely with Karon on the awl and Gemma with the Fiskars.  I also have a stubby ratchet handle that my hubby bought me and I absolutely love it when I am jointing with nuts and bolts.  Another favourite when I am making minis would have to be a very cheap pair of magnifying glasses that i stick pretty much on the end of my nose while wearing my ordinary glasses.  Then there are the haemostats which I use for a lot more than turning - I stuff with them, turn cotter pins and have been known to pluck out mohair with them.  Another favourite which may not classify as a tool is a block of wax - helps with thread, waxing etc.  I also have a pair of electric scissors which I use when making larger bears and they are fantastic.  then there's the cordless screwdriver, the measuring thingy with the wheel (great for inserting eyes symmetrically but the name escapes me at the moment).  ohh and my camera, which leads to my computer and my printer and my remote thing for the camera and my tripod and and and my clip on book light and  I could go on all day but I love all my bearmaking tools.  :crackup:

eteddys eTeddys
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 880

Yep Daphne, that's it.  The guy who originally owned the store made them and that is all they are, a big fat needle with the eye cut.  They are the best stuffing tool but you must use them with caution!  Have you ever rammed yours into the palm of your hand?  That's my favorite trick.  : )  If you ever loose yours and want to make some, I can tell you where to get the handles.  It's really hard to find blank handles.

Oh, and I forgot about my big curved needles.  I can't work without those!  So, I have 3 favorites. 


lovenshire Love and Cuddle Nursery
Posts: 945

Oh, that is hard and I have not been making bears for many years like some of you.  I love my big needles that were so hard to tiny expensive sissors, but, I have to say to me the most important part of my kit is my small needle nose pliers!  My wrists are not as strong as they used to be and I pull that big old needle through with them.  Also use them on my joints and many other things that come along...don't touch my pliers!

rowarrior The Littlest Thistle
Posts: 6,212

I think my favourites are my socket set, which I use for jointing, and my little French embroidery scissors that I use for trimming.  I had a near heart stopping moment when we were on holiday this summer and my mum knocked the table we were sitting at outside and my small scissors I used for cutting EVERYTHING fell point first onto the stone slabs, bending the tips.  As I got them in South Africa, it's not like I can just pop by and get more, and I hadn't seen similar ones here, but I had a hunt round the net and found some 4" Janome ones which now do the mohair cutting, thread trimming etc, and mum managed to find little embroidery scissors in a tiny shop in Carpentras, where we were on holiday (at €13 gulp!) They're so nice and tight, and I'm so paranoid now, they're ultra protected and only used for scissor sculpting.

danceswithteddybears Dances With Teddy Bears
Pacific Northwest
Posts: 697

Alligator clips, in three sizes.  I love them!  I never use pins. 
Second highest is my Fiskar spring-loaded scissors.  I agree with everyone, they're wonderful.

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

I forgot about the one piece I could never do without.  That is a socket which I got from my husbands tool box.  I know that most everyone doesn't joint their bears with the plastic locking joints, but I do as I make only child safe bears.  The joints that I buy have a heavy thick center post and there is no way to get the pieces together without lots of muscle.  I set the socket on a hard surface and push the plastic washer on with everything sitting on the socket and the center hole of the socket is just the right size to push the center post through.  It takes both hand on the top and all my weight to get the joints together.  I would be lost without that socket.

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

Eva, have you ever tried the round wooden knob they make for those joints? That thing is a life saver to me! I still have to practically stand on it to snap the joints together. Those things are TOUGH!! bear_tongue

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

No Daphne, I haven't tried it.  I have seen them but because the socket I use has worked so well for me I just have not bought anything else.  Over the years, they have changed the plastic joints and they are so much better than the old ones which would loosen up over time and these newer ones really stay tight but they are a bugger to get snapped together.

Karon Posts: 751

I think I am going to have to try those Friskars scissors - sounds like a must have bit of kit!

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

Would you believe it if I told you my letter opener is my favorite bear making tool? Well it has a sharp point and it is the best thing ever for packing the stuffing in the bear parts. It takes less energy to tap and pack it firmly. I found the tips of my small scissors do the same thing for my mini's.

emmastephens Emma Stephens Crafty Creations
Posts: 79

It's got to be my forceps. I use them for everything; stuffing, turning, pulling through thread, keeping open seams together... I don't think I could survive without them bear_tongue
I also love my heart head pins, mostly because they look pretty in my sewing box bear_tongue


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