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

I am making a 3" bear. Well I have done the head. I have tiny cotterpins but would thread jointing look better. I have looked and a lot of people thread joint. I have some fantastic thin but ultra stong thread. I'm not 100% sure how to do it right either so you don't get those little dimples. I have not done a 3" bear for ten years so am a bit out of touch. Any ideas?

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

I've never thread jointed a non-felted a bear before, but if I were going to I would knot the thread and put that knot inside the limb, right where you would put the disk. Then stuff as you normally would and I imagine you wouldn't get any dimples that way.

Hope this helps,


Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Posts: 4,066

Hi Amanda
I've done both, thread jointing and tiny cotter pins.  With thread jointing, I take the thread through the bear into the inside of the limb taking a stitch and then back again into the body...pull as you go and go back and forth a couple of times.  Tie off and sink the knot close to the joint.  I think as long as you stuff firmly you shouldn't get the dimpling.  It is definately easier than sticking plyers into a 3inch bear!
Hope this helps and good luck  :rose:
Hugs Sarah

kathytaylor Ruby Mountain Bears
Northern Nevada, USA
Posts: 1,467

I always use cotter pins and they can be a trial. But I really like the way the bear looks and moves with the pin joint.
I agree it is really a pain trying to turn the pins inside a mini bears body though.

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

I'm a thread jointer too!  I do it basically the way that Sarah said!  It's always worked great for me.... I can't imagine how you get the pins turned otherwsie... I do know it's possible, just not possible for me I think!  I have a hard enough time turning the big cotter pin joints.

Kim basta
Wild Thyme Originals

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

I always used to thread joint  because I couldn't get cotter pins and discs small enough.  I use the same method Sarah does.  Just make sure before you tighten off your thread that your joints are moving smoothly - nothing worse than tying them all off and finding that one isn't working right.

I haven't made "true" minis in a couple of years - my bears now being between 3.5 and 4.5 inches so fully cotterpin jointed (yay to whoever invented T pins) but recently I made a 1.5 inch bunny and he was 5 way disc jointed.  I don't know how I did it.

Am working on a couple of other projects now and am going to try the home-made disc and jewellry head pin method as used by Debbie Kesling in her book...I will let you know how it goes.  My friend makes her bears this way and they are stunning (and TOBY nominated!!)

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

I've done both but for 3" and over I prefer cotter pins. You can get the really small ones with the washers and discs from Sassy Fabrics.
If I'm thread jointing I like to use sinew - I find it has some give and won't break no matter what.


kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

You can get mini washers from a hobby shop, that is where I get mine and my cotter pins from home depot....

Helena Bears-a-Bruin!
Macclesfield, UK
Posts: 1,291

I use a cotter pin in the neck joint (10mm joint for a 3" bear) and thread join the limbs. I use a similar technique to Sarah, but I double or triple the thread so I only need to take it through the body and limbs once. Also, I tie the threads off using a double knot (over and under twice) and pulling tight as I can. The double knot doesn't slip so easily and makes tying it again easier (this is a tip I came across ages ago, but don't remember where! It's also good for eyes.). I use a teeny tiny dab of glue to keep the knot secure before I hide the threads.

Phew, it's much easier to do than it is to explain!

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

I know on the bear I did 10 years ago I must of thread jointed as the legs fell off! I'll see how it goes as the cotterpins I have are small but I'll take my time if I thread joint and follow some of your tips. I could always do both on the bear, there could be room (in the body cavity) to do the legs in cotterpins then thread joint the arms, theres a thought.

clare14 Country Bears
Posts: 3,066

I've done both Amanda, but I do tend to thread joint more than cotter pin.   I do cotter pin the head, always.   I had a mishap when thread jointing a mini not so long ago, I used some bonded thread, and the knots just worked their way loose and untied themselves, so I'm careful with what thread I use.

What thread so others find most effective?

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I was excited when I saw this posting this am-but hubby caled and I couldn't read....I have wondered what you all did....Helena, what a good idea, cotter pinning the head.....The little arms are sooo small I just can't get my clunky fingers in there-  this is for 2" bears.

But perhaps the head...

I use upholstery thread for the thread jointing- usually a neutral color....It seems to work.

I gues my rational is just how much will these guys be dancing around....and I wont be here when they finally wear out....soo.....

You ladies are the much info, I can't believe how much I have learned from you



Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Posts: 4,066

A little secret I've discovered from my belly dancer sister (who beads her costumes furiously!) is bead thread.  It comes in all different sizes for little bears and big and is rot proof etc etc...
I use it for all the tough jobs, ears, eyes, ladderstitch etc. 
I love it and never have a problem with it.  Be interested to hear what others use tho.  I know dental floss is a no no now and is sort of thick too...
Hugs Sarah

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I inherited beading thread with all my mom-in-laws beading stuff-I'll have to get it out and give it a try....



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