I'd like to add some magnets into the paws of a bear so he can hold onto something. But I'm not sure how to go about this, what kind of magnet would I use and would I just put it in amongst the stuffing in the paw or have to secure it somehow?
Thanks for any ideas,
I've been collecting "reborn" dolls for awhile and the doll artists use magnets inside their little babies mouths so they can take modified pacifiers. They are actually glued in. You might check some of the reborn doll supply places and see what they have. The magnets are quite strong and you would want to put some kind of warning for individuals with pacemakers, etc. Check out "reborn" in the dolls category on Ebay and you'll see what I mean.
Check out the rare-earth magnets at Lee Valley.
They're very strong, come in all sizes, and can be glued in place with epoxy. I've never used them for bears, but I'm guessing that you could put a magnet in the bear's paw and a small washer in the thing you wanted it to hold.
We have done a couple of bears with magnets and they can be such fun! I would suggest using the strongest magnets that you can find. They still need to attract each other and hold together even with two layers of fabric between them and the weight of the arms and gravity tugging against them. I think you'll find if you use magnets that are too weak, or pad in between them much (I don't recommend burying them in the middle of a bunch of polyfill), the magnets will not stick together well, if at all. We usually just tuck them right up against the fabric where they need to go.
Here is a picture of Petey and his Poppy, a little mink bear with magnets tucked in the middle of his pawpads so that his hands clasped together. Interestingly enough, the wire inside the silk flower stem also stuck to each magnet, so he had a VERY secure grip on the flower with the magnets together, and probably could even have held it upright in only one paw.
And this is Katy, a very new bear for us who has jointed wrists. She also has magnets tucked on the inner side of her paws, so she can hold her paws together in front of her and clasp her gingerbread man tightly.
Hope this helps!
Gee, you folks are nice Just wanted to answer some questions that were asked...
Sandi, I could barely find where the magnets were on Katy even though I knew where they were. I think the length of her fur helped hide them even pressed up against the fabric, she was big, about 20" tall with thick 1" fur. The little mink bear Petey had magnets that were more noticeable inside his paws, but he was only 7" tall so they were proportionately much larger in him. I guess the answer is 'it depends'...?
Eileen, I may have an even less helpful answer for you. As to whether her wrist joint is like a double-jointed neck, the answer is both yes and no. If I left it at that, you'd hate me, I know Her wrists do not have a separate wedge piece like a double-jointed neck would, so that part is the 'no'. But what we did do was cap the two ends with fabric circles like you would on the ends of a double-jointed neck (instead of gathering), so that where the two parts join is much smoother and less noticeable.
I did take a series of photos with Katy to show how her wrists could move with wrist joints + magnets in the inner paws. Here she is holding them regularly, with the turned down paws design built into the pattern.
Here is Katy with her wrists turned at their joints, so that her paws turn inwards toward each other.
And here she is with her paws straightened back out in their regular turned down paws position, but with the magnets on the inside of her paws stuck together.
Hope this helps!