This DIY baby memory bear project has been in the works a LONG time!
Several years ago, when I knew Jaden wasn’t using his receiving blanket any more, I started to brainstorm about what to do with it.
I had seen some people make Christmas ornaments out of it like this. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go that route. And I didn’t want to just leave it in his closet or his memory box forever.
When I was pregnant with Parker James in 2019, I was getting blasted with baby ads and craft ideas.
One that stood out was a memory bear made from someone’s shirt such as a grandfather or other loved one.
This made me think, I could probably do the same thing with a receiving blanket!
At the time, I was so pregnant I wasn’t up for doing much of anything! It was good enough that I was still choreographing/directing and teaching my voice lessons!
So I put the DIY baby memory bear project off, and decided I would make the bears for both boys for Christmas after I had the baby.
Well… if you read Parker James’ Birth Story… you’ll know I wasn’t in a great spot to take on a lot of big projects his first Christmas! (Go read that post…)
SO! The DIY baby memory bear project got pushed off to Christmas 2020! And HERE we are! I finally did it!
TAKING ON THE PROJECT
I’ll be honest. Yes, I sew. But for some reason this DIY baby blanket memory bear project made me a bit nervous!
I’m a total weirdo and never follow a pattern. Like I’ve said in my other DIY posts, I’m a person that likes to look at how something is made and I’ll recreate it or add my spin to the project.
This project, however, came with a pattern. To most, that would be super helpful… but I have hardly worked with patterns ever in my sewing carrier.
I’ve mostly just made my own!
Also, I’ve never made a stuffed animal or toy like this before. Both of these things combined made this project a bit daunting to me!
But! I dove in, spread the project out over a few days, and followed the directions carefully and slowly and…. The bear turned out SO cute! I’m SO glad I went through with it!
SO! Here’s how I made them!
First of all, I had to find a pattern that wasn’t super complicated and that I could wrap my head around!
I can’t tell you how many times people have tried to described how to do something (that is extremely simple, I might add) but they make it SO hard to understand that the task seems crazy difficult!
I come away thinking, “Man! If you would’ve just said glue this here, that would have been a lot simpler!” HA!
Between the video and the printed instructions, the pattern was very easy to follow!
The pattern says you’ll need about 1 yard of fabric.
The receiving blanket worked JUST right. It was like playing tetris to fit all the pieces on there and at an angle that caught the stripes the right way.
But it happened!
You could also use a loved one’s shirt or some other piece of fabric to make the bear!
I wanted the bear to have a little weight to him, so I also used a little rice along with the stuffing.
My original plan was to try and make the bear’s WEIGHT the same as my boys’ birth weight. Then I pictured Parker James trying to carry around a 7 lb bear and thought better of it!
To make the bear extra special, I also put their name and monogram on the bear as well as their birth stats. This made such a special touch!
HOW TO MAKE IT
It’s important to just take your time and follow the pattern. Possibly do a practice run on fabric that doesn’t matter as much as the blanket or the shirt.
The first thing I did to make the DIY baby memory bear was lay out the pieces of the pattern on the receiving blanket.
I traced out each piece onto the fabric. Make sure to flip over some pieces of the pieces that indicate they need reverse versions as well.
Be creative on which direction your fabric pattern will go. As you can see, I put the receiving blanket’s stripes running down the front of the DIY baby memory bear but not on his face or limbs.
Like I said above, I wanted to personalize the bears with the boys’ monograms and birth stats. I used my Cricut to make the iron on vinyl pieces.
To make this type of monogram I used this YouTube tutorial. Then I just made a cute design for their birth stats on the other side of the belly.
Once the personalization was done, I followed the step by step instructions on the pattern.
My biggest tips are to go slow and make sure each piece is the correct direction. Meaning, make sure when you’re sewing, the outside of fabric is turned in when sewing.
Watching the video once or twice through while following the written instructions once all the pieces of the DIY baby memory bear are cut out will help.
After following the instructions, and sewing the pieces together, I turned the whole thing inside out and stuffed it starting with the rice in the bottom of the body and the legs.
I decided that the arms didn’t need rice and could be softer.
Once the bear was stuffed, I sewed up the leg, arm and body openings using the ladder stitch.
And TA DA!! The bear is finished! I am so thrilled at the finished product! I cannot wait to surprise the boys with these on Christmas morning!
Don’t worry! I will definitely update this post as well as my Instagram!
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