If you love easy crafts, this cute stuffed bear is for you. It’s simple to make, and it’s the perfect way to reuse an old winter glove! I grab my knit gloves from the dollar store, and it allows me to make these cute stuffed bears in any color I like. They make great gifts for kids or even baby toys.
A version of this first appeared on this site way back in 2012, however it wasn’t super clear and needed updating.
First, credit where it’s due, the original idea for this comes from the book “Happy Gloves – Charming Softy Friends Made From Colorful Gloves” by Miyako Kanamori. The author also has a book called “Sock and Glove – Creating Charming Softy Friends from Cast-off Socks and Gloves.” When I originally posted this craft, I had no idea where the original idea came from, and several people kindly let me know in comments, so I wanted to be sure to credit properly this time around.
Now, I think it’s important to point out that I am NOT great at sewing. I can make basic stitches, but I don’t know enough to be any sort of authority. The good news is that if I can do it, so can you. Not knowing how to sew does not preclude you from joining in on this fun craft.
If you are someone who sews, this should be extra simple. The stitch I used is the whip stitch, which is basically a really simple in, out and around motion that works pretty well.
To begin, you’ll need a glove. I had these black ones on hand, but the Dollar Tree has loads of gloves in different colors for cheap, so you can always find yourself a better color. You’ll also need a needle and thread, scissors and any embellishments you may want to add. In my original version, I gave the bear button eyes and a felt nose. But for this version, I simply made the face with different colors of thread.
Turn the glove inside out, as you’ll want to make sure you sew INSIDE the stuffie so there are no weird lines. Refer to the photo above to know where to cut as you go.
Begin by cutting the thumb of the glove off. This is going to be the tail for your critter. You can make it as long or as short as you want. I chose to cut the tip off for a shorter tail, but you can make it longer if you want a different animal.
Next, cut between the second and third fingers so that you have two sets of two fingers. Cut all the way up to the top of palm of the glove and remove. This will become the body/legs of your animal.
Cut the very tips of the legs off so that you have two small half circles. You can trim the legs so they are more rounded, allowing you to sew them more easily. The two half circles will become the ears.
Next, cut the two fingers left on the glove, as these will become arms.
The final cut is the area above those two fingers, which should be enough for the head.
To help envision the final product, lay out your pieces in front of you to see how they will fit together.
Then, begin your sewing. Using a whip stitch, sew along the open side of your body/leg piece and down and around the feet. Make sure you close any gaps so that stuffing can’t escape.
Next, pull the glove so it’s no longer inside out, and add your stuffing into the legs/body, sewing the top of the whole piece closed. Be sure not to over-stuff, as it will make the weave very thin, and it may also cause your stitches to break.
Move on to the head, sewing around the entire piece, leaving a gap in the back to add more stuffing. Be sure to flip it so it’s not inside out before you stuff. Once you have a shape you like, sew this closed, as well.
Very carefully, sew the head to the body, using whatever method works best for you. I like to add a lot of back and forth extra stitches to make sure it’s secure. I also chose to sew the chin area to the chest area so that the stuffie would look more stable and to stop the head flopping around.
Moving on to the arms, you simply need to pull them right side out, stuff them, and then sew them to the body. There are many ways you can do this, but I chose to sew the shoulder areas to the body by going around the entire outer arm in a circle. I considered simply closing the arm hole first and then sewing it to the body, but I didn’t want a flat seam. I wanted a rounded arm, and this seemed the easiest way.
Once both arms are attached, you have the basic body of your critter. Now it’s just about adding a tail and ears. I added the tail first, stuffing it slightly and then closing it. I then sewed it to his backside.
The ears were simple, as well. I pinched them together a bit before sewing them to the head of the critter.
Next, I took some colored thread and sewed a pink nose and greenish eyes to give him character.
The final step was adding a little scarf. For this, I simply cut the very bottom of the glove off, where the wrist part is. It is stretchy and ribbed, and it looked just perfect for this job. I cut it out and then tied it around the critter’s neck, sewing a couple of stitches to it so that it would stay put.
And that was it. Our little critter is all done. I personally think it looks more like a mouse than a bear this time around, but regardless it’s pretty cute. I gave it to my six year old son, and he named it Barnabus. SO CUTE!
This whole process only took about an hour, and it would have been quicker if I was better at sewing. I think even young children could make this with a little direction from mom or dad.
I hope you love it and will give it a try. I know it’s the perfect craft for kids or adults who want to make a simple sewing project.