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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Some more tips about chenille critters.

 Materials matter a great deal :

There are several types of chenille stems or pipe cleaners you can use :

Real pipecleaners  that are white and rather thin and made out of cotton. They are short so you need several per critter. This bunny was made using those. The wire does not show much when you bend the stems so it is easy to hide the bare spots with some cut off fur. They are perfect for  critters that are small like 1 inch tall.

 This is the second kind. They are made of the same material as the pipe cleaners but they are called cotton chenille stems. They are thicker and come in different colors as well. They are a bit harder to find though. You can find even thicker versions of this kind.  You will still need to hide some wire though. These are perfect for a bear that is more fluffy or a bit bigger.

This bear was made with the really thick ones.

This bear was made with the chenille stems you can buy at the craft store. You will see he is more skinny than the pipe cleaner type of bear. You have to look for the stems that show no wire when they are in the package for those are the best ones. But you will still have to cut and glue quite a bit to hide the wires when you want to use this type of chenille. There are tons of different thicknesses and colors and stuff so experimenting is the key.

Arms and legs will look a whole lot better when you work a bit on the loops you made for them. If you squeeze the loops together after  the bear shape is completed they will look a lot neater. You can also twist them around to improve the shape but that has to be done with great care or you will get ribbed and lumpy results.

Give your bear a look over and see if there are any spots where you see wire and hide that by gluing on some fur that you cut off the left over stems. Leave to dry well before you handle the bear again.

A hair cut will often improve your bear too.  If you use tiny scissors you can easily improve the shape of his ears or add some more expression  by trimming the nose.

 In this picture you can see the hairs on top of the ears  that need a bit of trimming as well as the nose area.

Eyes are the the next thing.  It is pretty hard to find perfectly round beads for the eyes. I use handmade onyx beads for mine that I cut in half. Half beads are easier to  glue to the face and you can sort of press them into the fur for a better look.  Cutting the beads can be done by pressing them with tweezers . Round beads make all the difference, they give a more professional look.

Embroidering a nose on the chenille is not easy. At least not easy to get it really neat. I usually glue on a nose and forget about the embroidery bit.

If you want paw pads you can glue on a piece of non fray fabric  and use pastels to color them in. It also is nice to add some to the inside of the ears.  This will add more character to your bear.

Every bear you make will be different and everyone 's bears will be different. I often find they have a mind of their own and will become what they want to be which  is often quite different from what I had in mind. But always better. Have fun !

See my critters who are ready for adoption at :