Thursday, July 16, 2009

Instructions On How To Make Tear Bears

1. Materials Needed
Handmade Mulberry Paper. You can obtain Handmade Mulberry(thick not thin) paper from your local scrapbook store (possibly), or you can order it on the Internet.
If those places are sold out (which, sometimes they are), do a search on e Bay for "Tear Bear Paper" or "Torn Bear paper" or "Handmade Mulberry Paper" and there are several sellers who are always selling handmade mulberry paper.
Personally, my favorite colors for making tear bears are Maple (a brown-ish color), Rosewood (baby pink), and Icelandic (baby blue). I must stress the importance in using only thick Handmade Mulberry paper for your tear bears. Other papers just don't do a great job. They aren't as thick, and they don't fluff very well.
Scissors for cutting out the pattern that comes with this instruction sheet.
Pencil for tracing the pattern onto the Handmade Mulberry paper.
Medium bristle toothbrush or "Fluffing brush" for fluffing your tear bear.
Adhesive. You can use anything that you normally scrapbook with, as long as it's scrapbook safe and thin. If using glue, uses small amounts as it will seep through the paper.
Cup of water for wetting your paper
Chalk for adding dimension to your bear
Sewing needle for making curly hair
Paint brush or Q-tip for outlining your pattern for tearing
Scrapbook Safe Craft Glue for use ONLY on the eyes and nose of your bear.
Black card stock for eyes, and nose.
White gel pen for eye "dots"

2. Printing Pattern and tracing it to your Mulberry paper
Print the pattern that comes with these instructions. (I use heavy card stock to print my pattern onto)
Cut out all pieces of the pattern.
Turn your mulberry paper to the side that isn't "lumpy". One side is fairly smooth. That's the back side.
Trace each piece of the pattern onto the backside of the Mulberry paper with a pencil. Make sure to leave at least ½ inch around all sides of each of the pieces so that you have enough room to "tear".

3. Tearing Your Bear
Now that your pattern is on the Mulberry paper, you're ready to tear your bear. Start by dipping your paint brush or Q-tip into your cup of water and trace around the outline of your pattern with the water. You want the water to soak into the lines quite well. My favorite way to tear is very slowly and with a bright lamp shining on my work area so I can see what I'm doing.
Let's start with the head. Try this: With the paper on a table, hold the circle (head) down with your left hand and tear (moving up, rather than out) with your right hand. Do it slowly, working around the whole head. If you look closely enough you can see the fibers tearing. That's a good sign because this is what makes your bear fluffy!
Now, remember, each piece must be completely dry before you can start to fluff. Each piece does not have to be perfect and the outline for the bear pieces is just that - an outline. Your bears should each be different and have their own personalities!
NOTE: you can dry tear your pattern (or cut it out for parts you don't want to be fluffy)

4. Fluffing Your Bear
This is the part that many people are confused about: WHAT in the world do you use to get your bears so fluffy and cute? Well, I've found the answer to that through hours of trial and error.
Use your toothbrush or "fluffing brush"to "brush" the bear parts. I find brushing the parts in both directions makes the bears look very fluffy, paying close attention to the very outside edge of each piece. This is the part that you want to be very fluffy. Start by brushing from the center to the outside edge and gently in the opposite direction, from the outside edge to the center. Brush the pieces as much as needed or until you feel it's fluffy enough to go on to the next piece. Start by brushing from the Play around with this method! The more your practice, the fluffier your bears will be!
For a curly hair bear
Wet your pattern pieces with water and then fluff with the needle technique. (Take the tip of a sewing needle and work all over each pattern piece by lifting the top layer of fibers). Do not brush, let fibers dry curly and fluffed
Chalk around each piece as desired. Pink cheeks always look adorable! You may want experiment with chalk colors on scraps of mulberry first. Bears also look adorable with 3 little freckles on each cheek.

5. Piecing Your Bears Together
The ears should be glued behind the head. The snout should be applied to the bottom of the head. The body should be glued behind the head. Arms can be placed either behind or in front of the body, depending on how you like them. Same goes for the legs. Be sure not to apply glue to close to the edge as this will not allow the paper to fluff.

6. Adding Eyes And Nose
Cut eyes out or use a tear drop or oval punch and apply white dots in the lower or upper center of the eyes using your white gel pen.
Using a small amount of scrapbook safe craft glue (and I mean a VERY small amount) adhere the eyes right above the snout. They should be far apart enough that they look "natural". You can play around with this, and I suggest figuring out exactly where you want to place the eyes before you apply the glue.
Cut or punch (I use a paw punch or oval punch) and adhere the nose between the eyes, on the snout. Make sure it's centered.


Some people double their handmade paper pattern to make their bears even fluffier! I do this occasionally and they turn out quite well. You can also use multi layers (3 or 4 layers) One each smaller than the other. You can also use this pattern to make bears out of colored card stock.