How to Refurbish Your Old Teddy Bear for Your Own Children

A teddy bear can go through a lot with all of the hugging and squeezing it endures.  Time spent lost beneath the bed or behind the washer doesn’t do the teddy bear any good either!  When you look at the ratty remains of your once-favorite teddy bear, you might be tempted to throw it away.  Before you discard it, think about all of the great times you or your children had with the bear.  Instead of getting rid of it, consider refurbishing the toy.


The first thing that you want to do when you refurbish your teddy bear is to remove the stuffing.  If there is a hole in the seam already, it should be easy to remove the stuffing.  If there isn’t a hole, you will want to cut a small hole in the seam to remove the stuffing.  Don’t worry, you can always sew this back up after the process.  Cut straight down the seam along the line of the stitches, never cut the toy itself.

The next step is to wash the teddy bear’s fur.  You need to hand wash the fur gently in warm water, and only use mild detergent such as shampoo.  This step can take some time because you have to keep washing and changing out the water until it doesn’t discolor with dirt and grime.  


Once the teddy bear is clean, use a towel to remove the excess water and then use a blow dryer to dry more of the water.  Let the teddy bear air-dry for at least 24 hours in an airing cupboard or other warm place.


Next, take a natural bristle brush or nail brush, and brush the fur thoroughly in the opposite direction to how it currently lies, to make it stand back up.  Years of hugging will have packed it down, so you may need to put some elbow grease into getting the fur fluffed up again!


Consider the condition of the bear’s eyes, nose and other plastic or glass features.  If they are cracked or scuffed, visit a craft store and purchase a new set of glass eyes.  Remove the old eyes by prying off the metal washer that holds them in place from the inside, using a pair of pliers.  Push the new eyes through the hole, clip on the washer, and your bear will seem like a brand new toy! (NOTE –  Ensure the washer fits tightly before giving the bear to your children, especially if you have younger children who could swallow a loose set of eyes.)


Now, check the seams to see if you need to replace any of them.  If so then sew the seams together so they are tight, leaving room to re-stuff the teddy bear.  Stuff the bear full and then sew up the last of the seams.

Give your new bear some love, and enjoy the fact that you just refurbished one of your childhood memories!

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