Earth Day Craft Idea - #1
Yarn Wrapped Bear Bank by S.D. Ferrell
Saturday, April 22, 2022, is Earth Day. Start saving your recycled materials to make this easy Yarn Wrapped Bear Bank. You are helping to reduce the garbage going to landfills, but you are also creating something practical. What child doesn't like a piggy bank? And, it's easier to make than you think with photos and step-by-step instructions.
1 - 6.5 oz of Sherpa or faux fur yarn in any colour
2 - recycled paper towel rolls
1 - recycled plastic container with a lid. I used an icing container for this project, but you can use whatever plastic container is handy.
1 - 3-inch foam craft ball
1 - 2-inch long, egg-shaped foam craft ball
2 - 2-inch foam craft ball
1 - 1 3/4-inch foam craft ball
1 - 2-inch by 3-inch piece of white fabric like a sock or scrap of material. You can also use white Sherpa or faux fur yarn
2 - animal or solid black safety eyes any size
1 - animal safety nose any size
Fiberfill stuffing or scraps of fabric or yarn
Glue gun and sticks
Scissors and a knife
A brush and acrylic craft paint in the same colour as the primary yarn
Sculpting the Body:
Step 1 - Torso
Take the wrapping off the container, and clean thoroughly. When dry, turn the container upside down, so the lid is on the bottom. This is where your child can access the money. Cut a 1-inch coin slot just below the top ridge of the body. Test to make sure a large coin will fit in the slot. Adjust as needed.
NOTE: Make sure that the coin slot is facing the back when you assemble your Yarn Wrapped Bear Bank.
Step 2 - Paws, Ears and Nose
Paws - Cut both 2-inch foam balls in half.
Ears - Cut the one 1 3/4-inch foam ball in half. Slice a bit off so that it will lay flat on the head (see photo for reference)
Nose - Slice a thin piece (approximately 1/4 inch) off the larger end of the egg-shaped foam ball. This will be the end you attach to the head.
Step 3 - Paw Pads, Ear Centers and Bear Bottom.
Using the flat side of the paws and ears for a template, cut out shapes from scrap pieces of fabric. For this project, I used fleece, but you can use whatever is handy. Using the container's lid, cut out a template for the bear's bottom. Depending on the look you are going for, the edges of the fabric can be raw or tucked in. If you want a cleaner edge make sure your template is a 1/2 inch to 1 inch larger than what you need.
Step 4 - Legs and Arms
Cut two 2 -inch length pieces of the cardboard tube and two 3-inch pieces. The 2-inch pieces will be the arms, and the 3-inch pieces are for the legs. If you use a larger container, like a peanut butter jar, you will need to adjust the arm and leg lengths.
Assembling the Body:
Arms and Legs
Step 1 - Using a hot glue gun, attach the paws to one end of the legs and arms on a diagonal with the flat side facing outward. (see Yarn Wrapped Bear Body Frame photo)
Step 2 - Stuff the legs and arms with fiberfill or scraps of fabric or leftover yarn. This adds stability to the body frame when you go to wrap the yarn.
Step 3 - Glue the arms and legs to the body as seen in the photo.
Step 4 - Glue the flat end of the nose to the middle of the 3-inch foam craft ball. Glue the ears to either side of the 3-inch foam ball. See photo for placement.
Step 5 - Glue the head to the top of the container, making sure that the nose is facing frontwards. Remember, the coin slot should be at the back.
Step 6 - Paint the head, arms and legs a similar colour to the primary yarn you chose. Let dry.
Wrapping the Body
Step 1 - Once the paint is dry, push the eyes and nose-tip in place as shown in the photo. Take them out, and then add a bit of glue into the hole. And then reattach the eyes and nose. You don't actually need the safety latch; save it for another project.
NOTE: Remember, you don't need to wrap the paw pads or the ear centers.
Step 2 - I use hot glue to adhere the yarn to the body because it dries quicker. However, you could use craft glue that dries clear like Modge Podge. I wrap the legs first, but you could start anywhere. Place a bead of glue around the circumference of the leg, and then adhere the yarn to it.
Keep in mind that there is no hard and fast rule to wrapping the yarn; use whatever technique works best for you. The same can be said for the colour you use. Wrap it all in one colour or mix it up. But take your time wrapping the yarn, making sure the layers are right next to each other. Don't worry; however, you can always go back and add more yarn if you miss spots.
When it comes to wrapping the belly and back, you will not be able to wrap around the circumference because the legs and arms are in the way. I cut lengths of yarn and glued them in place to accomplish it. If you want your bear to have a bigger belly, I suggest gluing a bit of fiberfill to the container and covering it with fabric. Depending on the look you are going for, the edge of the material can be raw or tucked in.
Step 3 - Once the bear is wrapped, glue the paw pads and ear centers in place. Glue the bear's bottom to the bottom of the lid, covering the edge but the rim. Test to make sure the lid still fits securely.
NOTE: Hot glue tends to warp plastic. I suggest setting your glue gun on low or use sparingly.
To finish your Yarn Wrapped Bear Bank add a coordinating bow.
I rate this project "Intermediate" because sculpting the body and wrapping the yarn takes time and patience. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoy making this craft. If you try this project, I would love to see your pictures. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with Yarn Wrapped Bear Bank in the subject bar.