How To Make A Tear Bear
The Making of a Mulberry Paper Bear
Presented by Tear Bear Artist and Designer - Kimm
(Not for duplication - all rights reserved.)
I am happy to supply you with my basic instructions for creating an adorable handmade mulberry paper bear. These are just the basics instructions, but with practice and patience, you will be on your way to creating adorable little tear bears and critters in no time.
♥ Basic Supplies...
- Tear Bear or Critter Pattern
- Extra Thick Mulberry Paper
- The "Beary" Creative Multipurpose Tear Bear Tool (a Beary Scrap Exclusive)
- Glue Stick or other thick adhesive(Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue works well.)
- Water Flow/Barrel Brush (ditch the q-tip and paint brush!)
- Scissors or small oval shaped punch for eyes and nose (Fiskars 5/16" Oval or Tear Drop punches work great!)
- Black cardstock for eyes and nose (or use our FREE Printables!)
- Tweezers (helps to place your eyes and nose)
- White Gel Pen
- Fine Black Pigma Micron Pen (01, 02, or 03)
- Fluff Me! Brush Set (only sold here!)
- Chalk (Artist Chalk or Cat’s eye Fluid Chalk for detailing. Use at least 1 shade darker than the paper you are working with.. Chestnut Roan or Creamy Brown)
♥ Paper Quality...
First and foremost, the quality of your mulberry paper is the key to successful tear bear making. There are a variety of different thicknesses and textures of paper on the market, so be careful what you are buying. Shop with us and you won't go wrong!
Here is a list of examples you will find:
Light Weight or Tissue Paper: This paper is anywhere from 30-70gsm in weight. This is an industry standard weight paper and is NOT ideal for making torn critters. This paper is generally used for card making and invitations.
Medium Weight: This paper is generally 70-90gms. It’s great for cards and backgrounds, but not ideal for making torn critters.
Premium Weight/Heavy: This paper is another industry standard paper and is usually 90-110gms in thickness. This paper is readily passed off as “thick” or “extra thick” by many suppliers that carry mulberry papers. Although this can be used successfully in creating torn critters, you will most likely need to use multiple layers (more than 2) in order to achieve good results for dimension and fluff.
Extra Thick: This IS the paper that you want to use for creating your torn critters. The thickness of this paper is at least 150-165gsm. Few retail craft suppliers carry this weight as it is generally a bit more expensive and the batches must be custom ordered and made to specifications. Production takes longer and overseas shipping is costly. Many claim their paper is "extra thick" but fail to meet the actual "gsm" standards. Others carry a variety of thicknesses and textures and get confused between paper packs. So that there is no confusion with thickness, this is the ONLY thickness of paper we carry. It is the BEST you can find, anwhere!
Secondly, you want texture! If you want the fuzziest critter around, the lumpier the paper, the better!
♥ Tearing Teddy...
Now, lets get on with the basic instruction...
Gather all supplies needed.
Tracing Your Pattern: 2 different techniques.
Method 1: Using your pencil begin tracing you pattern on the *back* side (smooth side) of your mulberry paper. NOT THE LUMPY SIDE. Using the back side will hide your pencil marks. Keep you parts about 1/4" apart between each pattern piece. You want to leave enough room between each piece for tearing. For an extra fluffy bear, trace 2 of each part for layering. The best tear bear artists layer their bears for the fluffiest appearance.
Method 2 (easy): Using your "Beary Creative" Multipurpose Tear Bear Tool, gently "score" your pattern onto the *back* side (smooth side) of your mulberry paper. You do not need to use a lot of pressure. The idea is to leave a lightly "scored" mark. This method serves as a great tearing guide and will keep your pieces uniform and even when tearing.
Now that your pieces are traced, go over the parts with your water barrel brush. (Please, by all means, do not use a cotton swab or a paint brush and cup of water. Tear Bears take a long time to make, and we all know how precious time is these days.) Make sure that you have wet your paper enough to tear. Only do a few pieces at a time. If you get too much water on the paper, don't worry... it will dry. Wetting the mulberry paper for tearing will enhance your bear's "fluff".
Once you've wet a few parts, it's now time to tear. Tear the parts towards you. Again, this has to do with "fluff".
Now that you have a bunch of "bear parts", let them dry completely before proceeding.
Have your teddy parts dried? Time to layer. Match up all parts and glue them together ontop of each other, "lumpy" side up on both pieces. The smooth side should be down. After adhering all parts, allow them some drying time.
♥ Putting it All Together...
Use your stiff "Fluff Me!" brush to fluff your bear parts. If you want to create a "scruffy" look, pull some fibers up with your paper piercer.
Next, I like to add my chalking detail around the edges. This also helps add dimension and creates more visible "fluff".
After detailing, I then arrange my pieces and pose my teddy. Once I've gotten a pose I like, I then glue the pieces together and make my teddy.
Now, add the eyes and nose to your teddy. Put a dot of tombow liquid glue (or glue of your choice) on the back. Using tweezers, position the nose first, then the eyes. Positioning the nose first helps make sure the eyes are evenly placed.
Next, add eye lashes and a mouth using your fine tip Micron Pen. Add a "dot" of white to the inside of the eyes for sparkle.
Finally, groom your bear using the your soft "Fluff Me!" This removes any loose debris and gives your teddy a nice finishing touch.
There you have it. Your own little bear.