Blessing Bears

Over the years, I’ve created more different types of projects than I can count, but my favorites are always the things I’ve made for others. Recently, a project idea that started with my son has exploded into a special ministry we call the Blessing Bears.

Image contains a white table filled with grey and brown plush fleece bears with colorful felt hearts.

Last summer, along with a group of crafty friends, we made gifts for the residents at a local assisted living facility. About a month ago, my 15-year-old son asked if we could do that again. He went on Pinterest, found a free pattern for a simple plush teddy bear, and brought it to me saying it was what he wanted to make. We got a very special group of crafters together with the goal of making 15 bears, one for each resident.

Image contains a group of five women and a teenage boy holding plush fleece bears. A DreamBox craft station is in the background.

But it didn’t stop there. A few days after we made them, one of the ladies in our group asked if we could give one to her dad, who had fallen and injured his head. Another friend asked for one for someone who was in the hospital. Requests started rolling in, and each time, as we hear about people in our community (and far outside of it) who are ill, hurt, grieving, dealing with difficult circumstances, or otherwise in need of encouragement, we dispatch a blessing bear. As of May 15, we have given away 50 bears! We are currently working on a batch of 30 for another assisted living facility in the area.

Image contains an elderly man in a long sleeve polo shirt holding a grey plush fleece bear.

Some of the blessing bears are hand delivered, some get anonymously “porch dropped,” and some get shipped to distant states. Each one is made with love, prayed over, and named, then sent off to where it’s needed.

These sweet bears are simple to make, and each one is completely unique! The pattern has a variety of noses and muzzles, and you can add a belly or not. Our bears are different shades of brown and/or grey, but you can use any colors of fleece you like. We give each bear a colored heart, and the girl bears get matching hair bows. They also have little pom-pom tails! I wanted to share a link to the pattern with you in case you’d like to make some blessing bears for the people in your life and community.

Image contains Amy, her mom, and her son standing outside an assisted living facility holding baskets filled with plush fleece bears.

Materials

  • 1/3 yard fleece fabric (makes 3 bears)
  • felt, assorted colors
  • craft eyes
  • scissors
  • needle and thread
  • Poly-Fil
  • free pattern
Image contains a close-up view of a brown plush fleece bear with a light blue heart and hair bow.

You can find the full photo tutorial with written instructions for assembling the bears here. I hope they are as big a blessing to you as they have been to us.

Crafting Tips

  • We altered the ears on the original pattern to make them a bit larger and easier to sew and stuff.
  • While you can just glue the nose, heart, and muzzle, we recommend hand stitching around the pieces.
  • We use flat-backed eyes and glue them on. However, you can use safety eyes if you are using the bears for small children.
  • In addition to fleece, you can make these bears out of denim or cotton fabric.
  • Don’t forget to add a pom-pom tail on the back side!
Image contins a basket filled with grey and brown plush fleece bears.

Frequently Asked Questions

How large are the bears?

The finished plush is approximately 9.5”-10” tall.

I don’t sew, but I know someone in need. Can I request a bear?

No guarantees, but you can email [email protected] with information and we will see if we have any extra bears to send.

Where can I donate these bears?

Check in your local community with the hospital, assisted living center, etc. to see where you could meet a need.

Image contains a boy wearing a bear costume holding a basket filled with plush fleece bears.

If you create and share these Blessing Bears, we’d love to hear about it! Make sure you’re part of the Amy Latta & Friends Facebook Group so you can share your photos and we can all be inspired. See you there!

More Sewing Projects

Here are some other easy projects to inspire you!

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