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Crochet Corner: Graduation Teddy

I can’t believe it’s been a year since my brother graduated from high school already!  Our family had a great time attending his commencement and grad, and he’s had a wonderful first year of university.  I made him this little ”Graduation Teddy" to help him commemorate this special time in his life, complete with a diploma, mortarboard and tassel matching his school colours.  Since graduation season is upon us once again, some others have used my free pattern to make sweet Graduation Teddies for their friends too!

Makayla of Illinois made this teddy for her cousin who is graduating!  I love the purple she used, and she did an absolutely fantastic job with the diploma, mortarboard, and yellow and red tassel. I’m sure her cousin loved this special, personalized gift!  What a cutie!

Emily was new to crochet, so she watched some videos and learned how to read crochet patterns as she attempted her own Graduation Teddy.  She did a wonderful job, particularly since this is her first amigurumi project!  I love the light, airy colours she chose, and I think she did a superb job stitching the nose.  Emily wanted to include the year on her hat, so she used glue!  Way to go, Emily :)

Nicollette of Louisiana found my pattern and made this bright orange Graduation Teddy for her sister-in-law!  I love how everyone uses such different colours for their teddies :)  She stitched on the year as well!

Maria of Indiana made this Graduation Teddy in a similar blue colour that I used!  He looks very dashing with his white and blue tassel!  She also did a fabulous job stitching “2012” on the hat as it is very bold and thick- the year really stands out!

Mandy made this Graduation Teddy using a yarn called “Oatmeal”- she decided to name her teddy “Oatmeal” too!  What a cute name :)  He has a lot of texture with this variegated yarn, and he looks very proud to be graduating!

Mandy had a great idea of also making a Graduation Cupcake Bear!  She said that this project went by really fast, and she added polly pellets to the cupcake liner to give it some weight.  This is such a great idea as not having to crochet the body and limbs and attach them together will save a lot of time!  And as Mandy says, there are so many fun and fabulous cupcake liners out there to really make this project unique!

Fadilah of Rojak made this bright green Graduation Teddy and even added a little bit of felt to the neck as his graduation robe!  That’s such a cute idea :)

Fadilah didn’t make just one teddy!  Her friend asked her to make one for her boyfriend, so she made this purple one for him and a green teddy keychain for her!  I love how Fadilah wrapped up the purple teddy so beautifully and even had the teddy holding a lovely bouquet of flowers!  I’m sure her friends were very touched when they received these special gifts.

Since Fadilah had many friends graduating, she made many Graduation Teddy keychains in a vast array of colours!  Similar to Mandy’s idea, this is a great way to save time when you have a lot of gifts to make.  It must’ve been fun handing out these special bears to her friends with their adorable sideways graduation caps :)

I love seeing how other people’s creations turn out using my patterns as well as how they modify them.  If you have a special grad in your life, do check out my free Graduation Teddy pattern as well as the step-by-step photos to personalize a special teddy for them!  Thanks for sharing your pictures and stories with me, everyone!  Congrats to all the new grads of 2012!

Pattern: Graduation Teddy


Make this amigurumi Graduation Teddy to help those special graduates in your life commemorate their big milestone!  Personalize this teddy by using their favourite colour, year of graduation and school colours for the tassel!

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How to Make a Tassel

This is a quick tutorial on how to make a tassel.  This tassel was used to attach to the mortarboard of a Graduation Teddy I made, but you can use tassels as a finishing feature to decorate other items as well, such as carpets and drapes. 

Choose what colours you would like your tassel to be comprised of using embroidery floss or yarn.  If you are making this tassel for a graduation teddy, I recommend using the school colours of your graduate. Get a piece of paper of an appropriate size (or fold the paper) and begin wrapping the embroidery floss around the paper.

Cut the ends after you’ve finished wrapping the embroidery floss to your desired thickness.

Holding the embroidery floss on both sides firmly, cut the floss in half along the edge of the paper.

Choose what colour you want the knot of the tassel to be (as well as the string that will attach to the centre circle of the mortarboard).  Cut a piece of embroidery floss using that colour and tie a double knot firmly in the centre of the strings (where they were folded).

Fold the yellow and purple embroidery floss back upon themselves in half.  Keep the purple embroidery floss (the one just used to tie the double knot) separate and out of the way (if you have an extra pair of hands, have that person hold this piece taut away from you).  Use another piece of embroidery floss (same colour of floss used to tie double knot) and wrap it multiple times around the rest of the floss that is folded in half.  When desired thickness is reached, tie a double knot.

Using crochet hook, pull ends of floss down and through the wrapped portion to hide them and have them blend in with rest of embroidery floss.  Pull only the ends of the most recent double knot (used for wrapping) and NOT the original double knot that was kept separate (these ends will be used for attaching the tassel).

Trim ends using sharp pair of scissors.

Tassel is complete!

If making tassel for Graduation Teddy, attach tassel to mortarboard by wrapping ends around centre circle.

The tassel adds a nice touch! 

If you would like to watch a video on how to make a tassel, click here (this is the one I used to make this tutorial). 

As I was looking up graduation quotes, I came across this witty one: “The tassel is worth the hassle!"  Of course, this tassel in particular is quick to make and not a hassle at all :)  Give it a try to add a nice decorative touch to your projects!

Graduation Teddy

My younger brother is finishing up his last year of high school, and our whole family attended his commencement and graduation banquet at the end of May.  Going to these events definitely made me feel nostalgic as I reflected back upon my years in high school.  I remember feeling both excited and scared leaving the comforts of a small, familiar school and going to university where thousands upon thousands of students explored their interests, met new people and joined clubs, and pursued studies that would lead to their future occupations.  Back then there was so much uncertainty as I did not know what I wanted to study and I had no idea where life would take me.  It amazes me that time passes by so quickly….I’ve now gone through two university convocations, got an awesome job, gotten married, moved into a new house and started my very own blog!!!

As my mom and I were shopping for my brother’s graduation presents at the mall, we stopped into Hallmark to see what graduation items they had.  Among the photo frames, cards, and mugs, I saw a teddy bear wearing a mortarboard.  That’s when I realized that I could try and make my brother his very own personalized graduation teddy since I was, after all, in the habit of crocheting stuffed animals!  I thought it would be so cute if this bear could hold a little diploma.  My brother’s favourite colour is blue, so I immediately began crocheting away to try and give it to him in time!

I first crocheted his round, wide head…

Then I crocheted his other body parts.  I love laying them all out as I get ready for assembly!

Ryan made a smiley nose for him and we glue gunned it it to his face.  The noses on amigurumi are so important- stay tuned for a nose tutorial that I’m currently working on!  I then attached his ears, body and legs.

I added a slight extra detail on the feet by crocheting in the back loops only for a certain row, thereby leaving the front loops out to give an edge, helping to define the feet more.

Once I added his arms, the teddy himself was complete!

Then I crocheted the pieces to make his mortarboard: the skull cap, the square piece, the centre circle, and a tassel.  My tutorial on how to make a tassel can be found here.  My brother’s school colours are purple and yellow, and the tassel on his own mortarboard consisted of these colours!  And so, you can personalize the tassel on this teddy by using the school colours of your graduate!

I attached the centre circle onto the square piece and then wrapped the tassel around the centre circle.

We then used some black cardboard or hard paper (the only thing I had lying around was a black duotang!) to cut a square.  We then glue gunned this paper piece to the crocheted square to prevent the edges from lifting up or waving.

Next, Ryan did a fabulous job embroidering “2011” onto the skull cap.  Ryan is so good at doing fine detailed work!

I sewed the skull cap onto teddy’s head, ensuring that the year of graduation was centered…

Then we used a glue gun to attach the square piece to the skull cap.

We rolled up a small piece of felt and used a glue gun to secure its shape.  Then we tied a ribbon around the scroll using red embroidery floss.

We then used a glue gun to attach the diploma scroll to his hand!  Here he is, all complete :)  Look at him proudly holding his diploma high!

Graduation Teddy from various angles:

A pic of me holding him to show relative size :)

Graduation Teddy surrounded by school supplies!  I ♥ my giant calculator :)

Here’s a close-up of the diploma scroll:

And a close-up of his mortarboard with tassel:

I couldn’t resist having Graduation Teddy take a picture with my brother’s *actual* mortarboard so you can see how they match!  My own tassels were always black, so I thought this one with its bright colours and “2011” was extra special!

The pattern for this Graduation Teddy can be found HERE so you can all make your own personalized teddies for those special graduates in your life!  T’is graduation season after all :)  I’m sure many people out there would be thrilled to receive a special teddy to commemorate this exciting time in their life, whether it be high school or university graduation, knowing a loved one made it just for them!  My brother loved his grad teddy, particularly since they had matching tassels.  I want to wish him a Happy Graduation- we’re all so proud of you and we’ll always support you 100%!!!

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