13 September 2018

Bearly There

I cannot believe I have never written about my bear phone cozies!!!

I designed my first phone cozy back in about 2012, when we still had flip phones. I had to borrow a phone from a boss to get the measurements right.

Turned out I could fit my flip phone in an iPhone 3-sized bear if I didn't mind a little extra breathing room inside the bear. The extra space was the perfect size for a house key, my plastic wallet snap box and a couple of dollars.

At the time, I thought my bear phone cozies were just about the coolest invention on the planet. I'd designed bear toilet paper cozies the year before, and they'd been a hit both in my Etsy shop and during my annual Christmas craft fair at work.

Before that, I'd made more than a handful of bears, and the greeting cards I made from the photos were as huge hit at the annual Christmas craft fair as the actual bears.

I thought I wouldn't be able to keep up with orders for bear phone cozies.

Unfortunately, my bear charisma must have been wearing off. Orders didn't pile up. I did sell a few on Etsy, but not a single one sold at the craft fair. I adopted one of the bear phone cozies when I got my first iPhone, and I carried it everywhere, thinking I'd start a fad. No such luck.

So imagine my surprise and delight after receiving an email out of the blue last week inquiring about a custom bear phone cozy... for a larger iPhone. I'm still on the iPhone5, so I had to borrow a friend's phone to achieve the right size.

The special request was for a black bear that would hang on a white backpack emblazoned with black skulls. I asked the potential buyer if she would like black reflective yarn or plain black yarn. She said to use whatever I thought looked best. I used the reflective yarn for the body and the solid black for the head and paws. I like to have something reflective dangling from my backpack for visibility at night, and the nights are getting longer. So reflective is handy, right?

I had to tweak the bear quite a bit to get it to fit to the larger-size body! I had to rip out every prototype bear body part at least three times before I finally came up with a size that looked right.

Then came the battle of the eyes. The beads I've used for all my other yarn bears were not big enough for the new bear head. I had to make a trip to Michael's (because that's right near the park and ride), where I hoped to get real stuffed animal eyes. No such luck. They don't stock them. So I bought four different kinds of large beads, including glow-in-the-dark pony beads. I knew my little neighbor would get a real kick out of those if I don't use them on a bear.

The potential buyer and I emailed back and forth for about an hour solid the night I finished the cozy while she tried to pick which eyes she liked best. I pinned the eyes on for photos to give her an idea of how each set of beads would look.

She was crazy over the idea of glow-in-the-dark eyes but ultimately picked the "funky black eyes with blue-green irises".

After a full week of bear construction, deconstruction and reconstruction, the newly listed bear phone was sold!!! The eight-minute listing was my fastest sell ever! The bear phone cozy was in the mail to its new owner the next hour (accompanied by a skullflake, because what snowflake would be better for someone who carries a skull backpack?!?). And now I get to go back to Blockheading and snowflaking!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. The glow in the dark eyes are cool, but what she picked look great too. Maybe the bear craze will begin again. Neat way to keep one's cellphone secure indeed.

    1. Thanks, Pat. I'm finding myself wanting to branch out into other critters now. But I can't find the time!!!


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