Teddy Bear Chain Mail Leather Harness

What do you get when you mix a missed GenCon workshop plus awful heartbreak? This cutie.

It was a sporadic tradition among my friends to give each other teddy bears after a bad break-up. When I was combing Goodwill for furniture and odds and ends for my new apartment, I decided to browse through the toy bin and find a teddy of my own to be my companion at my new place.

One of the craft workshops I ended up missing this year at GenCon was the “teddy bear chain mail” workshop, where people made chain mail armor, vests, hats and other outfits for their teddy bears. Once I had a teddy of my own, it sounded like fun project to try.

12 10mm silver aluminum jump rings
174 7mm black aluminum jump rings
77 7mm silver aluminum jump rings
24″ multi-fiber cord
jewelry pliers

When I sat down on my own to try to improvise a chain mail design — I ended up stringing a long loop of simple interlocking single and double rings (practically the easiest chain mail pattern one can do). The 10mm rings reminded me of O-rings in the leather harnesses worn by members of the BDSM community and, given the size of the bear and the limited number of jump rings, that’s what I decided to go ahead and make!

The harness consists of five chains connected by 14 10mm jump rings — three in the front, three in the back, two on each side of the bear’s hips and one on each side of the bear’s neck. Since the larger rings were silver, I decided to use silver rings to connect the black jump ring chains to them, using the jewelry pliers the whole time to make sure the ends of each jump ring stayed closed.

Once I had the harness finished, I made the wrist bands. The multi-fiber cord was something I had in my beads and findings tray and I thought it would be fun to, using the O-rings in the wristbands and harness, actually manipulate the bear’s limbs into some fun poses.

A friend of mine nicknamed him “Bondage Bear.” I named him Martin, after a certain English actor who, like his namesake, also has dishwater blond hair.

P.S. A few people have asked if I also happened to knit the sweater Martin is wearing under the chain mail harness. I did not. The sweater came with the teddy and, according to the tag on his bum, both appear to have come from J.C. Penney.

~ by blackmoodcraft on October 25, 2011.

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