Tuesday 12 May 2009

Tip: How to wax a bear's embroidered nose

I forget who wanted me to share this technique on my blog, but I do remember being asked quite some time ago, so I hope this little tutorial is helpful. Nose waxing isn't difficult as such, but if it goes wrong, it's easy to ruin a perfectly good bear head and that can be heartbreaking, so my advice is make sure you have all your tools to hand and work slowly!

(My apologies for a couple of the blurry photographs ... it's a bit tricky recording this process with only one hand free to use the camera!)

My bear's embroidered nose prior to waxing ... the neater the nose stitching, the better result you will achieve from your waxing.

Step 1 ... boil a saucepan of water and melt your wax (I'm using natural beeswax sourced from a candle making company, but there are other waxes available from some of the bearmaking suppliers). I keep my melted wax in an old pyrex lid, complete with brushes, ready to be re-melted whenever I want to wax another nose. Warning: Don't leave your melting wax unattended as it may flame - I usually turn off the heat as soon as the water is boiling and allow the wax to melt gently.

Step 2 ... apply the melted wax onto your embroidered nose with a brush - I prefer to use a flat brush, making downward strokes to apply the wax.

My first coat of wax has now been applied ... you may need to use a small brush to work the wax into the outer edges of the bear's nose as you apply the wax. Take care to prevent it dripping onto the mohair muzzle though!

Step 3 ... using your hairdryer on a low setting, gently warm the waxed nose ...

Step 4 ... as you warm the waxed nose, use the flat edge of a knife to remove the spare wax and smooth the bear's nose, taking care to ease the wax into the outer edges of the nose stitching to give a neat finish. I wipe my knife clean with a piece of kitchen roll as I work. (Thanks Fay for helping me out with this photograph!)

Step 5 ... wait a few minutes to allow the wax to dry, then using brown paper, buff the waxed nose using an up and down motion in line with the vertical stitches. I find it easiest to turn the bear so that the back of his head leans against my chest while I buff - which is why this photo looks as though it has been taken upside down!

Step 6 ... when the first coat of wax has been buffed, you will probably still have a few pale streaks of wax still showing, depending on the finish you prefer, you may like to carefully colour these using a fabric pen. I'm using a black pen to match my black nose embroidery in this instance, but you could use other colours for a more individual effect.

Step 7 ... repeat the entire process for a second layer! I like to use two layers for my waxed noses, but you may prefer more - I suggest you experiment to find your 'look'. This is a pic of my finished waxed nose.


  1. Great explainations and beautiful photos, Paula!
    I found the way to wax noses on my own. All I knew to begin with is that I could wax teddy bear noses using bee wax. So I bought bee wax at a local market and worked out a good way to do the whole process. My technique it quite similar to yours. I do melt the wax into my oven. To avoid the wax going into the bear hairs, I attach some tape all around his nose and protect the bear with some old kitchen cloth. I use a flat paint brush like you to apply the wax. But then I use my hair dryer at the max temp and heat the bear nose until all the wax disappears inside the nose. I do this step two to three times. Then I apply another layer of wax, wait a couple of minutes to be able to apply it with my finger together with removing the extra wax, still with my finger. I am usualy very happy with the result...

  2. What a fantastic tutorial Paula....thank you :O)

    I've been wanting to give waxed noses a try for a while now and have the beeswax sitting in my work box but haven't actually plucked up the nerve yet to give it a go!!!

    I must give it a go soon....nothing ventured, nothing gained!!!

    Thanks again Paula :O)


  3. Expensive, Paula!
    At you surprising bears and very beautiful blog:) With pleasure has sat looking through it with a coffee cup. Separate thanks for a lesson! I too love wax on nouses:) I rub the truth with a thumb of a hand and a palm, it is necessary to try a paper.:)
    P.S.Nadejus my little son too will grow such handsome man, as yours;) Excuse, if has written with errors!

  4. I'm delighted you all enjoyed my nose waxing tutorial! Thank you for popping in. Bee, I will tell my son what you said ... your English is charming!

  5. thanks paula,i;m going to try it just as you've said,i think i was trying to rush it a bit,so this is really helpful,i've only ever seen black waxed noses ,does this work on colours,does the wax dry clear or cover the colour?sorry if im being stupid,lol
    sandra x

  6. If you use natural beeswax I think the wax would dry clear over the coloured embroidery thread Sandra.

  7. Thanks from France for your wonderful blog and work, and the explanations about waxed nose. I have tried and I think that I have to practice more...
    My nose under the wax is not so beautiful than yours... Which thread do you use ?
    Very friendly

  8. Hello, I'm delighted you enjoy my blog, thank you for reading! Waxing noses does take some practice and having a beautifully embroidered nose will definitely help. I use embroidery perle thread ... usually no.5 for bears over about 11". www.bearbasics.co.uk sells it. I hope that helps!

  9. your bears ar stunning111111111111111 I am trying the axed noses ,your right it doe take practice, is it necessary to seal the wax ith anything onc your finished?

  10. I prefer not to seal my waxed noses with anything when they are finished Melinda, but you could if you wanted to. If they are left unsealed you can simply buff them with lint free cloth or brown paper to re shine if necessary.

  11. Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We
    have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent.
    I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  12. Can you use the beeswax on needle felting? Love the look. Thankyou

  13. Can you use the beeswax over needle felting? I love the look. Thankyou


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