Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele

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Hanna Kampourogianni


Today, we are talking about teddy bear maker Nadine Van den Broele, the incredibly talented lady affectionately known as “Dientje” in the bear-making community. Nadine’s journey from Belgium to becoming an esteemed teddy bear maker is as inspiring as her creations.

With a passion for crafting that began at a young age, Nadine has dedicated herself to the art of teddy bear making, infusing each of her creations with love, personality, and meticulous attention to detail.

Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele
Teddy Bear

Nadine’s teddy bears are not mere toys; they are works of art, each infused with its own unique personality and charm. Her signature style, characterized by classic designs and meticulous attention to detail, sets her creations apart in the world of bear making.

From selecting the perfect fabrics to handcrafting each bear with care, Nadine’s commitment to her craft is evident in every stitch and seam.

But Nadine’s journey is about more than just bear making; it’s a story of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

Despite personal challenges, including a diagnosis of epilepsy in September 2016, she has persevered, finding solace and joy in her craft. Through her bears, she not only brings happiness to collectors around the world but also serves as an inspiration to others facing their own struggles.

About Teddy Bear Maker: Early Beginnings and Passion for Sewing

In her early years, Nadine’s passion for crafting flourished under the guidance of her father, who presented her with a sewing machine at a tender age. Growing up as the youngest of three siblings, Nadine quickly discovered her affinity for working with textiles and expressing her creativity through sewing.

With her trusty sewing machine by her side, she embarked on a journey of exploration, teaching herself the intricacies of the craft and experimenting with various projects.

As she delved deeper into the world of sewing, Nadine found herself captivated by the endless possibilities it offered. From simple stitches to intricate designs, she reveled in the joy of bringing her imaginative ideas to life through fabric.

Each project became an opportunity for her to hone her skills and unleash her creativity, laying the foundation for her future endeavors in teddy bear making.

Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele
Nadine Van den Broele is crafting accessories for the bears.

“I’ve always been drawn to working with my hands,” Nadine shares. “Sewing became my outlet for self-expression, and I found joy in bringing my ideas to life through fabric.”

Nadine’s early experiences with sewing instilled in her a deep-seated love for crafting and a keen eye for detail. With each stitch, she discovered the transformative power of creativity and the joy of turning ordinary materials into extraordinary works of art.

Little did she know that her humble beginnings with a sewing machine would pave the way for her remarkable journey as a teddy bear maker.

In addition to her early experiences with sewing, Nadine’s passion for crafting was further nurtured during her years working at a school. Here, she dedicated herself to assisting with creative tasks like crafts, honing her skills, and fostering her love for all things handmade.

Discovering the World of Teddy Bears

Years later, Nadine’s journey took a serendipitous turn when she enrolled in a creative course that would forever change the trajectory of her crafting endeavors.

It was during this course that she stumbled upon the enchanting world of teddy bear making, a discovery that ignited a newfound passion within her.

Intrigued by the idea of bringing these beloved companions to life, Nadine eagerly immersed herself in this captivating art form.

“When I first laid eyes on the process of teddy bear making, it was like discovering a hidden treasure,” Nadine reminisces.

“There’s an indescribable magic in transforming simple materials into timeless companions with your own hands. It’s a feeling unlike any other.”

Starting with kits designed for beginners, Nadine embarked on a journey of exploration and discovery, honing her skills and refining her craft with each new creation.

Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele
Mister Rabbit is made of white silver-colored viscose, with gobelin used for the ears and paw soles.

Guided by her innate creativity and passion for craftsmanship, she experimented with different techniques and materials, pushing the boundaries of traditional bear making to bring her unique visions to life.

“I remember the excitement of crafting my first bear,” Nadine reflects.

“It was both exhilarating and challenging, but with each stitch, I felt myself falling more in love with the process. Each bear became a canvas for my creativity, a reflection of my passion for teddy bear making.”

As she delved deeper into the world of teddy bear making, Nadine found herself captivated by the endless possibilities it offered. Each bear became more than just a toy; it was a testament to her creativity, dedication, and love for her craft.

Whether crafting bears for family and friends or creating limited edition pieces for charitable causes, Nadine’s commitment to excellence and her unwavering passion for teddy bear making shone through in every creation.

Nurturing a Unique Style

Nadine’s teddy bears are more than just cuddly companions; they are exquisite works of art that reflect her distinctive style and unwavering dedication to her craft.

With a keen eye for detail and a passion for excellence, Nadine meticulously selects the perfect fabrics for each bear, ensuring that they not only look beautiful but also feel luxurious to the touch.

“I take great care in selecting the perfect fabrics for each bear,” Nadine explains. “I prefer long-haired curly fabrics for their softness and charm, but I also incorporate shorthair fabrics for variety.” This attention to detail is evident in every aspect of her bears, from their carefully sculpted features to their meticulously sewn seams.

One of the hallmarks of Nadine’s bears is the telltale bump in the back of the neck, a signature feature that adds character and personality to each creation. This distinctive trait has become synonymous with Nadine’s style, setting her bears apart from others in the industry.

Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele
Teddy Bear made from long pile mohair.

In addition to their unique design elements, Nadine’s bears are also crafted with durability and longevity in mind. She handcrafts each bear using wooden discs with nuts and bolts, ensuring that they are not only beautiful but also built to last.

This meticulous attention to detail ensures that each bear is a timeless treasure that can be cherished for years to come.

Nadine’s dedication to craftsmanship extends beyond the selection of fabrics; she also meticulously chooses the stuffing materials for her bears. With a blend of mohair, cotton, wool, and steel granulation, Nadine ensures that each bear is not only cuddly but also durable and long-lasting.

Bringing Bears to Life

Speaking of Nadine Van den Broele as a teddy bear maker, we can say that for her, bringing a teddy bear to life is not just a craft; it is a deeply personal journey filled with love and devotion.

From the initial stages of designing her own patterns to adding the final touches that give each bear its unique personality, Nadine pours her heart and soul into every creation. “No two bears are alike,” she explains, her eyes sparkling with pride. “Each one has its own unique character and story to tell.”

Nadine’s dedication to her craft is evident in every aspect of the bear-making process. Whether she’s meticulously sculpting the bear’s features or carefully selecting fabrics for its clothing, she approaches each step with precision and care.

Her bears range in size from 25 to 40 cm, with some smaller ones crafted as heartfelt gifts for loved ones.

One of the most rewarding aspects of Nadine’s journey as a teddy bear maker has been the support and encouragement she’s received from fellow artisans. “I’ve been fortunate to have met some wonderful people along the way who have helped me hone my skills and refine my craft,” she says gratefully.

Nadine fondly speaks about teddy bear maker Helen Dekker and another teddy bear maker, Magda, saying, ‘Helen Dekker and Magda from Nana Bears have been particularly influential in guiding me on this journey, inspiring me to experiment with new styles and techniques.’

So, thanks to the influence and help of her friends, Nadine created her first pattern for the iconic “Yellow” Bear. Crafted from antique viscose and embellished with a pattern of her own design, the ‘Yellow’ design embodies Nadine’s unique style and creative vision.

Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele
Lady Bear in a beautiful dress, Yellow Bear, and Bear with a violin.

In addition to crafting bears, Nadine also enjoys creating handmade clothing and accessories for her creations. Each outfit is meticulously crafted with the same level of attention to detail as the bears themselves, showcasing Nadine’s talent and creativity beyond bear making.

Whether it’s a delicate lace dress or a stylish leather ensemble, Nadine’s bears are always dressed to impress, ready to bring joy and delight to collectors around the world.

As Nadine breathes life into each bear, she infuses them with personality and charm, from meticulously sewing on noses and ears to carefully selecting outfits that complement their individuality.

One standout creation in her portfolio is the Steampunk bear, a testament to Nadine’s creativity and willingness to push artistic boundaries.

Clad in leather garments and adorned with intricate details, the Steampunk bear is a striking example of Nadine’s ability to blend traditional bear-making techniques with avant-garde design elements.

Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele
Steampunk Bear

Additionally, Nadine’s approach to designing clothes for her bears is a reflection of her dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Whether hand-sewn or machine-stitched, each outfit is a labor of love, with Nadine often seeking inspiration from unexpected places, like the doctor’s waiting room, where her bears accompany her on creative journeys.

Spreading Joy and Making a Difference

In 2021, a significant milestone marked Nadine’s journey as a teddy bear maker. She had the opportunity to meet the author of a beloved children’s book, which sparked an idea.

After some time, the author allowed Nadine to bring one of the book’s characters to life in the form of a bear. This special bear, named “Teddy B,” was crafted with care and infused with the magic of storytelling, quickly capturing the hearts of readers and collectors alike.

Teddy B, adorned with a blue coat, became a symbol of hope and happiness for children around the world. These limited edition bears were sold for charity through the Teddy Trust, marking a meaningful contribution to a cause close to Nadine’s heart and adding to the impact of her work as a teddy bear maker.

Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele
Book character Teddy B

“It’s incredibly rewarding to know that my bears can bring joy and comfort to others,” Nadine reflects with a smile.

In addition to her charitable efforts, Nadine has also made a difference in the lives of individuals through her personalized creations. One such example is Richard Backschas, a famous collector who has welcomed several of Nadine’s bears into his home.

Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele
These bears live in Richard Backschas’s home.

Each bear, lovingly crafted with Richard in mind, has brought joy and companionship to his life, serving as a constant source of comfort and happiness. Through her bears, Nadine continues to spread love and positivity, one stitch at a time.

Interview with Nadine Van den Broele

Q: How has your journey as a teddy bear maker inspired your approach to life and creativity?

A: My journey as a teddy bear maker has taught me the importance of perseverance, creativity, and the joy of bringing happiness to others through my creations. It has inspired me to embrace challenges with optimism and to always strive for excellence in everything I do.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring bear makers?

A: My advice for starting to make a bear is to buy a kit with a basic bear and just start with it. Don’t be discouraged by mistakes; they’re part of the learning process. You can also look online for lessons and tutorials from experienced bear makers.

Q: What do you think about the website Would you suggest it for beginners? And what are your wishes for this website?

A: I think is a fantastic resource for beginners and experienced bear makers alike. The website offers a wealth of valuable information, including free patterns, tutorials, and inspirational articles, making it an excellent starting point for anyone interested in bear making. My wish for the website is to continue providing quality content and resources to help nurture the creativity and skills of bear makers around the world.


Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele
Teddy Bears in beautiful dresses.

Nadine’s journey as a teddy bear maker is a testament to the transformative power of creativity and resilience. Through her enchanting creations, she brings joy and comfort to collectors around the world, leaving a lasting legacy of love and craftsmanship.

To learn more about Nadine and her bears, visit her Facebook pages here and here. Join her in celebrating the artistry of teddy bear making and discover the magic of Dientje’s world.

Further Reading: Explore More Teddy Bear Articles

  1. “Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews – Karen Olsen” Dive into the fascinating world of teddy bear artistry with this insightful interview featuring Karen Olsen. Learn about her creative process, sources of inspiration, and the stories behind her beloved teddy bears. Read more
  2. “10 of the Most Expensive Teddy Bears in the World” Explore the world of luxury teddy bears with this curated list of some of the most expensive teddy bears ever sold. From rare vintage collectibles to bespoke designer creations, discover the extraordinary craftsmanship and history behind these coveted treasures. Read more

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9 thoughts on “Discovering the Artistry: All About Teddy Bear Maker Nadine Van den Broele”

  1. Hey a great post you have here!
    It was certainly interesting to learn about Nadine, can’t believe I hadn’t heard of her before after creating such awesome and creative teddies!
    Her products are so unique, the design is great. It was great reading about her story and how she got the inspiration of creating such magical products.

    Thanks again and have a great day!

    • Hey there! Thanks a bunch for your kind words! 🐻💫 Nadine truly is a gem in the world of teddy bear crafting, isn’t she? It’s amazing how each artist brings their own unique touch to their creations, and Nadine’s work is definitely something special. So glad you enjoyed learning about her journey and finding inspiration in her magical products! Wishing you a fantastic day filled with creativity and joy! If you ever need more teddy bear magic, you know where to find me! 😊🌟

  2. Hey Hanna, 

    What a lovely piece. Excellent work. The article describes Nadine Van den Broele’s journey from Belgium to become a well-known teddy bear maker. It emphasizes her love of creating things, her ability to bounce back from setbacks, and the distinctive artistry in her teddy bear creations. Nadine’s method for making teddy bears demonstrates her commitment to her craft, from choosing the ideal materials to giving each bear a unique personality. In your opinion, how do traditional crafts like teddy bear making influence contemporary art and craft communities, given her journey and the painstaking attention to detail in her work?

    • Hey there!

      Thank you for your kind words! Nadine Van den Broele’s journey is truly inspiring, isn’t it? Traditional crafts like teddy bear making have a profound influence on contemporary art and craft communities in several ways.

      Firstly, they serve as a reminder of the value of handmade craftsmanship in an increasingly digital world. Nadine’s dedication to her craft and the meticulous attention to detail in her work showcase the beauty of artisanal creations.

      Secondly, traditional crafts like teddy bear making often inspire innovation and creativity in modern artists. While honoring traditional techniques, contemporary artists may experiment with new materials, styles, and interpretations, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the craft.

      Lastly, the nostalgia and emotional connection associated with teddy bears and similar crafts resonate deeply with people across generations. They evoke memories of childhood and serve as tangible expressions of comfort and joy, fostering a sense of community and shared experience within the craft community.

      Overall, Nadine’s journey highlights the enduring relevance and impact of traditional crafts in shaping contemporary art and craft communities. It’s a beautiful blend of heritage, innovation, and heartfelt expression.


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