Before you start jointing, you need to decide who your huggable is joining. For adult collectors, you can choose cotter pin, safety or nut and bolt joints. Children's softies must have plastic safety joints in place.
Safety joints are always made from hard coated plastic. Once in place, they are impossible to remove (so do make sure you have them correctly positioned before fitting !)
Doll joints will more likely have just two parts, whilst joints for teds and other soft toys will have three or four parts.
1 In order to fit these, you will need to make a small hole in the fabric, just large enough to squeeze the stem through. Use a specially purchased awl tool, or tip of a small pair of scissors (do be careful with these) or a tiny snip with embroidery scissors. A dab of fabric glue around the hole can be used if the fabric has a loose weave and is likely to fray.
2 To fit, push the stem of the main part through the hole and fit the looser washer over the stem (if your joint has one).
3 Next you will need to push the locking washer down firmly over the stem - this can take some pushing ! You may feel it "click" as it moves down. Keep pushing against the washer until it will not go any further. There should be no wobble on the joint if fitted correctly. I like to give the limb or head a quick tug to make sure it is safe to move on : )
COTTER PIN JOINTS:
Do remember these are not suitable for younger children's huggable.
These joints have a metal two-leg pin for the stem. They can be made in hardboard, or fibre board. Larger joints may also have small metal washers to stop any friction between the metal pin and hardboard washers. They do not have a locking washer. You will need a small pair of pliers to turn the pins.
1 Make up the joint by pushing the pin through one washer (add the smaller metal washer if provided). You may find that you can wriggle the legs of the pin through the threads of the backing fabric without makeing a hole (if not, you will need to make a tiny hole - see fitting safety joints above).
2 Pop the other washer over the pins, then roll each leg down separately. They should sit on opposing sides.
3 Make sure the joint is set tightly in place - with a tug : )
Again, do not use these for young children's toys.
Wobble joints are very similar to a cotter pin joint, with metal pins that will need turning/rolling with small pliers. Each joint uses two pins with loops at the top enabling them to link together.
1 Link the two pins using their loops.
2 Push one pin through the fabric (see cotter pin joints above) but only fit the joint into the limb or head - do not take the legs through the body of your character yet.
3 Roll down the legs on each side (as with the cotter pin above)
4 Push the free pin into the body now, fit the second washer and roll the pins down inside the body. When finished you should see the two linked hoops between the two layers of fabric : )