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Black & Brown (Grizzly) Bear crochet patterns

There are millions of teddy bear designs out there, but what about bear-shaped bear patterns? I think real bears deserve some appreciation too! I already have my Polar Bear pattern, but they aren’t shaped like other bears, so I decided it was time for a series of realistic bear designs:

black, polar and brown (grizzly) bear crochet patterns by planetjune
Which bear is your favourite: Black, Polar, or Brown?

(Ready to buy already? Pick up the 3-for-2 Bears Multipack, or the Brown/Grizzly Bear, Black Bear and Polar Bear individual patterns. Or keep reading to find out more…)

Spot the Difference?

I must confess that I wasn’t much of a bear expert, going into this project. I had no idea of the differences between Black, Brown and Grizzly Bears, apart from the obvious (colour) – and it turns out I didn’t even get that right… For a start, Brown and Grizzly are two names for the same bear – you can use them interchangeably. And here’s where it gets really surprising: despite their names, you can’t reliably tell Black and Brown Bears apart by their coat colouring; both are found in a wide spectrum of colours.

If Black Bears can be brown, and Brown Bears can be black, how do you actually tell if you’re looking at a Brown Bear or a Black Bear? I took an online course (actually intended for hunters – boo – but I had a much nicer reason for my study!) and here’s the lowdown:

Bear Identification Tips

1. Ears

Brown bears have short round ears.

Black bears have taller, pointier ears.

2. Face

Brown bears have a dish (concave) face shape when viewed in profile.

Black bears have a straight face in profile.

3. Shoulders

Brown bears have a very prominent shoulder hump.

Black bears have no shoulder hump.

(4. Feet)
You can also tell the two bears apart by claw length (brown bears have much longer claws) and footprint differences, but neither of those features apply to amigurumi bears!

My Bear Designs

Put all that together, and here’s the result:

black and brown (grizzly) bear crochet patterns by planetjune
Realistically-shaped Brown/Grizzly Bear (top) and Black Bear (bottom) – mine are coloured the way you’d imagine they should be!

black, polar and brown (grizzly) bear crochet patterns by planetjune

What about Polar Bears?
Polar Bears are more closely related to Brown Bears than Black Bears, but their bodies have adapted for their carnivorous diet and lifestyle in the frigic Arctic:

  • small, low-set ears
  • large feet with short claws
  • sharp teeth (not included in amigurumi bears!)
  • a more streamlined shape (for swimming)
  • dense white fur with black skin beneath (to keep them warm)

Got all that? Then you’re ready to properly appreciate all three of my bear designs!

Adult and Baby Bears

polar bear crochet pattern by planetjune
One pattern, two sizes of bear: bulky weight yarn option (left); worsted weight yarn option (right)

The smaller Polar Bear you see in the photos above is made with the worsted weight option from my bulky weight Polar Bear pattern. You can easily make any adult bear and cub in the same way, by using a larger hook and thicker yarn for the mother bear, and a smaller hook and finer yarn for the baby bear. (See my Resizing Amigurumi article for more information.)

Tip: Using proportionately larger eyes for the smaller bear, as I’ve done here, will give it a cuter, more babyish, cub-like appearance.

Special Deal!

I’ve set up an amazing deal for these bears: the Multipack is only $10 – that’s buy two bear patterns, get the third free!

black, polar and brown (grizzly) bear crochet patterns by planetjune

Note: If you’ve already bought the polar bear, you don’t have to miss out on this deal! Just buy the Multipack (or the remaining 2 bears in one order), then email me with 1) your bears order number and 2) the order number (or date) from when you bought the polar bear, and I’ll send you a coupon for $5 off your next order of $10 or more. (The coupon will remain valid for a whole year, so don’t worry if there’s nothing else you want to buy right now!)

Or if you only want your favourite bear, you’ll find each pattern individually in my shop too 🙂

Handy Links:

Yay for toy bears that look like real bears – I hope this may be the start of a new trend in toys! Which bear design do you like best?


  1. Lara Marie Juliusson said

    Hi June,
    Super cute and realistic bears. Are they “no sew” for the most part? I have trouble with arms and legs.


  2. Mary said

    How can I purchase the pattern for these bears, and how much are they

  3. Rebecca said

    As a biologist as well as a knitter, the detail and care you have devoted to these bears truly warms my heart. 🙂

  4. Black Bear!

  5. LOVE! They are very realistic and great! I agree with others, it is amazing that you can spot the tiny distinctions and crochet them into your pattern! I cannot wait to make each of them!

  6. Saskia said

    I love all these bears,but my favourite is the black one.
    They are very realistic
    Thanks for this new design

  7. Cori said

    Did you know that a Polar Bears’ fur is actually transparent and the guard hairs are hollow? Their fur appears white because the air spaces in each hair scatter light of all colors which reflect back to use as white! 🙂

    • June said

      I did – it’s fascinating, isn’t it?! I have to limit the nature facts I include in these posts to things that are relevant to the pattern, but I learn a lot more about the animals while I research my designs. Even though much of it doesn’t affect my design, it’s all good background for understanding the animal and what makes them special 🙂

  8. Megan said

    Wow. I love the detail that goes into these bears, and the research that you did. They look fabulous!

  9. Karen said

    Hum, in real life I’ve always been drawn to polar bears most of all, but from this set, I have to say that the black bear wins my heart.

  10. Alicia Brink said

    squee! I didn’t know all the difference between bears either. And I didn’t know I needed two more bears, but now it do. Love them and the education you provide

    • Alicia Brink said

      oops suppose to be *but now I do*

  11. .: petrOlly :. said

    They all look great 🙂 It is amazing how you spot all those tiny differences and translate them into crochet. And the three of them really look like best friends – and friendly, too 😉
    My favourite is the brown bear 🙂
    Yay for surprise patterns 🙂

  12. Michelle Bogart said

    Personally, I think if you are close enough to see the claw length for bear identification, you are waaaaaay too close!!!

  13. Susanna said

    LOVE! I’ve had the polar bear on my wishlist for a while, now I’m definitely going to buy the multi-pack. I love bears of all kinds and can’t wait to make the black bear in particular.

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