Document And Entity Information (USD $)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2011
Mar. 12, 2012
Jul. 02, 2011
Document and Entity Information [Abstract]      
Entity Registrant Name BUILD A BEAR WORKSHOP INC    
Document Type 10-K    
Current Fiscal Year End Date --01-01    
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   17,394,457  
Entity Public Float     $ 87,573,917
Amendment Flag false    
Entity Central Index Key 0001113809    
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes    
Entity Voluntary Filers No    
Entity Filer Category Accelerated Filer    
Entity Well-known Seasoned Issuer No    
Document Period End Date Dec. 31, 2011    
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2011    
Document Fiscal Period Focus FY