I'm not usually one to create little narratives about the toys I make (Lyn is the best toy maker/story teller in blogland, bar none) probably because my toys often end up looking as if they lack personality. These two are different, the more I added to them the more they started talking to me.
This is what they told me. They are are sisters. Camille is the brown bunny on the left. She's the oldest and thinks she's very glamorous. She loves to have her photo taken but pretends to hate it. Camille's always confident yet she's a bit self-conscious of her ears because they're rather long and not as petite as her sister's - mummy insists she'll grow into them, but she's not convinced.
Issy is younger by only six months and she has a habit of giggling at the most inappropriate times. She is very kind-hearted and doesn't ever feel the need to stand up to her bossy older sister. Issy secretly wishes she had chocolate brown fur like her sister but is glad she doesn't have her over-sized ears.
Camille and Issy love chocolate and when mum's not looking they stuff themselves silly.
Look, Camille is doing it now!
They are very naughty little bunnies - but so much fun to make.
I had intended on making these with the children but whipped these up in the wee hours for a quick gift. We'll make some together this week as school holidays have just begun.
Here's how to make them.
Supplies: Paper and pencil, felted wool or thick felt, two pipe cleaners, straight pins, buttons, embroidery thread and needle, scraps of coloured felt, fabric, lace or ribbon. Optional: Sewing machine, bag of chocolates
- Measure the height and width of your chocolates and draw a rectangle on paper for a pattern using those dimensions and add 3cm to the top and bottom. Determine the size you want your ears to be and cut out a smaller, narrower rectangle for those. Round off one end of each of the paper rectangles and cut them out, this is your pattern. NOTE: This pattern can also be used as a hand puppet. If you're not using it for chocolates, the measurements I used are: 18cm tall x 12cm wide for the body and 14cm long x 2.5 - 3cm wide for the ears. The fabric centres of the ears can be cut from the same ear pattern less one centimetre on the width.
- Cut out two pieces of wool for the body and two ears. Then cut out two pieces of patterned fabric for the centres of the ears.
- Pin the patterned fabric pieces to the centre of the wool pieces for the ears. Machine or hand stitch all the way around the patterned fabric leaving the base of the ear open (I used a small zig zag stitch.) Repeat with the second ear.
- Cut the pipe cleaners to a centimetre longer than the length of the ear. Turn one end of each pipe cleaner into a circle then insert the end with the circle into the base of each ear. You now have two bendy bunny ears.
- Decorate the front of your bunny. Sew on buttons or felt circles for eyes. Embroider a triangle for a nose, or sew on a felt triangle. Then use a backstitch or a split stitch to make an upside down "Y" starting at the base of the nose.
- Add other details, needle felt a heart (see below to learn more about needle felting) or sew on a felt heart. Make clothes. Lay on strips of fabric and/or lace and ribbon and trim them to 1cm over each side of the bunny.
- Sew the clothes along the edge of the bunny on either side. (I used a zig zag stitch again.) Then trim the excess of the edges to tidy it up.
- Take the back of the bunny's body and needle felt a tail or sew on a pom pom.
- With wrong sides facing and the ears positioned at the top of the head tucked in between the front and back of the body pin the parts in place. Sew from the base around the head and back down the other side - leave the base of the bunny open.
- Let your bunny stuff herself (or himself) with chocolates!
Alternative: Use the bunny as a hand puppet or stitch up the base and stuff with filler to make a stuffed toy.
A note on needle felting: Sarah Rosensweet is a Toronto based artist that specializes in exquisite needle felted children's clothing. She gave a fantastic tutorial on The Martha Stewart Show a while back and it's the best one I can find that shows how easy it is. If you've never tried needle felting, it's inexpensive and very easy - try it!
And on embroidery: Mary Corbet has a really nice little library of stitch tutorials for embroidery on her site Needle'nThread. I highly recommend her videos for embroidery beginners.
H A P P Y E A S T E R !