This April Showers Bunny is intended for various skill levels and can be “finished” at different stages. For a Child, begin with the basic bunny form. It is a great way to learn how to whipstitch and stuff a simple three dimensional felt animal. The bunny details (tummy, inner ears and face) can be glued on. For a Beginner crafter, experiment with pipe cleaners inside the ears to add movement and personality to the bunny. Add stitching detail to the face and clothing. For an Intermediate crafter, make the additional accessories – and some of your own. This is a great shape to practice drafting simple clothes. Grab your raincoats and let's start making!
Skill Level: Kid Friendly to Intermediate
Time: 4 hours
April Showers Bunny Pattern (click to download)
1. Print pattern above onto cardstock and cut out pieces. Trace pattern onto corresponding felt and cut.
2. Begin by stitching the inner ears and tummy to the front body piece with one strand of matching embroidery thread and a whipstitch. For the whiskers, use a disappearing ink pen to mark the face where the nose will be. Stitch the whiskers to meet at the mark. Then, glue or stitch on the nose and teeth.
3. Place the two body pieces together with right sides facing out. Whipstitch around the perimeter of the bunny beginning at the outer base of the right ear. Move counterclockwise around the ears and stop at the outer base of the left ear.
As a right-handed person, I find it easier to stitch counterclockwise in this instance. If you choose to stitch clockwise, be sure to stitch the ears first and then stop.
4. Take a cotton pipe cleaner and fold it to mimic the shape and size of the ears. Wind a small amount of the extra wire around the middle section. Clip excess. Gently insert the shaped wire into the bunny ears.
Please take great care in cutting pipe cleaners. They should only be cut with wire cutters and children should be supervised.
5. Continue stitching around the perimeter of the bunny body. It will be helpful to add stuffing to the arms and legs as you go.
6. Stop about 1” from the beginning stitches and finish stuffing bunny body. Whip stitch closed.
7. Carefully cut Almond felt ball in half. Glue to backside of the bunny. Allow to dry.
8. If you want to give the bunny clothing, begin with the trousers. Fold and glue a small cuff along the bottom of both trouser legs (front and back). Place the two trouser pieces together with right sides facing out. Whipstitch along the outer sides and inseam. Glue on back pockets. Add stitching detail for pockets and placket, if desired.
9. Pull trousers onto bunny and glue suspenders in place at the back middle. Bring suspenders over to the front. Trim excess and glue ends inside the trousers.
10. For the more advanced crafter, embellish the bunny with the remaining accessories. For the rain boots, whipstitch from the top front of the boot to the toe. At the toe, add the sole of the boot and hold in place with your hand. Continue whipstitching with the same length of thread around the perimeter of the sole. Knot and cut thread when finished stitching.
11. Add a small amount of stuffing to toe of the rain boot to give them shape.
12. To make the umbrella, bring a length of knotted thread up from the inside top of a cut section. Hold the two cut sides together and whipstitch closed. At the bottom, knot thread on the inside. Pull needle back through a few inside stitches and trim. Repeat for each cut section and watch the umbrella take shape!
13. Place the felt umbrella circle onto a cotton pipe cleaner about ¾” from the top. Add glue to the felt circle on the top side.
14. Push pipe cleaner through the inside of the small hole in the umbrella top until the umbrella circle is flush with the top of the dome.
15. Add glue to the umbrella around the wire and slide a small wooden ball onto it. Repeat on inside of the umbrella. Press the wooden balls toward each other to secure the umbrella to the handle.
16. Cut any wire extending past the top wooden ball. Trim the bottom portion of wire according to bunny height and position. It may help to bend the bunny ears if using the umbrella. As an optional step, stiffening spray can be used on the umbrella for added structure.
The April Showers Bunny is finished and ready to splash in some puddles!
Remember that this project can be "finished" at several stages for every level of crafter. If you feel like this dapper bunny is just getting started, perhaps you can make him a raincoat or a friend. Well, stay tuned because April Showers bring...
To be continued.