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Spun-Cotton Easter Bunny

Spun-Cotton Easter Bunny

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, March 2010

Introduction

Spun cotton and needle felting come together in this delightful Easter decoration from Vintage by Crystal's Crystal Hanehan. Pair with her Eggs-in-Nest Centerpiece for a festive spring tableau.

Resources: Cotton and wool fibers and needle-felting tools are available from Winderwood Farm. All other tools and materials are available at most crafts stores.

Download and print wire armature diagram, and reference for steps 1 to 4.

materials

  • Spool of 22-gauge wire

  • Pliers

  • Wire cutters

  • Loose cotton

  • Acrylic paint

  • Thick (broad) paintbrush

  • 1 1/2-inch Styrofoam ball

  • Serrated knife

  • White glue

  • Glitter

  • Decorative paper

  • Pencil

  • Pinking shears

  • Thin (detail) paintbrush

  • Small pom-pom (for tail)

  • Embellishments and small silk flowers (optional)

steps

  1. Straighten approximately 3 feet of 22-gauge wire, keeping wire on spool. To make the bunny's first arm, bend 3 inches of wire and crimp bend to a point with pliers (a). Double wire back on itself and wrap wire around end several times to secure (b).

  2. To create the bunny's ears, guide wire as shown by the arrows in (c), wrapping wire at the base of each ear. Bring wire back down to first arm and wrapping once more to create neck.

  3. Create the rest of the bunny's body by guiding the wire as shown in (d), crimping wire at all turns, and wrapping wire at the top of each arm and leg. Finish by wrapping wire around neck once more.

  4. Wrap wire halfway up head, as shown in (e). Create a snout extending from middle of head by making two crimped tabs, as shown in (f). When snout is complete, wrap wire around head, back down to neck, and cut wire at neck to finish (g).

  5. Wrap end of loose cotton around shoulder and under armpit (like a beauty queen sash). Wrap cotton around itself once more to secure. Continue wrapping cotton down length of one arm, using the tips of your fingers to guide cotton into place. When you get to the end of the arm, tuck the cotton in and continue back up the arm.

    Tip: Spin wire frame, not the cotton, as you work.

  6. Wrap the rest of the bunny's appendages, ears, and body using the same technique. Repeat with more cotton to make a plumper bunny, if desired.

    Tip: To join cotton strips, place a new strip where you left off, facing the same direction. Hold the end in place and wrap once, covering the end and tucking it securely in place, and then continue spinning.

  7. To create the face, wrap snout and tabs you have created with cotton. With pliers, bend tabs back toward face; spin cotton once more over entire snout.

  8. When bunny is completely covered and plump, rip off remaining cotton strip so end is thin and ragged; continue to spin body, smoothing down end of cotton to blend in with rest of the cotton.

  9. Mix 1 part acrylic paint with two parts water. With a thick brush, cover entire surface of bunny with paint mixture; let dry overnight.

  10. To make the base, cut a Styrofoam ball in half with a serrated knife. Coat the rounded side of one half with white glue. Cover with glitter; let dry.

  11. Trace a circle with a pencil onto decorative paper, using other half of Styrofoam as a guide. Cut around the circle with pinking shears, leaving a quarter inch border; erase pencil marks.

  12. Once glittered dome is dry, paint white glue onto the unglittered bottom, and attach to the center of the paper circle.

  13. To attach bunny to base, poke two holes, about a quarter inch deep, into top of Styrofoam base with a pencil. Fill holes with glue, and insert bunny feet into holes.

  14. Add finishing touches: Carefully paint eyes, nose and mouth onto bunny with a thin paintbrush. Glue loose cotton or glitter into the center of the ears; add a pom-pom tail. Bend arms to hold a little note, chenille chick, egg, etc., and add flowers to the base.

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