Monday, July 21, 2014

Bunny Party: Bunnies


A Bunny birthday party has to have bunnies.

Now, you wouldn't believe the number of people who suggested that we rent/hire/somehow obtain live bunnies for the children to play with.

Nothing against live bunnies (unless they eat the plants in our yard) but I thought that surely, surely, we could do more with a Bunny party theme than go the petting zoo direction.

So fake bunnies, then. I'd considered the sewn version - you know, fabric bunny softies. After all, I know at least one somewhat cute version. But mass-sewing softies is a lot of work, and besides, we already have eight of those baby bunnies at home.


So I picked the no-sew, yarn pompom alternative.

And here I feel a Nostalgia Attack coming on.
Let me tell you a Story-From-My-Crafting-Childhood, okay? Not like you have a choice, anyway.

So, you all know about my illustrious grandmother who was a professional tailor, right? And how, as a consequence of her instruction and mentoring, all the women in our family in the generation after hers are accomplished garment seamstresses? Now, Grandma lived with us for many years before she moved to a nursing home. I was in elementary school then, and too young to be interested in drafting and tailoring, which was a shame. Fortunately, Grandma also loved crafts of all kinds, some of which were kid-appropriate. Her closets were full of fun craft supplies that I spent many afternoons digging in, just to see what I could find. Sometimes, she would take me to a store called Golden Dragon, which was the Singapore equivalent of Michaels, the craft store we have in the US. And, like Michaels, this store offered classes. The one I remember most vividly was on making pompom animals - you'd buy their pompom tool kit, yarn, glue and scissors and they'd teach you for free. When I was about 8 or 9, Grandma brought me there, sat me down at the tables, made the necessary purchases and we spent that afternoon making a chick and a rabbit. When we left for home, she bought more yarn for me so I could continue the happy making on my own.

Which I did. I made a chick family and a rabbit family, plus felt food befitting the needs of their species. Not very adventurous, I know. But wait - here it gets interesting. The chick family was frighteningly improper. I constructed, by using the same pompom templates in different sizes (what people in fabric circles refer to as "grading"), gigantic chick parents and a bunch of small children chicks. My mother, bless her scientifically-precise brain, gently suggested that the parental form of this particular avian species was the "chicken". Which was not the same as "chick". Her theory was that chickens were anatomically different and that chicks, no matter how volumetrically superior, could never be parents, and would always remain in their juvenile capacity. I pooh-poohed her; everyone knew, I maintained, that the large version of any animal was the parent and the small, the offspring. End of story. My mother eventually surrendered, as I knew she would, and I happily played with my genetically-bizarre chick family.

I am happy to report that, thanks to years of Biology lessons and appropriate children's literature, I am no longer a devotee of the Large Parent Small Child belief. Which is fortunate; otherwise, my Chicken sewing pattern, beloved by my children and blog readers everywhere, would have turned out quite differently. Looking back, I also marvel that my children now subscribe to exactly the same Large Parent Small Child theory that I did as a kid, with the exception that they generalize it to inanimate objects as well e.g. "The big pancake is the mother pancake, and the small one is the baby pancake." The scientist part of me thinks that it is how children make sense of their world and the relationships between the millions of random things around them. The mother part of me, however, just laughs at how crazy-funny it all is, and mourns the day when my kids outgrow their whimsical beliefs and become the dead-boring logical realists that adults are.

Back to rabbits now. The rabbit family I'd made suffered none of the criticism endured by the poor beleaguered chick family. This was because -and my logical mother would be relieved- baby bunnies were exactly the same as their parents, only smaller, and could therefore be safely made with the same templates graded down a couple sizes, without breaking any laws of nature. I remember that story while making the bunnies for Kate's party because they are almost a replica of that rabbit family I made years ago. I modified their faces, inspired by this delightful tutorial, but otherwise, they are the same pompom bunnies from my childhood.

Here's how we made ours. We used the thickest yarn we could find. Thick yarn is best for pompoms because they fill the forms quickly, which is especially important when you are mass-producing dozens of them. 

We wound our forms (in two sizes), tied their middles, cut them out and trimmed them to shape. 

We tied a large and small pompom together to make the bunny's body and head, respectively.

This is how big ours was.

We made bunnies in different colors.

For the ears, we cut shapes in wool felt and pinch-glued their bottom ends

before inserting them into the heads.

Then we glued on the tails. Ours were ready-made white pompoms. Kate, who knows more about bunnies than I do, explained that cottontails are white

regardless of the color of the bunny.

The bunny is now ready for its face.

We used black beads for the eyes. If you have small children at home, you might prefer the more secure sewing method of attaching the eyes, 

but we glued ours on.

We made the whiskers by winding invisible thread around a card,

sliding it off, tying the whole bunch in a knot around its middle, slipping that bunch through the hole of a pony bead,

and stuffing the hole with a tiny bit of felt (and glue) to hold everything in place. Then we cut open the loops,

and glued it in place on the bunny's face.


Finished bunny -


different colors

and angles.

Kate loved watching the bunnies come together as we made them. Here she is getting to know them before the big day. 

Next up: Hutches!

50 comments:

  1. Your bunnies are so adorable, and I LOVE those pics of Kate with them! It's also very neat that you have those special memories with your grandmother!

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  2. Loved reading about the bizarre chick family and the memories of your grandmother. And I love these pompom bunnies.

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  3. Many thanks for sharing your great idea with us! So cute are the bunnies, think we will make some at our next girl´s birthday-party together with her friends! :-)

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  4. Love these bunnies and their related tales.🐇

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  5. These are so cute!!! I need to work on my pom pom making skills (I suspect I don't use enough yarn - or I should try thicker yarn).

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  6. These are too awesome! I am going to make these next week at the cottage with my son, he loves bunnies! Looking forward to the hutch installment.

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  7. The last couple of photos reminded me of the infamous Star Trek Tribble Scene.

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  8. Wow! These are so cute and I'd love to try making them with my kids. Out of curiosity, approximately what size pom poms did you make for the head and for the body?

    Thank you!!

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  9. AWESOME POM POM BUNNIES!....................
    THEY ARE REALLY SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE

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  10. your pom pom bunnies are adorable and my granddaughters will love them - heck I think I will make them for my grandsons too. thanks for the excellent tutorial.
    Pauline
    perry94022 at hotmail dot com

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  11. Wow! I haven't seen these since I was a small child & that's been a few days ago, believe me! Just as cute now as they were then- the only difference I see in them are their noses. It seems like they were a piece of plastic like an artificial holly berry :-) I think I'll make a few just for the memories!

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  12. About how long are your bunny ears. I am planning on making them for the kids in my church .

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  13. I used to make these with my grandma. She was born in 1910. I will make them again this year and smile... Thank you!

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  14. I just made 8 of them this weekend for some friend's kids I babysitted yesterday. Both girls had a blast. I made 4 adult and 4 babies... with cardboard houses and paper food because I learned from your daughters that softies ALWAYS need food and shelter. Thanks for the project!

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  15. Brilliant. Love them. Naomi

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  16. These are so cute! Thank you for sharing! We loved it so much that we included it in our 'Top 5 Easter tutorials' on our blog! :)

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  17. These are adorable! I would love to make them this summer with my day care kids and have a theme of the week "bunnies"! My problem is, I don't know how to make the pom poms and how to attach the head and body! Do you make a cardboard template to wrap the yarn around? How big would you make the cardboard and how many times do you wrap the yarn around for body and head? Do you have pictures of the steps to make the pom poms and attaching them together? if so, I would really appreciate seeing them. Thanks!!!! The little houses are adorable too! Do you have a pattern for the pieces or sizes to cut the pieces?

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  18. These are lovely, but how do you attach the ears to the head?

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    1. You would probably stitch them on,because you cannot glue them on and I cant think of any other way to attach them

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  19. I, too, like Anonymous above would like to know how you attach the ears - do you glue them, sew them??? Also, do you have a template for the ears?? Would much appreciate if you could post one. I'm sure a lot of others would like that too. Many tks for your help. I do so love these adorable bunnies. Too cute for words! Many tks for sharing!

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    1. Gogran97 and Anonymous(above): I use glue. Apply glue to the bottom end of the ear and, on the spot where the ears will go, part the yarn and insert the ears about 1/2" deep into the part. Press the yarn together around the ear bottoms till the glue sets. I use UHU glue, which sets fast. Tacky glue would work, too. Avoid Elmer's white /clear glue at all costs- does not work.

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  20. I really love this little bunnies, so I make myself a bunny farm :) And I love this so much, that I make an owl family too. And pompom pokemons for my sis. And pompom Mickey mouse for my friend :) All in all this is soooo cute <3

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  21. I am Algerian, French teacher, I primary class, I create a group of students to make these beautiful things, I like manual work, I do it to commercial use, you are very fair education generous

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  22. can you go into more detail about the forms part? Where do you get the forms? Then you wrap them, but how do you take them off. How do they end up fluffy. I got lost there. Thanks!

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    1. Mary: I bought the forms several decades ago. I think Clover has similar ones, also plastic that you can buy in the US or online. The instructions will tell you how to use them. Essentially, the yarn is wound tightly around the forms so they are compressed in volume. When they are released from the forms, they fluff up naturally.

      Amazon has those clover forms here:
      http://www.amazon.com/Clover-super-maker-58-791-japan/dp/B002P7M860/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1446769470&sr=8-3&keywords=clover+pom+pom+maker

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  23. Where did you find the black beads for the eyes? I want mine to look just like the ones you made, or as close as I can get. They are very cute! Thanks.

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    1. Brittany: I don't remember! They might have been Darice beads, from Michaels the Craft Store.

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    2. One more question, what size pom pom makers did you use? I bought the clover ones. They are large, medium, small, extra small.

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  24. I coniglietti sono bellissimi!!!grazie per aver condiviso questa stupenda idea da realizzare con e per i bambini,la farò sicuramente per Pasqua!!!

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  25. What adorable little bunnies. I want to try and make a couple as I love things like that. Nice job.

    Nancy Robinson

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  26. It is a beautiful inspiration :-). Andrea

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  27. A raly nice idea for Eastern ! ♥♥♥

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  28. This are so cute. Could you give more detail on how to make them .Such as how big the body and head was. then how you attach the head to the body. I would like to make some for my Autism class. Thanks

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  29. Post meraviglioso!!!!!!Piacere di conoscerti!Sono felice di proporre questi conigli ai miei alunni di prima elementare per la Pasqua(60 conigli in tutto!!!!).Ti citerò nel mio blog per la stupenda idea.GRAZIE!!!
    Patry

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  30. First of all, your kiddo is such a cutie patootie! Second of all, these bunnies are so stinking adorable!

    I shared this project in a roundup I did of 27 Family Friendly Easter Projects on Hello Creative Family. I'd love for you to take a peek and share if you think your fans would like it. :)

    http://hellocreativefamily.com/27-family-friendly-spring-and-easter-craft-ideas/

    Best Wishes,

    Crystal

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  31. This is creativity at its best.Can you kindly email me easy steps on how to make these bunnies ?

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  32. How do you connect the two POM's together???

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    1. When you make the pompoms and tie their middles with yarn, don't trim the yarn - leave the ties long and then tie them together. I do not glue the head and body pompoms together - tying alone is sufficient.

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  33. Thank you so much for this inspiring post! Those bunnies are too cute!!

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  34. Hi, not sure if you're aware, but i found this post through Pinterest, which linked to a site called Wonderfuldiy.com. Both sites had photos of your little girl with the bunnies. Thought I'd mention it. Feel free to not publish this comment, it's just for your info.
    Regards,
    Jo

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    1. Thanks, Jo. And I did publish the comment because I have seen those photos of Kate all over the internet in the past month. Much as I'd love to police these sites, I'm going to let it go, or it would never end. I do very much appreciate your comment, though, and am leaving it here in the hopes that other folks will see it and be aware of what I prefer and disprefer when it comes to pinning. Thank you!

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  35. Oh my these are the cutest little bunnies ever! Can't wait to make a few.

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  36. Such a darling tutorial! Thank you! I was inspired to make them and photograph them for my blog as well. I linked back to you as my original inspiration, because your tutorial is so well written.

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  37. I have made about 17 of these bunnies and I am so thrilled with how they have turned out! Everyone wants one (or more)!

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  38. Thank you for the instructions!! I have made several and everyone loves them!!

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  39. I dont think you ever actually said. Did you simply glue the bunny ears to the bunny once they were made?

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  40. Me encantó la historia y los conejitos. Gracias por el tutorial.

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  41. My mother and I made these and many other pompon animals in the 60s for my infant schools' summer fete toy stall and Christmas bazaars, so this was a real blast from the past! Naturally, I taught my children to make pompon pets in the 80s and 90s.
    Incidentally, my mother was taught pompon making (among many other crafts) by her aunts and grandmother in the 1930/40s and I am so glad she passed this creative urge to me.

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