This free, felt Easter bunny template will get you into the mood for Easter!
On the one hand, it is hard to think of Spring here in NH. In late February and early March we have been hit with 2 major snow storms. On the other hand, when March arrives it is hard to stop daydreaming about Easter egg hunts in the green grass!
In order to get into the Spring spirit I decided it would be fun to make a little something hand made to add to my kids’ Easter baskets. First I rummaged through catalogs and magazines for ideas. Then I raided my wool felt stash for materials and inspiration. The result: two lovely, small felt bunnies! I have to admit that the ones I made have already been discovered by my kids. They named one “Chocolate” and the other “Marshmallow” before running off with them. These felt bunnies have proven to be great little toys – and have inspired my kids to play without concern for their TV or iPad afflictions. It is rewarding to go out of your way to give the children a little something more traditional, something that easily steals their attention from the electronics in the house.
Both bunnies are made using the same felt pattern, and can be sewn together with a buttonhole or a whip stitch. I like the look of the buttonhole stitch best. I recommend ordering felt that is made of at least 80% wool. It is more durable and has a much nicer feel than felt with a lesser wool content. I usually order my wool from Weir Crafts as high quality wool is often difficult to find locally. The remaining materials are all easy to find at your local craft store.
If you want a quick fix you can buy felt from Amazon with just a few mouse clicks (link below to get you started). Buying a multi-pack is also a great idea if you think you will do more work with felt. However, if you want a unique color of felt, then while in Amazon you can pop over to the Weir Crafts site and buy individual colors of their high quality felt.
Update: Everyone liked this project so much since its originally posting I have now added a Duckling Tutorial new for this year!
Wool Felt – 8.5″x 10″ piece in your choice of body color, 3″ x 2″ piece in inner ear color of your choice (remember that this is for one bunny)
DMC Embroidery Floss – Color A = in body color; Color B = eye and whisker color
Wool Roving (or stuffing of any kind)
DK Weight Yarn – in tail color
Instructions for the felt Easter bunny pattern:
1. Print the template below to be approximately 8.5 inches wide (this means that the distance from the leftmost line to the rightmost line in the image below should be around 8.5 inches on your piece of paper). Use the template to cut all the pieces shown (except the “Ear Front”) out of your preferred color of the wool for the body. Cut two pieces each of the “Bunny Side” and the “Ear Back”. It is best to use sharp scissors to cut felt.
2. Cut a piece of embroidery floss in color B and separate into 2 sections of 3 strands each. Use one section of floss and a satin stitch to create a eye on each of the “Bunny Sides”. You can use the template as a reference for the the eye placement. You may also use beads instead of stitching when adding eyes, if you prefer.
3. Line up the two “Bunny Sides” to match. With a button hole stitch (or whip stitch) connect the two pieces starting at the back of the neck and working across the back. Refer to the end of the post for a stitch guide. When you reach about where a tail would be attached, stop stitching. Line up the feet on one side of the “Bunny Bottom” with the feet on one of the “Bunny Sides”. Pin in place. Continue stitching and when you reach the
“Bunny Bottom” transition to stitching it to one of the “Bunny Sides”. When you have stitched to the neck, stop stitching and line up the second two feet on the bunny bottom with the feet on the second “Bunny Side”. Continue stitching until the entire “Bunny Bottom” is stitched in place (meaning attached to 2 “Bunny Sides”. Secure the thread end at the back of the bunny with a knot and tuck the thread inside the body.
4. Line up the “Head Top” with the head of one of the “Bunny Sides”. Start at the back of the neck where you began stitching in step 3. With a new piece of thread (3 strands thick), stitch the “Head Top” to one of the “Bunny Sides”. When you have stitched one full side of the “Head Top” stop, secure the thread, and then trim any excess and tuck inside.
5. Stuff the bunny with wool roving.
6. With a new section of thread, start at the back of the bunny neck and stitch to remaining side of the “Head Top” to the second “Bunny Side”. When you reach the end of the “Head Top”, stitch together the two “Bunny Sides” to close the remaining opening.
7. Cut two “Ear Fronts” from your desired felt color. Start at the base of the ear and stitch the “Ear Front” to the “Ear Back”. You will only stitch the sides together as the bottoms are different. The “Ear Front” is also slightly smaller so it will sit completely inside the “Ear Back”. When you have stitched all the way around the ear the “Ear Back” will naturally fold together at the bottom as in the photo. Repeat this stitching to create the second ear.
8. Use the remaining thread to attach the ear to the top of the bunny along the seam of the “Bunny Side” and “Bunny Head”. Repeat to attach the second ear.
9. Wrap your yarn around two fingers. Be sure to keep a bit of space between your fingers when you do this. For a larger more dense tail you will need to make more wraps. Cut a short piece of yarn and wrap it between your fingers and around the yarn in the orthogonal direction of the wraps, as in the photo. This short piece of yarn goes all the way through your fingers and around both the front and back side of the yarn wrapped around your fingers. Tie the short piece of yarn in a half knot to hold all the wraps in place. Remove from your fingers. Now tighten this same short piece of yarn as tight as you can and secure with another half knot. At this point, the short piece of yarn has been used to tie the loops of yarn such that the resulting form is almost like a figure 8 with the short piece of yarn being used to cinch the center of the figure 8.
10. Cut a new piece of embroidery floss similar to the tail color (3 strands thick). Wrap this floss around your yarn wraps in the same way you did the short piece of yarn. You should be able to get the floss tighter than the yarn. The tighter you are able to tie it, the more robust to tail will be. Get someone to help you if you need too. When you have completed this step you can cut the first short piece of yarn away since the floss is now knotted around the yarn. Cut all the yarn loops, meaning that you would cut the loops by cutting through both the top side and bottom side of my fingers in the image above, to create a puffy ball. Shape the tail by evening out the yarn ends. Now use the thread to attach the tail to the bunny.
11. Cut a piece of embroidery floss. Split into two pieces that each have 3 strands. Place a knot about 1 inch from the end. This will make the first whisker. Insert the needle where you want the first whisker to be located and bring the needle out on the opposite side where you want another whisker to be placed. Place a second knot to hold the whisker in place on the other side of the bunny’s face and trim to the desired length. Repeat this process two more times to result in three whiskers on each side.
Your bunny is now ready for the Easter Basket! If you enjoyed working with wool felt, try some of my other patterns like the Dove Christmas Ornament.
Alternatively, I have been really impressed with the following book from Amanda Carestio and Kathy Sheldon. This book has fantastic ideas, instructions, and templates for making various holiday themed crafts with wool felt. The beginning section on materials, tools, techniques etc. should be invaluable in terms of demonstrating how to best execute a new felt based craft project.
Since I originally posted this project, I have also added an template and tutorial for making a duckling friend for him! I you liked this post check out the Duckling Tutorial.
Template: (Print on 8.5″ width paper for proper sizing).
Stitch Guide: (photos: Embroider’s Guild, Stitch Magazine)