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Blossom the baby bunny

My first ever needle felted animal back in 2013 was a sweet little white bunny holding a carrot.

He seemed to just emerge out of my wool the moment I started stabbing away and sculpting with my barbed needles! From that day I just knew this was the hobby for me!

It has been a journey of joy in creating, therapy and relaxation through the tough trials that life brings and through my own experimentation it has hopefully helped others as I journal and share my techniques as tutorials.

Needle felting is such a wonderful art form as it enables you to just go for it with whatever you want to make, with no need for a pattern or sewing, just your passion and imagination. If you make a mistake it doesn’t matter – it is forgiving and each time you create something new the result brings a smile!

As some of you have come to know, I love to improve and challenge myself. This last few weeks I set myself a challenge to make an animal with fur that has been reverse needle felted. At the moment we are staying in a lovely house in the countryside next to open fields of corn and wild flowers and we often see the cutest bunnies popping up from their burrows and skipping and playing in the sunlight. They are a delight to watch, especially when they hop away with only a flash of a white fluffy tail to be seen.

So what better animal to choose to have fluffy fur than a cute baby bunny rabbit! To me they are a real sign that spring has arrived and summer is on its way!

I would like to introduce you to ‘Blossom’!

******************Blossom is available to buy here******************

You can see from the photos that she is the perfect size to sit on your hand just like a real baby rabbit. She is 15cm tall from the top of her head down to her cute bunny paws.

As with all my needle felted animals, it took many hours of hard work and love to give her that playful character. Her core is made of undyed mixed rare breed sheep’s wool from Scotland. Her beautiful soft fluffy fur is a blend of merino sheep’s wool (non-mulesed) from South Africa. Her nose and eyes are made of wool too, so no glass or plastic. Her whiskers are made from Shetland pony horse tail hair.

She even has pink paw pad detail when you look underneath her!…and look at that fluffy tail! ūüôā aw!!

Here you can see that I made the front and back feet individually and left a tuft of core wool on each for easy attachment.

You might be wondering what reverse needle felting is?

Firstly I used normal barbed felting needles to sculpt her shape with the core wool and add the colour with the merino wool. Once I had added a layer of white merino wool over her body I then added a layer of ‘pewter’ (dark grey) merino wool. I then took a reverse needle (which has barbs going the opposite way to a normal barbed needle) and as I stabbed at the wool it pulled the white wool fibres (and some of the core wool) through the grey. This resulted in a fluffy light grey colour. I carefully used an eye brow brush to brush the fibres in one direction to mimic the look of baby bunny fur.

She is ready to hop into your life this spring time!

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think and if you have any questions about reverse needle felting.

I hope you have a lovely relaxing Easter!!

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How to make an Easter bunny!

Want to know how to needle felt a bunny this Easter?¬† How about bunny ears? … need some ideas to get started?

Hi everyone!

Now before you get¬†too excited, sorry no I haven’t made a new bunny, but what I did want to do was bring together some pictures and links to the best of my previous bunny posts¬†into one place for you all to enjoy this Easter! as well as offer a little Easter themed inspiration…

The other day I visited Vauxhall city farm in London (which I sometimes visit on my lunch break from managing the National Bat Helpline) and took a few snaps of a rather large bunny (I think he is part Flemish Giant)  but he looks like a wild bunny with all that browney-grey fur and as you can see he is well camouflaged too.

Easter bunny2Easter bunny

It got me thinking and I¬†am sure you will agree that bunnies are a great sign of spring and new life at Easter and¬†like the Vauxhall one they are extremely cute and well worth taking the time to admire. I do of course also love to eat chocolate bunnies¬†(yum) and can’t wait to finish my Lent no chocolate diet to get my teeth into one!

So how about making a bunny this Easter?

The first time I bought some wool and attempted needle felting I ended up making this little cream bunny from corriedale wool.

Needle felted bunny needle felted bunny (8)

Then soon after I was commissioned to make a gorgeous grey bunny for a colleague who wanted to surprise his wife for her birthday. His core is corriedale and grey and pinky fur is of merino wool.

Needle felted bunny  Needle felted bunny

I loved making these bunnies. Both are laying on their backs as I think this is the sweetest lovable pose and reminds me of the bunnies (Benjamin, Snuggles and Peeps) I had the privilege to care for as a child. Unfortunately I have now developed an allergy for rabbit fur so making wool rabbits mean I still get to cuddle them without sneezing profusely.:-)

To make a bunny like these yourself this Easter why not click here to try out my needle felted bunny tutorial.

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….and for more detail on making those lovely long ears click here.

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I gave my bunnies a carrot to hold but what about keeping with the Easter theme and placing your bunny in a basket holding some needle felted eggs like the one below ?

needle felted east egg1 needle felted east egg2

or Easter flowers?

You could wrap wool round wire and needle felt the wool in place to create stems and add simple flower heads like the one I made in this tutorial.

Or why not try a sitting Easter hare??

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See here for more inspiration

Happy Easter everyone!!!!! ūüôā ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needle felting a bunny; Photo tutorial

Needle felting a bunny; Photo tutorial

Today I just want to share some photos with you to give you a taster of the various stages that went in to¬†needle felting my latest bunny. I haven’t photographed everything but stopped at various times¬†along the journey to take a shot. Please also see here for more detail of how I made his ears. It doesn’t matter too much about what order you add each limb or ears or facial features. It is fun to experiment with different ways of doing things. You will soon find out what works best for you.

I have found though that whenever you add the eyes your creation immediately gains personality and you also get a tiny break from all the time consuming needle action. I love doing the eyes and ears best.

imageBasic ball to start for bunny head. Core corriedale wool.

imageAdding cheeks and face shape

imageAdded torso.

imageAdditional layer in mink coloured merino wool to form base fur.

imageShoulders and thighs firmly felted

imageBlue and grey merino wool mixed then shallow felted to become bunny fur.

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imageLeaving his tummy in mink.

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Preparing feet

imageCute bunny paw detail

imageFeet firmly attached

imageMore Wool added to give shape and smooth contours

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Nose and mouth coming to life

imageComparing with my original bunny to check size and proportions, angle of feet etc

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Forming ears.  See more about making ears in a tutorial here.

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imageEars fixed

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imageEyes alert

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Can’t resist a cuddle

imageFront paws and holding a carrot.

imageMy sister in law popped by, bunny made her smile ūüôā

imageAdventure for bunny in the garden for¬†nature’s backdrop!

To see more pictures of this cute bunny and to order one as a gift just like him for someone you love, please visit my Etsy shop.

To follow my blog and receive¬†email updates about latest fit to be loved¬†creations and tutorials, simply¬†enter your email address on the top right panel of my ‚Äėfind out more‚Äô¬†page.

How to needle felt bunny ears!

How to needle felt bunny ears!
See here for more pictures or to order one just like him

See here for more pictures or to order one just like him

Now that I have revealed my latest needle felted bunny in my most recent post, I can share with you how I made his cute bunny ears. The real bunny, owned by Pete and his wife, had the most incredibly gorgeous long ears and I really wanted to take the time to detail their every curve and beauty. As I created them I took pictures at each phase to document how I made them for my own reference when making other ears in future and also to share with you now on my blog..

For those of you who¬†have some experience¬†of needle felting I am sure you have your own preferred¬†technique but please do take a look – your ideas are very welcome as I am still fairly new to this and so far it has been trial and error but most enjoyable. For those who haven’t tried yet , I hope this inspires you to have a ‘stab’ at it!

This is specifically to show you how to create ears for the bunny I made above, but some of the methods are very similar for other animal ears so feel free to follow them for other projects..

To get started you will need:

  • Foam pad or felting brush base (so not to stab your knees and to provide a firm base to work on)
  • Felting needles of various sizes; wider for initial shaping and finer for detail later on
  • A needle holder; this is optional but for making basic shapes it saves time to use 2 or 3 needles at the same time. In the pictures you will see¬†I use the 3 needle¬†holder pen by Clover.
  • Wool to felt with; I used natural corriedale wool to make the basic ear shapes as I find it felts well and ends up nice and firm (especially to keep in alert¬†bunny position). I then used merino wool as the top coat as it’s soft and comes in some lovely animal fur colours.¬†I buy my wools at a very good price from World of Wool.
  • Finally… ¬†¬†some time, some love, some patience, a drink and bar of chocolate¬†for long sitting periods, perhaps some music (not tv as you may be distracted and stab your finger) and don’t forget a photo or drawing of what you would like to make…

So…. on to the tutorial!

By the way….. the point at which I am about to felt the ears I will already have my head sculpted, I can then at any¬†time measure up the ears to the head to ensure I am getting¬†the right proportion.

Step 1: take two equal lengths (and density) of your core wool (corriedale in this case). Bear in mind that you will need the two ears to end up the same size so keep comparing them. I find it works better if I do a bit on one then do a bit on the other as I go along rather than finish one and then start the other afterwards.

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Step 2: fold the piece in half in an oval shape (you can see already this is forming a long  ear shape before you even use the needle!)

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Step 3: using the thicker felting needle/s start stabbing the wool to go through to the other side as well as shallower stabs to the first few barbs of the needle in many directions (ensure you lift the needle in the same direction as you placed it so not to break any needles). Then turn over and do the other side

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Step 4: now you have a basic flat shape you need to make it more 3d and ear-like so roll the sides in to form thicker edges and stab at 90 degrees but also inwards at an angle keeping the edges rounded where the ear edges need to curve. Do this on both ears as you go..

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Step 5: Use fingers to knead the wool and stab¬†with your needle/s and give shape on both sides. NB I have left a long unfelted end at the bottom of my work to make it easier to fix my ears on to the bunny head later on…

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Step 6: keep pulling edges in and hollowing the middle section with your needle/s

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………and turn over to felt the other side as you go…

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…. remember to turn your work and use various angles¬†to insert your needle/s to¬†mould the wool into¬†the desired shape.

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Step 7: Keep felting and keep checking your photo or drawing to see how big the edges are and which areas should be flatter.

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On a real bunny one edge of the ear is thicker than the other so I had to make sure this was the opposite way round on the other ear (as it is in real life) for a mirror effect. You may want to use one needle or just two needles to make more defined lines..

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And there we have some bunny ears (err… minus some colour and texture!)

So then comes the exciting part …..have your finer needles and bunny fur colours at the ready for the final step….

Step 8: carefully shallow felt the ears with your coloured merino wools (just¬†to¬†a depth of first 1 or 2 barbs on your finer needles) to fix the wool¬†in place but not allow the wool to go through to the other side.¬†You don’t want the darker colours to be seen through the lighter colours on the other side! and vice versa ¬†(it would be a medley of pink and grey in this case).

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……..where needle holes can be seen – you can use¬†fingers or a normal sewing needle to gently fluff up fibres

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…. add different shades of colour to give a more realistic look. I mixed my greys and blues to get the bluey-grey colours.¬†Then I ¬†used a mink colour for the middle of the ear with lighter pinks around the edges. Finally¬†a strand of grey down the very centre for light and shadow and 3d effect…

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Then your ears are ready to fix on to your bunny head for full bunny character!!

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I hope you found this useful. Let me know what you would like me to write about and what you would like me to make!

My next post will¬†be a¬†photo gallery of how I made my bunny creation from start to finish….so you will get to see me fixing the ears in place…!

Please¬†enter your email address here for notifications of new posts to my blog and follow me on facebook, twitter, pinterest to see what I am up to next! ūüôā

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