Handmade Burlap Bunny Backdrop
This burlap bunny is inspired by Gund stuffed animals who are so soft and cuddly, they naturally slouch like they are enjoying a bright Spring afternoon. This little bunny craft is made with burlap giving her a farmhouse style. My first thought was to use drop cloth fabric, but I decided on burlap because it is so easy to do simple embroidery on. All the stitching took one evening while I watched a movie with subtitles even, the burlap makes the stitching so easy to see and work with. I will show you what I mean later on in the post.
But before I get to the tutorial, let me first tell you a little bit about the Int’l Bloggers Club (IBC). Every month a group of bloggers from around the world gets together to create something using a common theme. I was invited to join the bloggers a couple of months ago, and am excited to share our posts on an Easter theme.
The Easter Bunny Template
If you have ever downloaded one of my patterns before you may notice they are a bit sketchy looking. I don’t design my templates online, I draw them using graph paper, scan, scale and tweak them. Drawing with graph paper makes it much easier to get proportions correct. It makes a simple outline drawing much easier to do.
Once the pattern is created I tweak it before posting it. They aren’t perfect, but they do work as I use the same template to create the Easter Bunny. It’s a great way to make your own patterns and templates.
Burlap Easter Bunny Art Supplies
You will need:
Backdrop or frame
Burlap (about 18″ by 12″)
Carbon paper, white chalk
Chocolate brown (2 skeins) and soft pink (1 skein) embroidery cotton
Scissors, glue, a small paintbrush
Ribbon or embroidery cotton or flowers to embellish the bunny
Cutting the Burlap for the Burlap Bunny
Print out two copies of the bunny template pattern.
Lay your burlap good side up, place the templates on top and cut rectangles the size of the 8.5 by 11″ printables, we will cut out the actual bunnies later on.
Transferring the Bunny Pattern
Set aside one piece of the cut burlap, lay the other piece good side up. Cover the burlap with a piece of carbon paper, carbon side down. Then place the bunny pattern on top of the carbon paper.
Trace the bunny really heavily a section at a time, making sure that it’s transferred enough to see it. The burlap is darker so the carbon doesn’t show as it does on light fabric. After you do one section (ex. an ear) lift up the corner to see if it transferred. Then proceed to the next bit.
Stitching the Easter Bunny Outline
For my Easter bunny I didn’t divide my embroidery cotton, I used all six threads to make the stitching stand out more.
Start with the one piece of burlap with the pattern on it. Outline all the “Inside” lines using embroidery cotton. don’t stitch the outer edges of the pattern.
By outlining all the inside buttons through one layer of fabric it hides any knots you may have on the back, and it allows you to add the stuffing later on.
Keep the second bunny template with you while you sew. It will help you decide what colour the lines should be. If while working your stitches you find it hard to see. Place the pattern under your burlap bunny and fill in the missing bits using chalk.
The Embroidery Back Stitch
Starting at the backside of the burlap push the needle up along any line. Push the needle back down two holes over. Pull the thread back up, and then push down where the first stitch went down. Think of it as colouring with thread, each stitch will be two holes wide.
Once you have all the inner lines completed, nose, mouth, ears, feet. Put the second piece of burlap on behind the embroidered front rabbit. Pin in place.
Using dark brown thread start at the bottom stitch around the outside of the rabbit. Stop at the bottom leaving gap between the two feet.
Stuff the rabbit with polyfill, placing more in the bottom half then the face and ears. I did this to make her look more three dimensional with a fluffier tummy.
Once you have the rabbit stuffed as you want it, stitch the bottom of the rabbit closed.
Sealing the Burlap Seams
Burlap sheds quite a bit so cutting the edges would cause fraying and too messy for my tastes. To get around this add regular glue to a small container and using a small brush apply glue all around the outside seam of the rabbit. Pinch the edges together and let dry completely.
Once the glue on the rabbit is dry and clear, trim the burlap 1/4 inch out from the stitching.
Adding the Handmade Burlap Bunny to the Background
Cover the back of your rabbit with glue, place on your background.
Cover it something heavy like a stack of books and let dry for at least an hour.
Let’s check out what my other blogging friends have been creating. It’s so nice to get some fresh ideas for this year with lots of time to create them. Enjoy.