Introduction: Juggling Snuggling Rabbits

I have made these for my babies to play with, It started with my 1 year old daughters love for rabbits. I wanted to make something that would interest her. Unfortunately I can not make something for one of my babies with out also making one for the other, I made three so that I can have one too. too cute not to :)  
Because they are bean bags I can amuse them with my terrible juggling and my kids can pinch them when I drop them and give them the full awwww rabbit treatment, 
My little boy helped in the making process and loved seeing the rabbits take shape, we have played hide and seek with the rabbits most mornings, either because they have put them somewhere and I can't find them or I have found somewhere fun to hide one and they have to spot it.
Originally the rabbits were going to be used to play a game, I wanted to make a cardboard hat covered in fleece and have them throw the rabbits into the hat, I was going to make the hat have a secret pocket for amateur magic tricks creating extra hours of fun, 
I am still planning to do this but I will have to add it later as I start my new job in a fabric shop next week after being made redundant a few weeks back. I have a week so I am spending what time I have doing more playtime, glueing sticking, painting, drawing and less of my own making, but the rabbits have joined us so not a total loss. I have an old metal bin I never used covered with a green cloth we have been using to throw them in instead. :)
All in all I can safely say since I made them it has created hours of fun and kept my little boy distracted while he waits excitedly for school to start, :) 

Any way this is the instructable for the little fellows, (hat to come soon I hope)

Step 1: What You Need

For the bean bag rabbits : -

Fleece Fabric : 
Any colour you choose, mine are white, Velour would also work.
Felt : I used this for the eyes but was at one point going to use buttons, beads would also work 
Polymer Pellets : dry lentils or rice would work just as well I am sure to stuff rabbit
Some scraps of coloured fabric : I used this to do the front of the ears to make each rabbit different.
Black and White cotton : Black for stitching the mouth and white for the construction of the rabbit
Grease Proof paper and thin card : For templates

Tools : -

Scissors, needle, pins, pen/pencil, Spoon and cup and scrap of paper to make a cone, the cone is optional it was just a triangle of paper rolled into a cone with a hole cut in the point.

Step 2: Rabbit Template

The rabbit I drew for the bean bags you will see that it has very little in the way of limbs, the arms and legs are really small so that it was more of a hint of a rabbit shape the ears give it the character, I did this to make them as much bean bag shaped as I could. (My daughter still identified them as rabbits so it is all good,)
After the drawing I traced the profered half of the rabbit onto grease proof and folding it so the fold runs down the center lengthways of the rabbit cut out the rabbit shape once folded out a had a simetrical rabbit shape,
I then traced the ears and an eye.
Once I had cut out the grease proof paper template I then drew round it onto card, I personally find it easier to draw round a card template onto fabric when doing multiples of pieces, The line that I draw onto the fabric the line I stitch round, I hand stitched everything as until today I had no sewing machine. (can't wait to try it out too)
Once drawn onto card just cut that out, 

Step 3: Body of the Rabbit

First get the fabric you intend to use for the main body of the rabbit, 
Then Draw round your template / pattern onto the back of the fabric, I used one piece of fleece folded over so that the furriest side was folded inward to create the back and front of the rabbit. I drew round my template onto one side. This meant I only had to draw the rabbits body once for each rabbit.
Then pin it if needed and stitch around the line you have drawn using back stitch or fine running stitch to hold the two sides together.
You can see that I started my stitching at the head of the rabbit to one side of the head and stopped around the same place on the other side of the head, The hole I left was about an inch and a half. This is so that there is enough gap to line up and stitch the ears and then the gap between the ears that is left should be enough to turn the rabbit inside out and stuff. 
I miss judged one of the holes that I left and made it difficult but not impossible to continue you can afford to be quite generous with the gap you leave as it easier to stitch it up than try and fight a whole rabbits body through a tiny hole.
Once you have stitched around the line of the rabbit cut it out leaving a good few mm's around the stitching

Step 4: Ears

For the ears draw round the template / pattern onto the back of the patterned fabric scraps, then lay it face down onto the face up fleece,
Pin the two pieces together and stitch around the line, again I used back stitch for this.
Leave the ear open at the bottom where it will join the rabbits head so it can be turned the right way out,
Cut out the ears leaving a few mm's around the stitching and then turn them inside out.
I have shown as best I can how I did that as they are quite thin and small.
I took the either side of the ear where it is at it widest at the top and pinching the cotton patterned fabric with one hand and the fleece with the other pulled the two sides gently away from each other, (same action as opening a bag of crisps) the top of the ear should then easily push inside its self, 
Then poke a pencil into it and roll it down onto the pencil, 
Repeat for the other ear.

Step 5: Attaching Ears to Body

The first photo on this step shows how the ears are arranged inside the rabbit.
Push the ears into the gap leaving the bottom stuck out of the top,
Then using back stitch again stitch through the rabbits head and the ear to hold it together but stop again a couple of stitches in towards the centre of the head, Still leaving a hole big enough in the top of the head to turn the rabbit inside out. secure / knot the cotton so that when you turn the rabbit the stitches do not start to come undone.
Once it is turned inside out the ears stick out like on the last photo of this step

Step 6: Turn the Rabbit

Start by pulling the ears though the hole and then gently feed the rabbits body through the hole in the top of the head.
If the hole is a bit on the small side which like I said previously on one of the rabbits it was, It is not impossible to turn the rabbit inside out but I did need to jab it a bit with a pencil to get it to go through and when I had managed to turn it the right way out it looked a bit shaggy like my kids had already rubbed it up and down the carpet for a few hours.
But I excused my mistake by convincing my self it gave that particular rabbit character and babies still liked it.
If I get a smile off them then it is all fine. :)

Step 7: Rabbits Face

How ever you decide to do the rabbits face, this is the point where I added mine to the rabbit.
You can use buttons or beads for eyes I used felt.
I drew round the eye template onto the felt and cut it out, then cut the tiniest bit of white felt in a half moon shape to create the shine on the eyes, 
I then stitched the white bit onto the black circle with just a couple of running stitches, very fiddly glue might have been a better option,
Then using a fine running stitch I stitched the eyes onto the rabbit,I only used about eight stitches on each eye.
I found this surprisingly simple, I was expecting to be fighting off the back of the rabbits body, and was a bit concerned that I wound inadvertently stitch through the whole rabbit but the top layer of the rabbit lifted away from the back with ease as I stitched. 
Alternatively you can stick your finger in the top of its head so it is behind the eye. (I did this for the mouth)
The mouth I just used a chain style stitch to form a rabbit like smile.
That is the face on my rabbit done, 

Step 8: Filling / Stuffing Rabbits

I used Polymer Pellets for this but dry lentils or rice would work.
The first rabbit I made had a massive hole in its head so I just used a spoon to scoop the pellets into the rabbit,
The cup I used to put just enough pellets in to fill one rabbit, I have a big bag of these pellets but I am quite clumsy and could just see me throwing the lot on the kitchen floor not so much fun picking them all up, The cup also came in handy when my little helper joined the fun as he nearly knocked the cup over a few times but if he had the mess would have been less of a problem. :)
Also to make it easier for him to help I made a cone out of scrap paper to give him a larger hole to aim for.
He did really well dropping very few on the floor.
I pretty much filled the rabbits to the top to give them more weight, I tried using half stuffing and half pellets but they didn't throw as well.

Step 9: Stitching Rabbits Head Up.

To stitch up the top of the head I just looped over and over in close together small stitches to seal in the pellets,
That is one rabbit done, 
Two more to go :)
The first rabbit I made I lost quickly but I got seal of approval off the little madam :)
The second got pinched by the little man after he stuffed it and I stitched it,
The last one sits on my table unless it gets spotted, :)

Thats the rabbits done, all set for juggling, snuggling, Hiding and Finding.

Hope you enjoyed this,
More to come soon hopefully, :)

All comments and suggestions always welcome, :)   

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