Happy Easter, America. A Google search of "do bunnies lay eggs" yields +71,000 results and it seems like Americans only laughs it off when children think that bunnies lay Easter eggs. Educating them that this is incorrect would give us adults one fewer thing to chuckle about - apparently. I've created a bunny nest complete with bunny eggs to illustrate what happens in nature when you don't care to learn for yourself or teach your children how the world works.
Step 1: Materials
The basic set of materials are listed below. I chose to work with all natural materials because this is, after all, what [too] many Americas believe is real nature.
- Wooden eggs (about bunny sized)
- Rabbit hides
- A stick wreath
- A collection of dyed grass and plant material
- A bit of dried flowers
- Hemp twine
- Leatherworking needles
- Leather thread (a specific type of wax coated heavyweight polyester)
- A straight blade (x-acto/boxcutter type knife)
- Scrap paper
- [masking] tape
For the embroidered ribbon
- Embroidery needles
- Embroidery floss
- Carbon paper
Step 2: Create the Egg Pattern
- Measure the egg at the widest part
- Measure a piece of paper taller than the egg and as wide as the egg. Divide the paper into sixths and mark with lines the full height of the paper (and egg).
- Wrap the paper around the egg and secure with tape.
- Cut the paper along the lines.
- Place a ruler through the slits and mark straight lines along the bottom of the egg. Draw a line. Repeat until the bottom has been marked into 6 sections.
- Do the same to the top.
- Mark the 1/6th placement at the widest part of the egg.
- Remove the paper and connect the marks at the top through the marks at the widest part and to the marks on the bottom.
- Tape a bit of paper to the egg and trim away everything the lands outside of the pencil marks on the egg. It is a bit tricky to get right but the pattern will be trued so just try to get it close.
To true the pattern:
- Trace the cut piece onto paper.
- Fold the paper in half based on the top and bottom point.
- Create a nice, smooth curve based on the choppy uneven line from the original pattern. If the lines from each half of the pattern piece don't match up, split the difference.
Step 3: Cutting Fur
When working with real or faux fur, DO NOT USE SCISSORS TO CUT THE FUR. If you do so, it will result in a choppy, ugly haircut of the hair.
- Mark your pattern piece on the back of the fur. Fur is directional (meaning: it has a nap) so you want all of the pieces to lay in the same direction.
- While holding the fur up and away from any surface, use a straight blade to cut the skin.
- After all the pieces are cut, lay them out in an order so any color variations blend.
Step 4: Sewing Fur
You should avoid using pins when sewing fur or leather so you don't put excessive holes in the skin. Also, you will need a thimble and pliers to sew through animal hide. Use the thimble to push half the length of the needle though the skin and the pliers to pull the needle all remaining way (the eye of the needle can cause the needle to hang which can be difficult to pull with your fingers alone).
- Align the pieces you wish to sew together.
- Tuck the fur between the layers with the awl. Use the clips to hold everything in place.
- Sew all 6 of the pieces together at the very top using a whip stitch. Sew from the top point to about 1 inch down each seam. This sets everything so the pieces will lay evenly when completed.
- Sew each seam (except the very last one).
- Insert the wooden egg. This can be a little tricky because the skin grabs the surface and doesn't slide. It is best to try to "roll" the skin onto the egg as opposed to sliding the egg into the skin.
- Sew the remaining seam closed with a curved needle. Do your best to prevent the fur near the stitch to be caught under the thread.
Once the sewing is complete, use an awl to "pick the seams" by pulling any fur caught in the seam to the outside. When this is done, the seams are nearly invisible.
Do this two more times to make a nest of three bunny eggs.
Step 5: Creating the Nest
A pair of tweezers can be extremely helpful for the following steps.
- Starting with the most prevalent grass in your nature bundle, trim the ends down to 3-4 inches below the seeds.
- Insert the ends into the stick wreath, working in a circle.
- If needed, add a wrap of hemp cord to help hold all the ends in place.
- Working in a circle to keep an even distribution, add all the vegetation
- Add a few sprigs or dried flowers for a color accent.
Step 6: A Name Tag
I thought it would be helpful to attach a name to the piece and did so with an embroidered ribbon.
- Find a font or write with your own handwriting the words you wish to embroider on a piece of paper (a sample).
- Place the carbon transfer paper between the paper sample and the ribbon (carbon side facing the ribbon).
- Trace the words on the paper sample with the pencil.
- Trace the letters on the ribbon with stitches of embroidery floss. I used a row of simple stitches to complete my label.
Step 7: Completed Nest
Here is the completed project. Three fur covered bunny eggs in a basket of spring prairie greens.