Easter craft: Felt rabbits and garden play mat

These hand-sewn rabbits and the accompanying machine-sewn play mat will provide hours of fun for the little ones in your life.

By Cynthia Treen, with photos by Karen Philippi

Sew a felt rabbit: Making the eyes, ears, nose and tail

6. To make the eyes, thread the needle with black thread and knot the end. Insert your needle into the side of the face, about halfway between the neckline (created by the stitch in Step 5) and the top of the head. Pull it through to the other side of the face to mark the second eye. Stitch back and forth through the inside of the head, making two separate eyes. Keep the thread tight as you sew to cinch the head and create facial contours. When you are finished with the eyes, hide the end of your black thread by inserting the needle one last time into one of the eyes and pulling it out somewhere on the body. Trim the thread close to the body, then pull the wool out where the thread is visible to make it disappear back into the body.

7. To make the ears, pinch and fold the base of the ear piece in half with your fingers. Using matching thread, make a few whipstitches along the folded base to secure the fold and create a contoured ear base. Repeat for the other ear piece. Whipstitch the ear bases, one at a time, to the top of the rabbit's head and knot off your thread.

8. To form the nose, thread the needle with two strands of tan embroidery floss separated from the skein. In the centre of the face and slightly below the eyes, make a few tacking stitches on top of each other to form a nose. Hide the end of the thread in the same way as for the eyes.

9. To form the tail, make a running stitch around the circumference of the wool tail as close to the edge as possible, cinching the thread so that the round piece forms a small ball. If necessary, secure the ball in place by crossing several more stitches over the gathered opening. Stitch the gathered side of the tail onto the backside of the rabbit just above the base. Use several whipstitches around the ball to attach it to the body, then knot off your thread.

Page 2 of 4 -- Learn how to make a garden play mat on page 3

All rights reserved. Transcontinental Media G.P. © 2013