Here's a sweet little spring bunny made with wool fleece and pom pom makers. There is a small amount of wet felting involved, too, in making the ears, eyes and nose. There is a tradition of making pompom animals in Europe and South America. This little critter is made in that tradition. School-aged children can make this if given help with the sharp scissors and the sewing parts.
Materials: Less than an ounce of bunny-colored fleece, small amount of black for eyes and pink for nose, sewing thread and yarn to match body color (not pictured)
Equipment: pompom makers from the craft store (read the directions that come with the forms, you will be using wool fleece instead of yarn, but the technique is the same), sharp scissors, a 3" doll making needle, a sewing needle, warm water with a squirt of liquid soap, a 12" square of bubble wrap (not pictured) and access to a sink.
Method: Divide your bunny-colored fleece. You will need one-third of it for the body, one third for the head and tail pompoms and one-third for the wet-felted ears. Take the fleece for the body and split it in two. Cover each half of the largest pompom form with the fleece. Take the time to cover the form evenly. Clip the two sections of the pompom form together and use the scissors to cut the fleece as indicated. Cut an 18" length of the yarn and tie the center of the pompom with several knots. What a pretty pompom!
Using the next size smaller and the smallest size of the plastic forms, make two more pompoms. Leave yarn tails long so they can be used to tie the pompoms together. Tie the head and body together, thread the yarn in the long doll making needle and run the yarn tails through the body. Now take these four strands of yarn and tie the tail pompom on. Make the knots sturdy. The trick here is to have the pompoms tied together tightly enough to look like a bunny, but not tight enough to make it too bunched up. Trim the yarn tails so they are not visible. Use the scissors to trim the bunny flat.
Now it is time for wet felting. You will need to make a small sheet of felt to make the ears and wool beads for the eyes and nose. Take the bubble wrap and lay out some wool with the fibers laying north to south. The next layer is East to West. Repeat these layers. I laid out six layers in all. Sprinkle the fleece with warm soapy water. Pat the wool to insure that it is wet, but not dripping. Lay another layer of bubble wrap over your now-wet wool and rub. The bubble wrap causes just enough friction to cause the wool to felt. After just a bit, your fleece should turn into felt. When you are sure that it will hold together, take it top a sink and rinse it, alternating hot and cold water. You should feel the wool get harder when you do this. Blot off the water with a towel. Let dry.
Make the wet-felted beads for the nose and eyes. Take some fleece and form a little ball, like winding yarn into a ball. Dip this into soapy water and roll it between your palms, in the manner of making cookies. The wool should form a ball the size of a small marble. For the nose, roll the bead in such a way that an ellipse shape is formed. The eyes should be round. Cut ear shapes from the flat felt. Sew the ears, eyes and nose into place. As you stitch, make sure you go deeply enough into the pompom to have the stitch run through the center of the pompom in order to secure the sewn-on parts.