We all love quick & easy, right? But sometimes, there are projects well worth a little more time. With that said, let me introduce you to Mr. Stars & Stripes, a charming, folk art rabbit by Rebekah Meier. This prim, patriotic project takes a little more time to DIY, but Rebekah’s process is easier than you think. She combines two simple materials, paper clay and STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, to build her bunny, creating a treasured craft that will surely become an heirloom. Here’s how to DIY Mr. Stars & Stripes.
To make a Prim & Patriotic Bunny, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 1-1/2” ball; 6” cone
- Air-dry clay, one package (Rebekah recommends Creative Paperclay®)
- Acrylic craft paint: Midnight blue, light buttermilk, black, petal pink, Tuscan red
- Acrylic sealer, satin finish
- Felt: Navy blue, and 4” scrap of cream (Rebekah uses wool felt)
- Miniature flag
- Metal star
- Cosmetic blush, creamy formula
- Thick, white craft glue
- Tools needed: Scissors; round toothpicks; ¼” flat and liner paintbrushes; fine sandpaper; paper towels
To make a Prim & Patriotic Bunny:
1. Make the bunny’s body: Join the ball to the cone using toothpicks and thick, white craft glue.
2. Using a clay roller, roll 1/3 of the package of paper clay to 1/8” thickness.
3. Apply the clay to the bunny’s body in a thin, even layer. Completely cover the bunny and smooth out the seams with your fingers or a smoothing tool.
4. Cut a very small triangle from clay and apply to face for the nose. Roll a small, pea-size ball and attach to the back for a tail.
5. Make the arms:
- From clay, roll two 1-½” x ¼” logs
- Taper one end of each log to resemble a paw
- Bend arms into an L shape and attach one to each side of body at the neck
- Smooth out seams with clay tools
- Let clay dry completely.
6. After the clay dries, patch any holes or cracks with more clay, smooth the surface, and let dry again.
7. Sand entire bunny with fine sandpaper until completely smooth. Wipe excess dust with paper towel.
8. Paint the bunny:
- Head, tail, paws, and bottom half of body – light buttermilk; let dry before proceeding.
- Nose – petal pink
- Eyes – make a dot of black; highlight with a speck of light buttermilk
- Mouth – draw lines in black with liner brush
- Top half of body – Tuscan red; this may require two – three coats. Let paint dry.
- Stripes – midnight blue; paint on with the flat brush and don’t worry if the lines are a little uneven. Imperfections add to the charm.
9. Paint body with one coat of varnish and let dry.
10. Trace around the bottom of the bunny on navy blue felt, cut out, and glue the circle to the bottom of the bunny.
11. Make the hat:
- From navy blue felt, cut a 6-½” x 1-¼” strip. Roll up the strip and secure with glue.
- Hat brim: Trace and cut a half dollar size circle onto navy blue felt.
- Top of hat: Trace around the rolled up strip on the navy blue felt, and cut out.
- Glue the rolled up strip to the center of the larger felt circle.
- Glue the smaller felt circle to the top of the rolled up strip.
12. From the navy blue felt, cut out a collar and ¼” strips (belt and cuffs).
12. Cut two ears from cream felt.
13. Refer to the photo, and glue the hat, collar, belt, and cuffs to the bunny. Glue a small, navy blue felt square to the center front of the belt.
14. Glue metal star to hat. Glue one ear to each side of hat.
15. Blush cheeks and ears with cosmetic blush.
16. Glue flag to bunny’s paw.
A few years ago, Rebekah also shared another of her patriotic, paper clay creations with us — her Patriotic Folk Art Bird.
Fans of primitives might also want to take a closer look at this classic, Prim & Proper Americana Crow & Flag. Designer Debra Quartermain created this patriotic craft using needle felting. I adore the button star!
And now, I have news to share! I’ve had a little project going on behind the scenes, and I’ve been planning a party here on Crafts ‘n Coffee. I wanted to give you a little heads up that I’m kicking off the party on Friday, and I hope to see you there!