For new readers – Are you visiting here because you found a bunny? Read on about the project, maybe even join in! Then we would love it if you left a comment telling us the name of the bunny you found & a little bit about your experience. You can even make a note on our Google map where you found your new friend. We hope your bunny brightened your day!
This has been a project that has long been in my head, and I’m so excited to be able to finally share it with the crafty community and see where it goes. The idea, you see, is called The Giving Bunny, and this time of year seemed the perfect time to introduce this giant collaborative project where YOU take part.
The giving bunny is just what he sounds like. He is a little bunny who is made for the sole purpose of giving away! He is a plush design that we are offering totally free, for machine embroiderers, hand embroiders and other crafty enthusiasts. The idea behind him is that you stitch up as many little adorable bunnies as your heart desires (they’re really easy to make) and then you leave them in public spaces with a little printable tag as a gift for a stranger to discover.
*A special note – many of you have asked if you can send bunnies in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut. Out of respect for the families, we have made a special tag that removes the url to our page and instead lets you just give the bunny as a gift or in honor of one of the victims. You can get more info about that tag and where you can send your bunnies here*
Can you imagine the unexpected delight of going about your day, maybe even not a very good day, and discovering this little gift left just for you? A tiny plushy bunny with a tag asking you to take him home. Maybe even a few of these people will follow the link on the bunny’s tag back here, and make one of their own to share with someone else. And thus the bunnies can spread… well, like bunnies!
It’s a small thing, but a little bit of vigilante embroidery mixed with street art, and you can spread a tiny bit of bunny shaped joy to someone you’ve never met, and maybe make what was a grey day a little brighter. Plus, with your help, this project can spread from one free design to hundreds, maybe even thousands of bunnies all across the world!
-pom pom (for tail)
-needle & thread
Machine embroiderers will also need tearaway stabilizer and machine embroidery thread. Hand embroiderers will need regular embroidery floss and a hoop.
The steps to make your bunny are pretty much identical to making any of our other stitch-and-turn stuffies, for which you can find full directions here, but here are the basics of making your bunny on an embroidery machine…
A tip! If you’re using temporary spray adhesive to keep your last bunny piece in place (step 4 above), be light with the spray adhesive, or your bunny will be very hard to turn right side out again. Take special care not to spray the ears much at all.
No embroidery machine? Don’t worry!
These bunnies are very very simple to make. Even if you don’t have a machine and have never even embroidered anything before if your life, you can still join in. I promise, embroidery is fun and easy!
The above steps are very similar to making him by hand, you just embroider his features first. If you’re new to hand embroidery, you can learn how to transfer your bunny pattern here, then check out some basic stitches here. I would recommend simple satin stitches for his eyes and nose, and a quick back stitch for the line under his nose. Then just use the template to cut out and stitch the two halves right sides together (either with a sewing machine or by hand) and follow the rest as normal.
Once you’ve made a bunny (or twenty) you can personalize them, dress them up, and make them your own. I made a couple of tiny scarves for a few of mine, since it is winter after all. Bunnies get cold too. You can go really crazy, stitch them in wild colors, add mustaches, hats, tattoos or bow ties. The simplicity of the bunny design leaves lots of room to make him your own. Go nuts!
Once you’re ready to share your bunnies, print out a bunch of these tags on cardstock, cut them out, and attach them to your bunnies before you leave them somewhere so folks know that the bunny is theirs to take home. Be sure to name your bunny too! It gives him a personality, and it also lets people share which bunny they found if they come and leave a comment.
So, where can you leave your bunnies? Well, I went on an adventure this weekend, and here’s where some of my bunnies ventured off to…
I had such fun running around and leaving little bunnies around to hopefully bring joy to their unsuspecting new owners. They hid in museums, bookstores, theaters, and cafes. I gave one to a friend to hide in the library where she teaches, and I had one lovely moment when a hostess at a sushi restaurant spotted a bunny even before he was hidden, and asked about where it came from. Since it seemed to be a legitimate way of finding any other bunny, little bunny Neil got a new home right away! It was such fun to see what joy the little bunny could bring, and she assured me Neil will be well looked after. I also already got word that the two bunnies at the science museum were found! All the rest of the bunnies are scattered about Minneapolis, waiting for their new homes.
I had such fun that I’m thinking I should keep a stash of bunnies in my purse at any given time, just so I can keep leaving them places! The little ones are so easy to throw in a purse or tuck in a pocket that I can take my bunny minions anywhere to spread a little bit of random joy.
If you’d like to share your bunny’s adventures, you can upload your photos to the Urban Embroidery flickr group with the tag givingbunny or email them into firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe leave a note about where he started his adventure, or, if you found a bunny, feel free to add a photo of him in his new home! That way we can share in the delight of our growing bunny army. See? I told you I was into world domination. Through random acts of tiny bunnies.
It might work…
The best part? Unlike our regular freebies, this little bunny is going to stay free FOREVER! So the bunny project can keep going and going, and new people can always come and discover the fun of embroidery. All we do ask is that if you make this bunny, please keep him in the spirit of giving. Give him to friends, leave him for strangers, or maybe even use them for fundraising for a cause, but try and keep the giving side of the giving bunny a part of how you use him.
*A note – please do not put a bunny anywhere he might cause alarm, like airports or government buildings. Not that many folks would find a tiny bunny very threatening, but you never know. Also, it’s best not to put him somewhere he might be confused with actual merchandise.
So, what are you waiting for? Spread a little joy this season, and give the gift of a charming little handmade bunny, direct from you to someone you may never even meet. With your help, these little bunnies can multiply far and wide, across cities and states, countries and continents, and you can join in a giant group craft project with stitchers all over the world. No matter where you are, it might just make someone’s day a little bit more magical.
Want to see the spread of bunnies? We created a custom google map where you can mark the location of where you put your bunnies! If you have a google account, you can sign in, edit the map (you can use this bunny icon if you want), and leave a mark and maybe a note about how many bunnies you left (for example, one marker might say “Two bunnies in a bookstore!”) that way we can have at least one way of watching the bunnies take over the world…
Click here to open the larger map and then click edit to add your bunny
So, start your bunny adventure here, leave a note on the map, and join in this worldwide collaborative project!This project is part of The Lab, a UT initiative to experiment, collaborate and innovate to see just what can be done with the art of embroidery. Check out our other projects by searching for the UT Lab tag.