Wire Bunny

Here are instructions for making a wire bunny. Cover the frame with moss and you have an animal topiary for the garden.  This is a great spring project.

Age: Adult

Difficulty: Medium

Time scale: 5 out of 5

Supplies:

  • chicken wire
  • pliers
  • wire cutters
  • scissors
  • skewer stick
  • bag of green craft moss  approximately 8 oz.
  • Plastic bucket for water
  • dishpan or cookie sheet with lip on it
  • plastic bags
  • gardening gloves

wire-bunny-covered-with-moss

Start by soaking a bag of moss in a plastic container of water. You can use a dishpan or an ice cream bucket.

Wearing garden gloves will save you from scratches and pokes from the wire. I didn't wear them. I must be a brute for punishment. My hands have been through so much abuse, a hand model I will never be! Don't be scared off from this project. It's not as bad as it sounds. 


Cut a piece of chicken wire about 24 inches wide by 16 inches high. Roll it into a cylinder so it is about 9 inches across the bottom and narrowing to about 3 inches at the top.

Fold the top to round over and use pliers to wire together, to close. Leave the bottom open.

Stuff with plastic bags, from the bottom, but not too firm. Wire the bottom shut.

Use-chicken-wire-to-make-rabbit-body

Squeeze together, about 6 inches down from the top to form the neck.
Shape the body so it bumps out on the lower front part for the tummy and also at the back, for the rear end.

Squish the bottom down a bit so it will sit.

Cut two pieces of wire to about 8.5 wide by 7 inches high. Bend over the wire on one of the pieces, about 1 inch and hook together. Shape into a foot and leg. Hook the wire together, partway up the inside of the leg.
Cut part of the wire off on the inside of the leg, so it is shorter on the inside, longer on the outside.

Shape-foot

Stuff with plastic bags.

Attach this to the side of the body, so the foot is even with the underside of the body. Repeat for the other foot/leg piece, but opposite.

Make the ears from triangle shapes that are about 7 inches wide at the bottom by 2 inches wide at the top and about 10 inches long. Fold the wire over and hook together at the side. They should only be about a half inch thick or so.

Shape-pointed-Ears

Make two. These don't need to have any plastic stuffed into the insides. Check to see if the length looks okay. They may look a little long. If they seem a bit long, trim off the bottom and then attach them to the head of the bunny.

Cut a 3 x 3 piece of wire and shape into a rounded shape. Leave it open and flat on the back. Add plastic.
Attach to the back of the body for the tail.

Use two pieces of wire about 6.5 inches wide by 7 inches long for the arms. Roll into cylinder shapes. Curve around the end and shape into the hand. Technically I guess this is a front foot, not a hand.

Wire closed on one end. Leave the other end open and slightly flared out for the shoulder.

Small-piece-stuffed-with-plastic-for-tail
wired-arms

Stuff with plastic.

Wire to the sides of the body, just down from the neck.

Okay, at this point I have to admit, this wire bunny still looks pretty ugly. With all that squishing and squeezing, the wire is a bit wonky in some spots. If you were going to leave this as a plain wire sculpture, you would have to be much more precise putting it together. It also wouldn't be stuffed with various colors of plastic bags!

The moss should have absorbed quite a bit of moisture by now, if you started soaking it right at the beginning of this procedure. Remove a piece of moss from the water bucket and squeeze out the excess moisture. This makes a bit of a mess, so put the rabbit in a dishpan or on a cookie sheet, with a lip on it. This will catch the water that will drip off the moss.

Use a skewer stick to stuff the moss under the wire. You could have left the plastic bags out, but that turns out to be a lot of moss you have to stuff this thing with. It gets rather expensive. This way uses a lot less moss.

Stuff-rabbit-with-moss

Even with the bags, it seems like this wire bunny could keep gobbling up quite a bit of moss! Another alternative, instead of plastic bags, is to try to add dirt to the inside but that is a big pain! It makes a BIG mess and is much more time consuming!

Fill in all the areas on the bunny. You can add a bit more shape if there are some spots you aren't happy with, by adding more moss.

Stuff the ears so they are quite firm, so the moss will stay in place. If it is falling out, you can use small pieces of wire, that are bent into a U shape and poked in.

Cover the entire wire bunny, until none of the plastic bags are showing. This will be a lot of stuffing but the end is in sight!

Use a pair of scissors to trim any pieces that are sticking out, on the face area. Maybe, kind of like a close shave? Not really. Don't trim away too much moss. You have probably had enough stuffing! Don't get scissor happy with the trimming or you will have to add more moss. Have you heard the saying "I've cut it three times and it's still too short?"

Now you can put this cute little wire bunny garden topiary outside. If you would like to keep your wire bunny in the house, make sure to set him on a drip tray or plant saucer. Water regularly, to keep the moss green.

If you don't have enough scratches, pokes and blisters you can make more animals. Maybe you wore gloves and you didn't suffer too many injuries. That's great!

I have also made a different style of rabbit, with longer legs, as well as a snail, a squirrel and a lamb.

The lamb was stuffed with dirt and planted with white alyssum. He is actually getting OLD and has suffered from neglect. Poor little lamb! He will need to be revamped. More on that later...

Moss-covered-lamb

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