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This little bunny was a delight to make. It took almost no time and I got to play around with a new (to me) product — DAS Modeling Clay. If you don’t have any of that product, you could use paper mache strips and paste, or my air dry clay recipe instead.
You can use my pattern by clicking the button below – then save the pattern to your computer so you can print it. Or you can make your own. With a project like this one, simple is best.
How to Make a Folk Art Bunny with DAS Air Dry Clay
If you don’t have time to watch the video, here are the basic steps:
If you’d like to use a wooden base for you bunny, like I did, you can find them at your local DIY store. They’re called “bun feet,” and are normally used under chairs and couches. They come in several different shapes, so choose the one you like best
The pattern has two different sizes. Print them both on copy paper, and hold them up to your wooden base. Choose the size pattern that looks best.
Cut out the patterns and trace around them onto a scrap of cardboard. Then cut out the pattern. I used scissors, but a box cutter works a lot better for heavy cardboard. (I was too lazy to to find my box cutter. That particular tool seems to wander off on its own …)
Add crumpled foil to the cardboard pattern, with hot glue. When you have the shapes the way you want them, cover the foil with masking tape. The DAS clay won’t stick to foil.
Shape the face by pushing in hard on each side with your thumbs to create an indentation for the eyes. Use a tool, like the back of a knife, to push indentations for the bottom of the nose and for the vertical line below the nose.
Add a strip of foil around the edges of the ears, and tape them to the head.
Set the bunny back on the base and twist it around to force the bolt into the bottom of the rabbit armature.
Add a very thin layer of DAS air dry clay to the base and about an inch of the lower portion of the bunny’s body. Make it smooth by dipping your thumbs into a dish of water, and then pressing your thumbs into the clay.
Press the bottom of the bunny into the top of the base, to make sure it’s flat, and to make sure the hole for the bolt is still big enough. Then put the base aside.
Cover the rest of the rabbit with the clay, making the layer as thin as possible. Use your fingers to make it as smooth as possible. You can also us the side of a knife dipped in water to smooth the clay and to make clear indentations for the nose.
Use a cap from a ball-point pen to make a round mark for the eyes.
Set the rabbit aside to dry overnight. If you’re in a real hurry, you can put him in a convection oven with the fan turned on and the temperature on the lowest setting. You don’t want to bake the bunny – you just want to dry it out.
When the first layer is dry, go back and add details. Add small balls of clay to the eyes, and fix any finger marks or scratches that show up on the ‘skin’ of the bunny.
Add another small ball of clay to round out the nose.
The sculpting part of the project is now finished. Set it aside for another night to dry completely.
Use a thin mixture of acrylic paint and water to make a dark stain for the wooden base.
Paint the bunny with a very light grey. Allow the paint on the bunny to dry.
Mix Golden Glazing Liquid with dark acrylic paint (Burnt Umber with a tiny amount of Ultramarine Blue). Brush this mixture over a small section of the bunny.
Immediately wipe off most of the glaze with a paper towel. If a dry towel doesn’t remove as much of the glaze as you would like, use a damp towel.
Paint the eyes black. When the black paint is dry, add a tiny spot of white paint for a reflection. This will make the bunny seem to come alive.
Use a hot glue gun to attach the bunny to the base. Then seal both the base and the sculpture at least one coat of acrylic varnish. I really like the Soft Touch varnish by DecoArt, but any brand will work.
Here’s my finished Folk Art Bunny hanging out with his friend the giraffe.
(That’s my daughter’s painting behind them. You can see more of her work here.)