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Make a bunny pillow :tea-dye
Make a bunny pillow

By Shari Hiller
Home & Garden Television

To make a chenille bunny pillow, you''ll need a half-yard of white chenille fabric, tissue paper, a pencil, scissors, polyfill stuffing, 1 yard of ribbon, ecru or beige thread, a stainless steel 16-quart pot, a wooden spoon, 2 gallons tap water and 8 tea bags of generic black tea (the regular stuff, not herbal or green tea).

I felt the bright white of my chenille fabric was a little harsh, so I decided to tea-dye it: Fill a sink with cold tap water and soak fabric to remove starch products from the fabric that might make the dye take unevenly.

Meanwhile, bring 2 gallons of tap water to a boil and add 8 tea bags. Boil five minutes, stirring the tea bags to increase the depth of the color. Steep longer for a darker color, then remove the bags, wring out the soaked fabric and place it in the pot of tea water.

Turn off the heat and allow the fabric to steep. Stir with a wooden spoon occasionally for even color or allow the fabric to remain motionless in the tea bath for a mottled effect.

To achieve a light cream color, keep the fabric submerged for 20 minutes; an hour for light tan; or overnight for a dark tan.

Once the tea tint is achieved, remove it from the tea water and rinse in warm water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent until the water runs clear. This removes any acids left behind by the tea- dyeing process, which could damage the fabric in time.

Wring it out and place on towels to dry; or help set the color in your dryer.

The shape of my pillow was inspired by a chocolate Easter bunny. I traced out a pattern onto tissue paper and added 1/2-inch all the way around for the seam allowance.

After cutting two bunny shapes out of the chenille, I placed them right sides together and stitched them. I left a 6-inch opening on the bottom for turning and stuffing.

After clipping all the curved edges, I turned the bunny right side out and stuffed it lightly with polyfill. I then slipstitched the opening. The final step was to tie a pretty ribbon around the bunny''s neck.

Matt Fox and Shari Hiller alternate writing this column, and they appear together on HGTV.

Publication date: 04-08-2006
Cincinnati.com USA Shari Hiller


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