These adorable little furry faces will make a fun DIY project for the whole family. They're designed by my friend China Squirrel!

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Ahh, sweet summer is here and with it the glorious arrival of a everyone’s favorite flower – the peony!


With its spectacular display of colors (think pink, red, yellow and white!), lush, unbridled petals, and a delicate, intoxicating fragrance, it’s no surprise that the peony has been a delighting the senses for thousands of years. In fact, written records from as far back as 8 their enchanting beauty. Is it any wonder then that the peony is known the world over as “queen of the flowers?”


Today, peonies are just as stunning as ever and, thanks to new and improved varieties they're even easier to grow. There are three main types of peonies to consider when planting. The most common and widely available is the herbaceous peony (Paeonia lactiflora). Herbaceous peonies grow to about three feet tall, die back to the ground each winter, then sends up vigorous sprouts each spring. The other is the tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), a slow-growing woody-stemmed shrub that can reach up to six feet. The third is a hybrid of the two. A combination of all three makes for a spring garden that darn near looks like it jumped out of a painting.


As dazzling as peonies are, they’re surprisingly no-fuss and require very little attention (I’m talking to you, brown-thumbs!) They survive the harshest winters, are practically drought resistant, and aren't bothered by deer or rabbits. Though peonies fare best in cool climates, early-blooming varieties with low-chill requirements can thrive in even some parts of the deep South.



round cookie cutters
black and white yarn
brown, grey, or russet colored yarn
plastic craft stuffed animal eyes (available craft stores)
craft glue or hot glue gun
jewelry makers fine wire (available at craft stores)
small pieces of felt
embroidery thread
  1. Cut out two cardboard pieces, using 3-inch round cookie cutter as a template. Then cut out a smaller circle in the middle of each, using 11/4-inch round cookie cutter as a template. Cut a slit from the outer circle to the smaller circle to make the rings easier to remove once you have finished.
  2. Lay the two cardboard rings on top of each other. Wrap a small section of black yarn through the center hole around the circle, about 1/4 inch wide. Wrap white yarn on either side of the black yarn—this will be the nose and face of your animal. If you want more white markings on the forehead of your forest animal, simply wrap a little more white yarn on one side more than the other (next to the black yarn).
  3. Wrap brown, grey, or russet yarn around remaining cardboard section.
  4. Now continue to wrap the main color you have chosen (brown, grey, or russet) over the black and white yarn sections and continuously around the cardboard circle until you have almost filled the center hole.
  5. Start cutting the yarn, by pushing your scissors between the two cardboard rings. Slightly separate the cardboard pieces, and tie a double piece of yarn tightly around the middle. Remove the cardboard rings.
  6. Trim the pom-pom into an animal-shaped face, trimming around the white section to create a snout and centering your design on the black yarn as the nose.
  7. Glue the plastic eyes onto your pom-pom forest animal; insert small sections of jewelry wire for whiskers. Cut small rounds of felt for ears and sew or glue onto the pom-pom.


To make into baubles, simply tie a length of yarn around the center of the pom-pom.

These adorable little furry faces will make a fun DIY project for the whole family. They're designed by my friend China Squirrel!
Photography by China Squirrel

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