With some yarn and a wire coat hanger you can craft a whimsical poodle. It is a creative way to put wire hangers and leftover yarn to good use. Use proper precautions when handling a hot glue gun and the wire hanger, especially if you have a child help you. These toy poodles make excellent gifts for children and teachers.
Things You'll Need
Wire coat hanger
One 4-ounce skein of 4-ply yarn (white, cream)
2 eyes (wiggly eyes from craft store or black felt)
Hot glue gun
Safety scissors (optional, if a child is working with you)
Grip the wire hanger's hook with a finger and grasp the base of the hanger with your other hand. Hold the hook steady and pull the base of the hanger away from the hook so you get a diamond shape. Keep pulling until the wire hanger is stretched out into a straight edge.
Bend the straightened-out wire hanger to form the poodle's skeleton. Pinch the open end of the hook into the base to close it up and form a circle, or the poodle's head. Leave a space of at least 4 inches from the base of the completed head along the straightened hanger and bend upward to form the front legs. Leave a space of at least 3 inches from the bottom of the legs you just formed along the hanger and bend so the hanger is parallel to the work surface to form the torso. The torso should be at least 3 inches long. Bend the hanger downward at the 3-inch mark to form the hind legs. The hind legs should be the same height as the front legs. Bend the hanger up to form the tail. It should be about 5 inches from the bottom of the hind legs to the top of the tail.
Set your poodle skeleton on your work surface to confirm it stands. Make any necessary adjustments to the legs so it is stable.
Cut a template from a piece of cardboard that measures 2 1/2 inches by 4 inches. Measure 1 inch from the top of the cut cardboard and mark with a pencil on both edges. Cut slots at these marks. You will wrap the yarn around this template to create the poodle's fur.
Measure 6 inches of yarn and cut. This is the tie. Insert the tie into the template's slots. Wrap yarn around the 4-inch side of the template 20 times and cut the yarn to form one ear. Pull the tie out of the slots carefully and move up to the top of the template and make a double knot to tie securely. Repeat the entire process to make the other ear.
Wrap the yarn around the 2 1/2-inch side of the template 20 times. Slide the bundle off the template and tie a 5-inch piece of yarn around the middle of the bundle. Tie a double knot so that it is tightly secured. Repeat this entire process to create all the body bundles. You need between 135 and 140 body bundles. You can save some time if you are working on this craft with children. Just make a few extra templates and have them help make the body bundles. Provide them with safety scissors.
Tie the yarn to the wire hanger skeleton. Start with the poodle's head. The head gets at least eight body bundles. Tie these to the wire circle by the ties holding each bundle in the center. Form double or even triple knots so each bundle is secured to the hanger. Attach the ears on either side of the circle by the ties holding the ears together at the tops. When you are finished forming the head with the yarn, work on the body starting with the front legs and work from front to back, leaving the top of the tail for last. No matter how tight you tie the bundles to the wire hanger, they can still shift around, so pack them in tightly as you work to get a fluffier final product.
Cut a tongue shape from the red felt so that it's straight on the end you glue into the mouth and curved on the end that will stick out. Glue the tongue to the mouth with your hot glue gun. Glue on the black pompom to form the poodle's nose. Finally, glue on the eyes. You can get wiggly eyes at a craft store or cut out circles of black felt. Tie some ribbon around the poodle's neck to represent a collar. Trim off excess yarn from the ties.
While you can have children work with you on this craft, you must supervise them to make sure they do not get hurt as they will be handling scissors to cut materials. Do not let children handle the hot glue gun.