Zebra Head Faux Taxidermy

OOOOH Hello lovelies!

Gosh its been a little while since I've had a moment to come share with you. 
I've been so desperate to write on the blog and finally post the pictures of the project I finished last month.
Work has been a tad manic though and it's kept me at bay! I've been busy setting up the show (Tarzan the musical, in Oberhausen Germany), rehearsing the cast into all of the shows aerial work, along with everything else life has to offer. 
It's been a little on the stressful side, but Dennis has done the most amazing job holding down the Boys and Bunting fort.

So anyway....I'm sat in my dressing room at work (dressed as an ape) and have a little moment between scenes. I thought I'd finally come and put pen to paper and get back into the blogging groove, now feels like the right time.

Now most of you already know that I am total fan of the book Animal Heads to crochet by Vanessa Mooncie. I brought the book for myself earlier in the year and using the pattern inside made the most amazing lion head.

I was so very pleased with how the lion head turned out that I knew that I had to give making another animal head ago.
So...On a whim, I went and ordered myself a lovely stash of yarn so that I could get working on some of the other projects from the book .
After browsing through the book, I decided that the zebra was my next choice of head, I literally couldn't wait to get working on it!!!

I ordered the same yarn as the book recommended:
  • Wendy Mode Chunky in Vanilla
  • Wendy Mode Chunky in Coal
  • Wendy Serenity Chunky in Jet
  • Wendy Serenity Chunky in Chalk
  • Plus some scraps of brown and black yarn in dk weight 

I was so excited when the yarn arrived and as soon as possible got stuck into the pattern!
Working in stripes of black and white, I got my zebra crochet funk ON!

I can not say it enough....I love these patterns!
The was they build and incorporate different crochet techniques, it really keeps me engaged! The pattern is simple enough for you to recreate the amazing results of Vanessa's patterns, but not too simple that you don't have to use your brain. That's the way a good crochet patten should be!
Of course I couldn't be crocheting a big zebra without wearing my Zebra socks! That would almost be criminal!!

The first part of the pattern was to crochet the main section of the head. Its starts of in rounds and then moves into a back and forth series of stripes.

Once the main section was all finished I got working on the circular section that forms the base (or the part that lies flat against the wall when it's hung up)

Once the base and main section of the head were complete, it was time to put it all together. I made sure to stuff the head firmly and evenly.

Then as instructed within the book, I got to work joining the base to the head.
Just before completing the join I continued to add stuffing until every nook and cranny had been filled.

Once the head was completed and fully stuffed, I got going with the fun part...Adding the features. This part was also my favourite part about making the lion. With each individual feature that is made, you really start to  see the animal come magically to life.
Poppy got in on the zebra making action, I think she was a little jealous that I was giving my attention to something else that was just as black and white as she is.

Once the features had been crocheted I made the hanging loop to attach to the back of the head. This is so that it would hang on the wall. This is simply a curtain ring that you crochet through....

..then attach to the centre back of the head.
I like to attach the hanging ring to the head before adding the features. This way I can hang the head on the wall and check that I am correctly positioning all features evenly, with the correct proportions to one another.

Then on to adding the features!!!

Don't you just love those stripes. How striking the black is to the white, but also how the stripe pattern changes direction and angle.


Once the main features were added, it was time to add the finishing touches.
A fluffy main should do the trick. Woven through the stitches of the head and then styled with a mix of craft clue and water.

Finally some eyes. I chose to add some black glass crafting eyes to my zebra. Even though the pattern doesn't call for this, I feel like that shine from the glass eyes gives the heads that little bit more character. I did the same also with Tina the lion, she has lovely shiny eyes!

Here she is in all of her stripey glory!!! What an absolute beauty she is!

She's looking rather at home hanging next to Tina the Lion and adds a huge amount of flair to the blank wall in the craft room.

In case you wandered...
Her name is Sally.
Sally and Tina are the best of friends!!!
Honestly I don't think I'm done with this book yet, I just love the makes from it and so I'm more than sure that you're going to see a few more heads joining Tina and Sally very soon.
Now...I'm going to stick on the animal head posts for a little bit longer this week.
A few of you have written to me asking for help with some of the patterns in the book by Vannessa Mooncie and so I've put together a video tutorial to help answer those questions. I'll post that video on Friday along with a proper book review at the weekend.
We Shall name this week: ANIMAL HEAD OVERLOAD WEEK!

I'm glad to be back blogging, Thanks for waiting for me! I think you're all fab!!


  1. Wow it came out great! So very cute.

  2. Wow! Sally looks great, so realistic. The glass eyes bring her to life, she'll be watching every move you make in that craft room of yours!

    Well done, and thanks for sharing.

  3. This is the most perfect project, and once again I totally enjoyed reading about the process! I completely agree about the eyes as well - it's the little details such as these that really make a project outstanding and Sally is definitely another winner! I've crocheted for years since my grandmother taught me in 4th grade, and it's just amazing to see what both of you can accomplish with a hook and string. Thanks for sharing so generously - you guys always inspire me to get off the computer and back to my needles & hooks!! Have a great week-end coming up.

  4. I adore this book, one day, I would pick the ram.
    Your zebra and your lion are really very well realized, bravo!
    Have a nice day

  5. Matt...you speak! (not that I'm not always thrilled to hear from Denis, too), but I've missed you! Anyway, I stand in awe of Sally..she is beautiful! Her stripes are amazing! Are you going to make an Ape head sometime..just like you in Tarzan?

    Love you both!

  6. That is gorgeous.. your wall of crochet animals looks very classy.. and so much better than killing a real animal!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. love love love your work Matt...
    Super cool...

  8. Your work is beautiful! Please help me! I am trying to make the ram head but the horns are identical not mirror images so they won't sit right on his lovely head! What am I missing/ doing wrong?

  9. I've started my zebra, but for the life of me I could not figure out which part of the animal I was creating. After looking at your pictures in progress, I see what I'm doing now- quite helpful. Thanks for the pictures.

  10. Definitely agree with the last comment, I could not figure out which part I was making till I found your blog. I was wondering if you could provide some advice on how you get the seam for the black and white rounds on the nose so straight?! I'm doing rounds 1-21 before the 'shape top of head' section and my seam is in a slanted zig zag. Are you doing slip Stitch's to join the last stitch to the first stitch?
    Appreciate your help!

  11. Thanks - this is really useful. Just wondered - when you switched between black and white yarn did you finish off or just carry the yarn up the inside of your work - the book isn't clear which. Thanks