How To Make A Lamb’s Ear Lamb

It was a post from my first year of blogging, showing some things that had been made with the abundant supply of Stachys byzantina, lambs ear, that has been grown in all of our gardens. Such a sweet plant with those silvery velvet leaves, it really does lend itself to crafts. The original post can be seen by clicking here. It has been one of the most viewed posts I have ever written. I believe it is the little lamb made from the Stachys that is the cause for its popularity. The time has come for more detailed instructions to be offered to help out those who want to make these little lambs. I suggest you read through the entire post of instructions before you begin assembly.

You need a good supply of lamb’s ear, the Stachys byzantina that blooms, not the sterile type. When the flower stalks look like the above photo, it is time to cut and craft with it. It needs to be totally dry, not wet, even from dew. Watch out for the bees, they love the little lavender flowers. Harvest lots, you will need several types of pieces for the various body parts. Be sure and shake any insects off before bringing the stems inside.

Lay the stems out to dry and harden a bit. In the course of selecting and cutting the pieces you will need, it will become dry enough to work with. At the top of the image is one of the old lambs that was made at least fifteen years ago. I made them to give as Christmas gifts to friends and family and kept a few of the weirder ones for holiday decor. They are quite fragile. It is time for some fresh ones. Let us begin. Besides the Stachys, you will need a hot glue gun and glue sticks.

Choose four leg pieces that include the longest pieces of stem you can find attached to a roundish flowering bit that is below the top flower head down the stem length. Having plenty of length to work with will make it much easier to trim the legs on the finished lamb so it can stand up reasonable well. It is best to pull off the flowers now, too. Use your thumb and finger to gently grasp the flower and pull it straight out, it will come out easily. The part you want to remain is the calyx. Remove the leaves at this time, too, saving a couple of smaller ones for the ears.

Above are all of the body parts, some cleaned, some not yet ready to use. Removing the flowers will make the lambs more attractive as they age, without the brown bits. You will need to have a head, I use a tip that is fairly large but without all of the flowers opened yet to form a more pointy nose. Two smaller leaves for the ears, eyes are black peppercorns, like you use for a pepper grinder. A rounded bit, like that used for the legs with the stem cut short for the neck, the four leg pieces explained previously, three or four larger tips, depending on the size of them for the body, and a smaller tip for the tail.

Move to your hot glue gun work station. I like to sit at the bar in the kitchen because there is good overhead lighting and a plug nearby for the glue gun. I work on an old bread cutting board to protect the countertop. Begin by assembling the body. Squirt glue on one of the body pieces you have selected, being careful not to touch the hot glue, it can burn you badly.

Immediately press the two pieces together and hold for a couple of minutes until set. Use a liberal amount without making a mess, easier said than done, I know. I haven’t used a hot glue gun in many years and actually had to buy one for this project. I found that swirling the gun in a circular motion as you pull it away from what you are gluing left the fewest strings of glue. You can cut them off later.

Depending upon the size of the body pieces you have selected, use three or four. I used four when taking the pictures for this post, but thought the body was too bulky and square so made another one using only three with two on the bottom row and one on top in the middle for a more natural body shape. Both came out cute and can be seen in the first photo of this post. The one on the left was made using three pieces for the body.

Apply the legs to the messiest side of the body, since it won’t show. Apply glue to the leg piece, then place it on one corner of the upside down body, holding it in place until the glue has set well.

Add the rest of the legs, angling them outward slightly to help the lamb stand more steadily. Having more length than necessary will make it easier to trim them for better balance if you are like me and have to cut many times to get them right. Let the lamb set up well, take a break now, before turning the project over and proceeding.

Assemble the head to the neck, this is the angle you want. Apply glue to the neck piece with the shorter stem end. I like to turn the head sideways just a bit to add a little personality. Press the pieces together and hold until set. Cut it if need be before gluing to make a flush connection of head to neck.

Leave a stem piece of one quarter of an inch to attach to the body. Apply glue around the stem and press the head assembly firmly to the body. Hold in place until set. Apply glue to the tail piece and attach at the rear of the lamb with the wider end at the top of the body back in the center. Apply glue about half way down the tail piece, then press into place and hold until set. Allow everything to set up well, you are almost done!

The is the fun part, adding the ears and eyes. I use needlenose pliers to hold the black peppercorn and get a bit of glue from the tip of the glue gun on it, then press the peppercorn on the head, about one third of the way down from the top of the head. Use a toothpick or other pointy tool to help hold the eye in place while you release the pliers without moving the peppercorn from where you want it. Do the other eye, then attach the ears on either side of the head just above the eyes. Trim the legs if needed for better stability. You will immediately want to make another one, so don’t compost the leftover bits until you are completely done.

I hope you have fun with this, there is no right or wrong, each lamb will be different, just like people. The finished lamb is a whimsical creature, full of spunk and mischief. Kitty thinks they are quite cute. Enjoy!

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18 Responses to How To Make A Lamb’s Ear Lamb

  1. How cute those are! I find myself wanting to make one, and I’m not much of a crafter.~~Dee

    Thanks Dee. If you can wield a hot glue gun, and have some lamb’s ear blooming, you can make one. It takes no skill. I hope you give it a try!

  2. Layanee says:

    Oh, my, those will go well with the ‘fairy dolls’ made out of flowers. Hailey will love them. Also for the Christmas creche.

    Hi Layanee, thanks. I believe these were originally meant to be part of a Christmas nativity scene. Perfect for a child to play with, but the hot glue gun is not for little ones, I believe.

  3. What a cute project. I don’t know where you came up with this idea, but it’s a winner.

    Hi Heather, thanks. I saw a picture in a book one time, as mentioned in the response to Layanee, it was part of a nativity scene.

  4. Jeannie says:

    When I stumbled across your blog last year I had already cut the flower stalks off of my Lamb’s Ear. I’ve been waiting all winter for the Lamb’s Ear to bloom so I can make some of the adorable little lambs!

    Hi Jeannie, thanks for coming back! I hope these more detailed instructions will help with the construction of your lambs.

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Kitty is right. These are darling. I am going to make some for our Easter dinner celebration next year. What a fun project. Thanks for bringing this to our attention just as the Lambs Ears are beginning to bloom (here). Have a great weekend.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. I have been meaning to do this post for some time, but had to wait for the Stachys stalks to be just right. Sometimes I would remember about it but it would be too late or too early for the plants. This year I hit it right! Have a great weekend yourself.

  6. indygardener says:

    Those are very cute. I should try that with my lamb’s ear.

    Thanks Carol. If you have the blooming type of lamb’s ear and a hot glue gun, you should, they are quite fun to make.

  7. Marilyn says:

    Very sweet!♥♫

    Thanks Marilyn

  8. Too cute and so creative!!

    Thanks Donna, they are fun to make.

  9. Donna B. says:

    Auuugh, now I have to make one of these!
    [Hmm, finding a non-sterile version will be difficult, I presume…]
    I have seen the original post and your lavender brooms too! You are very crafty, and I love the little tutorial-style way you post them! It makes it really easy for people like me who like seeing a photo-based tutorial~ 😀

    Hi Donna, thanks. I don’t think it is hard to find the blooming type, just be aware of it. I am very detail oriented and write these posts the way I would want to read them myself if I didn’t know how to do something. Glad you are able to follow my instructions!

  10. What a fun project! Sharing. See you soon, Frances!

    Thanks Helen. I can’t wait to see you again, and everyone!

  11. Alison says:

    Those are freaking adorable! Thanks for the detailed instructions. I just planted lamb’s ear for the first time this year, so we’ll see. It might be a while before I have enough to make one.

    Hi Alison, thanks so much. May your lamb’s ear grow quickly, it really grows super fast here, so you can do some crafting of your own.

  12. Edwina Kreps says:

    Hi frances,

    I’ve been looking in on Faire Garden for a few years and love it so much. You get plants to grow beautifully and then you take equally beautiful pictures of them. Thank you for revisiting the lambs ear lambs. I’ve been trying to grow the plant for many, many years, but haven’t found the right place for it yet. I am going to move mine to a better location this year and see if it does better. I hope sometime to have enough to make the lambs.
    Thanks for you wonderful blog–it cheers me up.


    Wow, Edwina, thank you for those kind words. It makes me very happy to think of other people enjoying these posts, it is the reason I do it. I don’t know where you live, but the Stachys likes hot, sunny and somewhat dry locations. Good luck with yours!

  13. Those little lambs are so nice, Thanks for reminding me how much I love lambs ear, ‘This is my second year in this garden and there are so many things I really love, my garden is so new half the fun of it is aquiring new babies for the dirt, You want to get it all now, but lambs ear is a MUST, Thanks for your time and effort I really am glad I stumbled apon this site. Greengreetings, Freespirit

    Hi Charles, thanks. Good luck with your garden, it is so fun to begin filling a new space. Don’t forget the hardscape, trees and shrubs! I know flowers are much more fun, but long term, those other *boring* things will be the backbone of the garden.

    Yes, you are right, I have some red maples I started, and have planted a holly bush, went fleemkting this morning and looked at blueberry bushes and grapes, apple, peach and pear trees,,also a percimon tree,,,didnt buy yet but the prices are good, Ive spent my limit this month allready hehhehe,,Also I have a friend that took sweet potatos and made little piglets out of them..they were very cute, I have a picture of one on my facebook page under photos at freespiritgarden on fb,,I just started the site so its in the making,,lol Of course I didnt come home empty handed,,,I got some ice plants,,3 kinds,,and several diffrent succulents for my cactus bed,,this yard had no beds since it was new which was 11 yrs ago,,I have 3 nandina (woods dwarf) two holly bushes and one helaria holly,,,excuse the spelling,,,,3 bradford pears and that was it,,,It has been so much fun making and planning the garden, well take care and think green Freedom

    It sounds like you are well under way with your garden, Charles. Good luck!

  14. pbmgarden says:

    Such a cute idea. I’m trying to tame several areas of Stachys byzantina so this would be a great way to use some of it.

    Hi PBM, thanks for stopping by. I know exactly the feeling about *taming* the Stachys, once using it as a border in a knot garden of herbs. That was a bad idea, for it likes to spread about, not stay in a straight line!

  15. Leslie says:

    Those are just the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time! And the stachys is at the perfect stage…if I can just come up with some “spare time” in which to make them!

    Hi Leslie, thanks. That’s the thing with this project, you pretty much have to do it when the Stachys is at a certain point, it won’t wait for you to have spare time. Hope you can squeeze some in your busy schedule!

  16. gail says:

    Frances, They really are as you said~ “a whimsical creature, full of spunk and mischief.” Like Kitty, I think they are adorably cute, too. I am sure Kitty thinks they are adorably cute! xxoogail

    Hi Gail, thanks. They are cute, says Kitty. Each one has a slightly different look, to me, from just a couple of peppercorns and a bunch of lamb’s ear. Funny how once the eyes and ears are added, it seems that magic enters.

  17. Those are so cute! I have the sterile lambs ear, so no blooms.

    Thanks Freda. I have the sterile one growing too, the flower stalks can get messy and it seeds about, but for crafts you need those.

  18. Frances dear ~ In our corner of TN the Lambs Ears abound, so I will cut off the stalks and follow your superlative
    tutorial. I so enjoy your blog and the petit paradise you have created in your gardens, not to mention the
    great photography you share. Have just gotten my Veronica nestled next to the Foxgloves and Ears and the
    color arrangement is so appealing. Oddly the ears get some time of full sun and yet gift us with beautiful and
    robust blooming… A blessed Mothers’ Day be yours.

    Hi Mary, thank you for those kind words. I do appreciate you! Your vignette sounds delightful.

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