If your pet rabbit lives inside, she might enjoy getting outside every so often. An outdoor rabbit run is the safest place from which your rabbit can enjoy the great outdoors . However, you may also be able to walk with her on a harness outside. When making and using a rabbit harness, it is important to get a tight fit. If your rabbit becomes frightened or nervous, she may try to escape from the harness.
How to Make a Rabbit Harness
Measure your rabbit to determine the appropriate size for the harness. Place the tip of a measuring tape at the base of your rabbit's neck and measure the length about halfway down its spine, about two inches behind its front legs. Record this measurement.
Measure the size of your rabbit's neck and take a measurement around her body. Wrap the measuring tape loosely around your rabbit's neck, holding the animal down so she does not struggle and injure herself. Gently tighten the measuring tape until it fits snugly around your rabbit's neck and record the measurement. Repeat this process to measure the circumference of your rabbit's body just behind her front legs.
Lay your cotton fabric out,wrong side up, on a flat surface. The wrong side of the fabric is the less finished or less colorful side of the fabric.
Draw your pattern on the wrong side of the cotton fabric using a pencil or a dissolving ink pen. Draw a rectangle 2 inches wide with a length that equals the measurement of your rabbit's neck. Draw a second rectangle 3 inches wide with a length equal to the measurement around your rabbit's body. Cut out the two rectangles and set them aside.
Measure your rabbit's back to determine the necessary size for the harness. Place the tip of a measuring tape just behind your rabbit's front leg and drape it over his back. Take note of the measurement between the front legs on both sides of your rabbit.
Subtract 5 inches from the measurement you took for the appropriate size of the harness, subtracting 3 inches for the strap that goes around your rabbit's body and 2 inches for the strap going around her neck. Mark these measurements on the piece of fabric by drawing a vertical line and make another mark in the exact middle of the line.
Draw a line perpendicular to the first line in the exact center of the first line using the measurement you took to determine the size of the harness. Draw an arc connecting the points of the three lines on each side of the middle, vertical line previously drawn. The bowl of the arc should hit the point of the middle, shorter line. Once you have drawn the arc on both sides of the vertical line, cut out this pattern.
Hem the edges of your pattern pieces using a sewing machine. Hem only three sides of each of the rectangular strips, one long side and the two short sides and only hem the curved sides of the third pattern piece.
Attach the three pieces to each other using a sewing machine. Place the 2-inch rectangular strip on top of the curved pattern piece with the un-hemmed edges lined up and the right sides of the fabric together. Sew a 1/4-inch hem. Repeat this process using the 3-inch rectangular strip on the opposite end of the curved pattern piece.
Sew a large button onto one end of both rectangular strips and sew a button hole in the opposite end either by hand or using the buttonhole setting on your sewing machine.
Attach a metal ring or fabric loop to the right side of the fabric of the finished harness in the center. If you choose to make a fabric loop, cut a 1-by-2 inch strip of fabric, hem it on all four sides and sew it to the center of the harness. If you choose to use a metal ring, simply sew the ring directly to the harness using thick thread.
Put your harness on your rabbit by laying the harness flat on her back with the right side of the fabric up. Wrap the neck strap around your rabbit's neck and secure it with the button. Do the same for the body strap and attach your leash or lead rope to the loop on the back of the harness.