Turn a sock and a broomstick into the best-looking horse this side of the black stump. Yee haa!
The Lone Ranger, Josey Wales, Woody from Toy Story… every generation has a horseriding hero to look up to, which is why most kids would love to race along on their own trusty steed. But you don’t need to splash out on riding lessons – this little fella makes a fine companion for your cowboy or cowgirl.
Gather your supplies
Old broomstick handle (or 1000 x 25-30mm dowel)
1 large men’s thick black sock
A4 piece brown felt
A4 piece light-brown felt
2 small wheels
2500 x 25mm nylon strap (for bridle)
Two 24mm amber-coloured safety teddy eyes with washers
- Step 1: TO MAKE HEAD - Fill foot of sock with fibrefill. Pack in as much as you can.
- Step 2: Work out where eyes should go on sock ‘face’. Cut a small slit on
1 side of sock and insert an eye. Then, holding washer inside sock, push washer onto shank of eye. Repeat for other eye on other side of head.
- Step 3: Paint broomstick in Napthol Crimson and let dry. Insert broomstick into sock, right up to what will be the forehead (near heel section of sock). Centre broomstick, then fill sock with fibrefill until almost full, packing it in tight. To secure broomstick in sock, apply hot glue around broomstick about 1cm up from sock opening. Carefully press sock onto glue, then wrap and tie with wool to securely close off neck
- Step 4: TO MAKE EARS - Enlarge Ear Diagram as indicated (see right). Lay light brown felt on top of dark brown felt, then trace 2 ear shapes onto top layer. Holding both felt pieces together, cut out each ear shape. Stitch ears together around edges in blanket stitch. With light-brown sides facing, fold 1 ear in half lengthways. Then fold back left- and right-hand side of ear by 1.5cm. Holding folds in place, work a line of blanket stitch across bottom of ear to secure. Repeat for other ear.
- Step 5: Stitch bottom of 1 ear onto 1 side of head then, working on side that will be closest to mane, stitch a quarter of the way up ear to hold it against head. Repeat for other ear.
- Step 6: TO MAKE MANE - Fold strip of cardboard in half to make a 50 x 10cm strip. Stick 1 end of wool to 1 long end of cardboard with sticky tape. Without pulling it, wrap wool firmly around cardboard until you reach other end. As you wrap, push wool up to previous wrap. Snip wool and tape end to cardboard.
- Step 7: Thread wool needle with wool and, working along long open edge of cardboard, stitch wrapped wool together. To do this, begin by tying a knot with threaded wool around 3 strands of wrapped wool at 1 end of cardboard. Run needle under next 3 strands of wrapped wool, leaving a loop so you can pass needle back through loop and pull to make a slipknot. Continue knotting all wrapped wool along cardboard. Secure with a knot.
- Step 8: Carefully cut wrapped wool along folded edge of cardboard. Discard cardboard.
- Step 9: Stitch knotted edge of mane onto the head and back of neck. Make sure you come far enough over the forehead so your horse has a fringe
- Step 10: TO MAKE BRIDLE - For noseband, measure around nose then add an extra 2.5cm. Cut nylon strap to length. Dip raw edges of strap in PVA, then overlap ends by 2.5cm and hot-glue ends together. Stitch to reinforce join. Slip noseband onto
nose with overlapped ends positioned under nose.
- Step 11: For browband, measure around forehead then add an extra 2.5cm. Cut and stitch strap as directed in
Step 10. Slip browband in place.
- Step 12: Thread 2 buckles onto each end of the remaining nylon strap.
- Step 13: For crown piece, fold remaining strap in half. Position halfway point of strap behind ears, then bring 1 end down on each side of nose, positioning 1 buckle either side of browband. Pass ends under noseband and pull through ‘reins’. Fold reins back (at a slightly downward angle), then slide 2 buckles along each side until they rest on top of noseband. Stitch all buckles securely in place – there will be much pulling of reins!
- Step 14: Measuring about 8cm up from neck closure, attach a curtain ring to each side of the neck. It’s best if you thread ring through sock fabric rather than stitch it in place. Pass reins through rings. Apply PVA along raw edges to prevent fraying, then overlap ends by 2.5cm, securing join with hot glue. Stitch to reinforce the join.
- Step 15: TO MAKE WHEELS - Drill a hole through the broomstick so you can attach wheels. To determine how far up from bottom of broomstick to drill, hold wheel against broomstick and make sure broomstick finishes 2cm higher than base of wheel when horse is upright.
- Step 16: Thread bolt through 1 wheel, then a washer, and push through hole in broomstick. Thread another washer, then remaining wheel and secure wheels in place with a locknut. Use pliers and a screwdriver to tighten the nuts. Your child’s hobby horse is now ready for action.
You’ll also need
Cotton thread to match materials; fibrefill; wool (for mane); 50 x 20cm strip thick cardboard; 80 x 8mm metal-thread screw; 5/16 inch flat washer; 8mm nylon locknuts; 4 small buckles; Jo Sonja’s Artists’ Colours in Napthol Crimson;two 21mm metal curtain rings; hot-glue gun and glue sticks; PVA; sticky tape; paintbrush; wool needle; drill and drill bit to suit screw size; pliers; screwdriver; general sewing supplies