A hobby horse is a toy that enables your child to pretend he is a cowboy riding the range. This provides the child with exercise without you having to supply feed, care and shelter for a live horse. As an added bonus, mucking the stalls is not necessary either. Hobby horses are available in many designs at discount and toy stores, but you can make one on your own by using a yardstick, sock and other inexpensive supplies.
Items you will need
- Brown acrylic paint
- Craft paintbrush
- 1 fuzzy adult-sized sock (brown, black or tan)
- Brown and white thread
- Brown felt
- Fabric glue
- Yarn needle
- Brown or black yarn
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Black velvet cording (1 1/2 yards)
- Raffia ribbon (optional)
Cover a flat surface with newspaper to protect it from the paint and glue.
Paint the yardstick on one side with brown acrylic paint and a craft paintbrush. Allow it to dry and then flip it over and paint the other side.
Fill the sock with polyester stuffing for the hobby horse's head. You don't have to stuff it tightly, just enough to give it a pleasant shape. Stuff the toe section and about halfway down the ankle section.
Form nostrils for the hobby horse by pinching an area together near one side of the toe section of the sock. Thread the needle with the brown thread and sew a 1/2-inch horizontal line at the pinch. Knot the ends of the thread once you finish the line and cut the thread. Repeat this to form the other nostril near the other side of the toe section.
Cut four matching triangles out of brown felt. Make them approximately 2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Slightly round the triangles with your scissors.
Glue the triangles together in pairs with the hot glue.
Bend the wide section of the triangle slightly to resemble horse ears. Sew them onto the horse's head near where the foot section turns into the heel. Keep them slightly bent while you sew them on.
Cut two almond-shaped eyes out of the white felt and cut two small circles out of the black felt for the pupils.
Glue the pupils to the center of the white eyes and wait for them to dry.
Thread the needle with white thread and sew the eyes onto the horse's head below the ears and above the nostrils.
Thread the yarn needle with a 2-foot length of brown or black yarn. Insert the needle into the space between the horse's ears and then out again. Pull the yarn through so that there is a 4-inch length of thread left hanging out either side. Cut the yarn and tie the two pieces together near the sock. This fringe forms the forelock. Repeat this across the space between the ears with each piece of fringe approximately 1/2 inch apart.
Form the mane by sewing fringe 1/2 inch apart down the ankle section of the sock. This requires about 30 to 40 pieces of yarn that is 12 inches long. Insert the needle and pull the yarn halfway through and tie a knot near the sock.
Place streams of hot glue on one side end of the yardstick about 8 inches down from the end. Quickly slip the ankle section of the sock over the glue and press it into place.
Push the side of the sock up that isn't glued in place and add streams of hot glue to the yardstick. Press the sock firmly in place on this side.
Wrap the velvet cording around the horse's head 1 or 2 inches above the nostril. Overlap the ends slightly and then cut the length with the scissors. Repeat this directly above the horse's ears.
Glue the cording to the areas with the hot glue gun. This forms the bridle.
Add a rein by gluing one end of the remaining cording to each side of the bridle above the horse's nostrils. Drape it above the ears so the cowboy can pull back on the reins and yell "Whoa!" when necessary.
Tips & Warnings
- Tie a raffia ribbon bow around the yardstick and sock to add a decorative touch to the horse.
- Use any colors of the sock, felt and paint you desire to achieve the type of hobby horse you prefer. If you use a tan or white sock, cut out oval or round shapes of brown or black felt. Add these shapes to the horse's head with the hot glue to make a spotted horse. You can also make white or tan spots on a brown or black horse's head.
- The polyester stuffing and other supplies are available at discount or craft and hobby stores.
- Digital Vision/Valueline/Getty Images