Stick Horses

8 Jan

Horses go “neigh.” Do kids learn that as one of the animal noises?

“Neigh” doesn’t seem like a very kid-friendly noise. It’s not fun like other animal noises.

But horses do have a one up on all the other animals. It’s extremely kid-friendly when you put its head on a stick!

I made these stick horses as Christmas presents. I loosely followed this tutorial from That Village House.

horses1

Here’s how they were made:

1. Cut out your two pieces of the horse head from your fabric using the pattern I created for this project (three pages): Horse_pageA, Horse_pageB, and Horse_pageC. Pattern pages were created assuming a 1/2 inch margin around each page (to account for printers). And should fit together according to the following image. (You only need to cut along the outline of the horse head, the circles are there just to help guide how the pages fit together.)

horse6

2. Do the mane:

  • Place the two fabric horse head pieces down, right sides together.
  • Wrap yarn around a sports bottle (or something with an approx 3″ diameter). When you run out of space on your sports bottle, cut the yarn, and gather it to place it in between the fabric where you want the mane to start. Be sure to spread it out to the desired thickness of the mane and that some of the mane is overlapping the edge of the horse head. Sew in place. Repeat process until entire mane is completed. (I did my manes in batches that were approx 2-3 inches of mane per batch.)

horses2

3. Sew the remainder of the top edge of the horse head, stopping where the mouth slopes down.

4. Set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length and baste the remainder of the horse head (minus the bottom edge). Basting will allow you to easily unstitch later.

5. Make your ears: Based on the images, cut larger and smaller pieces out of felt for the ears and stitch together. For each ear, I stitched two larger pieces together first, then the smaller piece to the large pieces to make it a bit more stiff so it’ll stand easier.

horses3

6. Stuff the horse head with your polyfil so you can get a sense of where you want the eyes and ears. With a pencil, lightly mark the spot for your eyes and ears.

7. Unstuff the horse head and sew on the button eyes where you just marked.

8. Attach the ears:

  • According to your markings, cut a small straight line where you want each ear. This line should not exceed the width of the bottom of the ears.
  • Put the ear in the hole and fold in the rough edges, pin as needed, and sew into place.

9. Attach the bridle:

  • Re-stuff the horse head
  • Take your webbing to measure out the part that circles around the mouth of the horse. Wrap the webbing around the horse’s mouth in the spot you want it to sit. Mark the webbing to measure the length you need in order to wrap around the mouth (overlapping the ends of the webbing a bit) and lightly mark the horse head of where you want the bridle to sit.
  • Unstuff the head.
  • Cut the webbing where you marked. Line up the center of your webbing with the top of the horse head. At this point, I unstitched the short side of the neck (opposite side of the mane), up to where it starts to curve. With the webbing lined up properly, sew a few line of stitches on the top of the head through the webbing and head to keep it in place. Then wrap the webbing according to your markings and sew in place to the underside of the horse head at each end of the webbing, which should overlap a bit.
  • Restuff the horse head as much as possible (won’t be completely stuffed since you unstitched some of the neck).
  • Take your other webbing piece and put it in place for the bridle part that wraps along the back of the horse head. Do the same thing as you did previously – mark the webbing for length, and mark the horse head where you want it to sit.
  • Cut the webbing where you marked. Line up the center of the webbing with the mane. Sew a few lines to keep in place, pushing as much of the mane out of the way as possible. Sew the ends of this webbing to the other bridle piece. Additionally, sew a one-inch line in the middle of each side to help keep it in place.

horses4

10. Now, turn the horse inside out and properly sew where you had previously basted.

11. Stuff your horse one last time. Get your stick and apply hot glue to the part that will be stuffed in the head. Stuff the stick in the head, trying to keep it in the center of the polyfil.

12. Then, fold in the rough edges of the bottom edge of the horse head. Hand sew this edge, so it is tight around the stick. Apply additional hot glue to the stick for the area that touches the fabric to help keep it in place.

13. Done.

horses5

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