A simple handmade gift to foster a child’s imagination.
The hobby horse is a simple toy that has stoked kids’ imaginations for centuries. And it continues to do so. As my two young sons will attest, there are no limits to where a child can go on a hobby horse.
Hobby horses are easy to put together and make a truly unique gift for kids ages 2 -7. The best part? No one will ever have that exact horse; it’s as special as the child who plays with it!
• wooden broom stick, cut to 3 feet in length
• new woolen or cotton sock
• 2 large buttons (for eyes)
• 2 small buttons (for nose)
• good thread
• extra strong thread
• duct tape
• felt, two different colours
• yarn, cut to various lengths (14˝ for hair near face, 28˝ for mane on neck)
• one knee high nylon
• nylon binding
• blunt wool needle
• sewing needle
Step 1. Stuff the end of the nylon with polyester fill. Using duct tape, secure nylon to the cut end of the broomstick. (This stops the stick from going through the head of the horse and stops the head from rotating on the stick.) Set aside.
Step 2. Sew buttons for eyes and nostrils onto the sole of the sock.
Step 3. Make the mane. Use the longer pieces of yarn for the mane on the neck and the shorter pieces for the forehead. Begin at the heel. Fold a piece of 28˝ yarn in half and thread folded end through the blunt wool needle. Feed needle through the sock until the loop of the yarn appears. Take the cut ends and feed through the loop, then pull tight to secure.
Repeat with remaining 28˝ strands until the mane is full and runs the length of the sock leg. Repeat this process with the 14˝ strands, sewing along the sole of the sock to create the mane over the forehead
Step 4. Stuff the foot of the sock with polyester-fill, then insert the nylon covered end of the broomstick. Continue to stuff around the stick until uniformly shaped. Secure the end of the sock to the broomstick with duct tape, cutting away any excess sock.
Step 5. Cut out 2 ears in each colour of felt (click here to download template). Sew together ear cutouts, pairing separate colours.
Step 6. Sew ears onto the horse’s head, pinching at the base of the ears to make ears look perky.
Step 7. Using duct tape, secure one end of the nylon binding to the broomstick at the very base of the sock. Wind the binding around the stick very tightly, covering up the duct tape. Fold the end of the binding under, and sew in place with extra-strong thread and regular needle.
Step 8. Measure pieces of binding to create bridle: one to wrap around the snout (muzzle) and another piece to create the reins. Sew the ends of the muzzle strip together to form a loop. Sew the reins onto opposite sides of muzzle. Place the muzzle around mouth of the horse, sew the sides of the muzzle into place, and sew the reins onto the face under the ears (this lends support to the bridle).
Step 9. Top your finished product with a bow and gift tag before delivering.