Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sock Stick Horse - Tutorial

Just in time for the holidays! This is a really easy, fast, inexpensive, very cute stick horse. If you are even a part-time crafter, you probably have all of the stuff needed to make it in your house without heading to the store. An old broom handle can be the stick, fabric scraps can replace the batting. You can do without the rick-rack and accent with fake flowers or more buttons.

You'll need:
Adult sock (woman's cotton size 6 worked better for me than larger or stretchier socks)
Thread and needle
Two pieces of fabric
1/2 inch wide, 3 foot long dowel
2 buttons for eyes
Hot glue gun & glue sticks

Get out the sock and the batting. This little sock will stretch much further than you'd think possible.

Stuff the sock with the batting. Get it really firm.

Cut one 34-35 inch piece of ribbon for the reins. Cut two more pieces of ribbon, measured around the sock at the intervals shown by the measuring tape below. If you're using rick-rack or a contrasting ribbon as an accent, cut those now too. These will be your bridle ribbons. I can't tell you how long to cut them since the size varies for each sock.

On the two short ribbons, hot glue the accent to the ribbon. Ignore my very well-used ironing board, please.

Now we'll attach the reins to the horse's head. Hot glue one end of the rein ribbon in two places on the head, where the glue spots will be covered by your bridle ribbons. Hannah wanted to know why I was saying "I love you" to the horse.

Repeat with the other end of the ribbon on the other side of the horse's head. Make sure you don't twist the reins - I've done that.

Now hot glue the bridle ribbons on, being sure to cover the spots where you glued the reins on and be sure you put the ends of the ribbon under the horse's chin.

Glue the button eyes on.

Freehand cut two felt ears. With pinking shears, cut a smaller ear shape for the inside of each ear. I always pick one of the fabrics that I'm using for the mane. Hot glue the back and the front together for each ear.

Now glue the ears onto the horse's head.

This is the closest I've ever glued them - these ears were a tad bigger than my usual horse ears. Usually, the ears are at least a 1/2 inch apart at the top.

Now, using pinking shears (so the fabric won't fray over time), cut ten pieces out of each piece of fabric that you've chosen for the mane. The pieces should be 3 inches wide and 5 inches long. Match all of the pieces of fabric up so that you have one of each with wrong sides together.

Twist the fabric pieces like a candy wrapper.

Now hot glue these on the horse's head. A few will go in front of the ears, but not past the top bridle ribbon.

This can be tricky. You have to hold the pieces where you need them and sometimes do some additional gluing to get them to stay where you want them to stay.

Here's the finished mane. Now "poof" the mane out by separating the fabric pieces. This will give your mane more body and hide any of the sock that's showing through the mane.

Voila! Two finished horse heads.

Here are some more finished heads to give you an idea of the different looks you can get using different fabrics. I always just use scrap fabric I have on hand. If you like quilting fabrics, you could use quilting block packages to create some really darling manes using more than two types of fabrics.

Now you need to attach the head to the stick. To do this, hand sew around the cuff of the sock. Keep both ends of your doubled thread long.

Cut through the batting with some scissors to get a place for your dowel. Put the dowel in. It should go all the way to the first bridle ribbon. Trust me. I've done it lower and it doesn't look right - the horse's head bobs and hangs.

Now pull the thread tight enough to get the cuff close to the dowel. Put hot glue around the inside of the cuff and tighten the thread up quickly. Hold until the glue is dry. Knot the thread and trim.

And you have a stick horse!

My younger daughter has a horse that I made with 40 inch reins. Much, much too long. My older daughter is riding her horse that she's had for almost three years. These are much loved toys.

All of the horses above have homes, except for these two, so I'm giving them away! If you would like one of these horses for your child for the holiday this year, leave a comment telling me your favorite December tradition (I need ideas) and whether you'd prefer Daisy or Rainbow. I won't be hurt if you rename them.

The drawing will close on Sunday, December 7 at noon, MST. I'll have each of my girls draw a name for one of these horses and I'll announce the winners on Sunday evening or Monday morning.

For shipping ease, I'll just be sending the head - you'll need to get a dowel and attach it. Have fun!

If you want to see one of these horses in action, check out these videos. Cutest damn cowgirl in town.


Stephanie S. said...

These are so cute!!
I can't think of a favorite tradition right now - but I'll ponder it.
How brave you are to host a give-away. The thought of going to the post office with the babes makes me shudder! :/

dkelewae said...

Those are just too adorable! Let's see, a favorite tradition around my house for the past 10 or 15 yrs has been to watch "A Christmas Story" after we've put up and decorated the tree.

I'd love to win either one for my little grandson!

Diana K dkelewae from MJF

Lindsay said...

Those videos are soo cute. Meredith is wanting me to play them over and over.

My favorite tradition is going to Langley to visit my aunts and uncles and cousins on Christmas day. We open presents in the morning, have breakfast, then go on a two hour ferry ride. It's actually a lot of fun riding the ferry on Christmas day. I don't know if that helps you much though since you don't live in on an island!

Other traditions I used to like growing up were gingerbread houses and all the other baking we did (my mom made little shortbread mouse cookies with licorice tails and almond ears, those were my favorites). I would like to start some fun traditions with Meredith. I love everything about Christmas except the commercialism, so it's something I want to continue celebrating but without such an emphasis on buying and gifts. We have a Playmobil advent calendar that is one tradition we've started. Someone as crafty as you could probably make a neat one though.

Anyway, I would love one of those for Meredith, and while I probably could make one I don't own a hot glue gun. They're a great idea. We're wanting to hand make all our gifts again this year and I'm having trouble coming up with ideas for the kids, so I might try and figure out a way to do it without a hot glue gun (or find someone to borrow one from). I think I prefer the Daisy one, but both are great, and if it's super expensive to ship to me because I'm in Canada I totally understand (or can pay the difference or whatever).

Sarah said...

Steph, I've already gotten tons of great ideas from your site! The post office with three is... interesting. Always an adventure. lol

Diana, welcome! I bet your grandson would love Rainbow. I experimented using some lumberjack type flannel on a few horses' manes and they turned out so cute! I'll be crossing my fingers for you.

Lindsay, you *know* I'd ship to Canada for you, right? Of course I would! Thanks for your video comment. Those videos still make me smile. My feminist self still rolls my eyes every time the announcer says "She'd make a good secretary", but what ya gonna do in a small rural town? I love the idea of little mice cookies - going to have to try those. I don't know how you'd keep the stick in the horse without the hot glue... if you come up with a solution, let me know.

Lindsay said...

Thanks Sarah! I forgot about the stick. I have a few craftier friends though who I'm sure I could borrow a glue gun from. And yes, I had to chuckle when the announcer said that lol.

Ashley said...

Oh, these are LOVELY!

We have a solstice party every year where we bake a cake and sing happy birthday to the sun.

Sarah said...

Ashley, thank you! I was looking for solstice ideas. Welcome!

Lindsay, your chances are better than you'd think - over 200 hits on this post since this morning and only four entries.... lol

Mahna said...

What a cute idea, thank you for the tutorial and the contest! My son will love one of these soon! My favorite holiday traditions are:
*decorating the tree - mom unwraps ornaments and my sisters and I put them on. We have decades of ornaments that were hand made (by us!), bought special, given as gifts, etc. It's nice to remember each one as they are unwrapped.
*on Christmas morning my dad has a very orderly gift giving process (he's retired military, so everything is structured!). But as soon as the last gift is opened, we are all free to run to the fireplace and tear into our stockings - no order whatsoever. I love the fun little presents our parents always put in the stockings.

Have happy holidays!

paxye said...

Wow... those are great!!

Cindy said...

Wow, I am so impressed that you were able to get all the instructions photographed and written up. I started writing a tutorial on how to make a soccer banner about 6 months ago. Ahem.

To your reader who doesn't own a glue gun- you can purchase a mini one for 2 bucks at Joanns. Do you have that store in Canada? They also sell cheap versions at Walmart and Target type stores. I'm a crafter (I'm Sarah's sister, natch) but I think everyone should have a glue gun. It's right up there with duct tape.

Anyway, way cute project, and way cute Hannah doing her stick horse rodeo performance. One of THE BEST home videos.

Cindy said...

Oh, I'm supposed to write a tradition. Well, see, in my family, we had a concert on Christmas Eve and my little sister Sarah and I would always do some funky dance to a song like "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." We'd practice for weeks and weeks- we really weren't that good but we sure had fun.

My funniest 'concert' memory was when our 17 year old (oldest) brother played Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on his trumpet while hanging upside down. I don't recall the details of how he was upside down but I think he had propped himself between 2 chairs. It was really funny.

And... OMG... just remembered the other tradition we had. Dressing up for the manger scene and how our mom made us do it when we were teenagers. I'll never forget the year our 2 oldest brothers revolted and instead of putting their towels on their head like shepherds, put their towels on their head like Marge Simpson. Very funny stuff. I think I need to do a blog post about this instead of yacking on in your comment section, huh?

Stephanie S. said...

I finally thought of one. (and see that you've excused me.)
Solstice: we usually open up a few presents. It's always a bummer when Christmas only lasts for one day - sometimes five minutes!! :)
So we drag it out over the month as best we can.

On Christmas Day we leave A Christmas Story on All Day - it's on for 24 hours, and so we let it ride. :)

What I really came here to tell you - we finally got around to making our Victorian Crackers today. (though ours won't crack. maybe next year I'll get on it and order some "popping" supplies.)
We filled them with nuts, a toy, a rolled up piece of paper with puzzles (a maze and a wordsearch - traditional) and jokes (also traditional) that the babes will love, homemade fudge, little balls of rice crispy treats, and however many store-bought candies will fit. :) Oh - and confetti.

We've got them in a huge glass vase/jar and will have our visitors choose one to take with them. We'll explain the way to open them - two people tugging on the two ends of the wrapped tissue paper. Hopefully not in my livingroom or porch - as there's a bit of mess with the confetti. :)

Don't enter me - I fell in love with those pink ones, and bought some pink socks to make Madd one. :) I only hope I'll get around to it. :/

Beverley said...

Those horses you made are just the cutest thing but the videos are just the absolutely cutest!!!! My holiday tradition that I started when my kids were little was biscuits and gravy and orange juice on chistmas morning. i could put it all cooking and go open presents and then we could sit down and have breakfast. Worked out good. and the other one is I always gave each of my kids a pair of funny underwear for christmas. Mostly boxers that I made out of funny material. but they loved them. Never wanted to open the box in front of people but they wore them to bed all the time. it just gave us all a smile on chirstmas morning. Beverley B from MJF's I would love to be added to your give away for a horse one of my granddaughters would just love it...

Bronwen said...

What great horses, I know my boys would love them. My favorite tradition is pulling traditional English Christmas crackers (I usually buy them at after Christmas sales and save for next year) The prizes and jokes are a little corny, but we all love to wear our paper hats, or I like to make everyone wear their paper hats, and I grab a picture for posterity :)

Bryce and Candice Blood Family said...

A little funny sidenote, since I missed the whole giveaway (I need to put one of the blogs you update on my lurk list as the one on there is RIP), Bryce's mom has one of these at her house that she made when her kids were little. I am pretty sure she sewed the whole thing and used yarn for hair but it is the same concept! Very crafy and cute!

Our traditions include buying or making a new ornament every year that the kids can have when they leave home and a big dinner on Christmas Eve so we can lounge around and eat leftovers on Christmas day. I want to start making cinnamon rolls for breakfast but I don't think it will happen this year with the move. We also do a family service project, simple this year, purchasing a tree for a single mom without one and a wishes party for Paisley (we missed her birthday party and she was feeling jaded) where she is collecting cash/giftcards for a family in need instead of presents. Brylin collected donations for the humane society at her party. I feel a little blah, blah, blah at this point!

Hope you are enjoying the holdiay season, tell Matt tree decorating is definitely a priority! Your kids are certainly adorable, I love the skirts and pants! Always little ladies!

Sarah said...

Candice, I really like the idea of seeing if the kids want to collect donations for their birthday parties. I bet Hannah would be all over that.

Yeah, these girls and their skirts and dresses. They make me smile.

Perrine said...

I really like your how to. I was wondering if I could translate it in French and add it to all the how tos as explained in my french article (
Of course, your website would be quoted and there would be a link!
Thank you,

Sarah said...

Perrine, I think that would be wonderful! Thank you for the linkage love.

Anonymous said...

Soooo Cute! Amazing idea! Thanks for sharing. My kids will love these. I think I may give them a try. :-)

Lenka said...

I love this idea. I reposted on mz blog thank you

Lindsay said...

I made one of these and my daughter loves it!
I wrote about it on my blog, and linked back to your post here. You can check it out at:
Feel free to take a "Featured" button from my sidebar if you want.
Thanks for the great post!
Lindsay @ Diary of a Crafty Lady

Dr Sonia S V said...

What an amazing innovative creation. I have a 5 year old who will just love this. Shall share pics and link to you when we make it
Cheers from Bangalore, India