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.
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.