Sharing horses with kids is a magical event.
Being at my inlaws’ house, I’m having horse withdrawal. So I made a toy to woo the kids in the family. Nothing says “Cool Aunt” quite like a homemade hobby horse.
What you need:
- Quilt batting
- Buttons (two, or googly eyes if you prefer)
- Dowel (or broomstick)
- Large plastic yarn needle
- Sewing needle
- Optional: thin leather strap for a bridle (from an old purse or belt)
Prep: Cut a small notch the circumference of the dowel about 6 inches from one end. Cut several pieces of yarn into 5-6 inch pieces for the mane. Turn the sock heel side facing you.
Eyes: With the sewing needle and thread, sew button eyes just toe-ward of the heel.
Ears: Cut two teardrop shapes of felt. Fold the wide base of the teardrop in half. With sewing needle and thread, sew from the inside of the sock to the outside, through the folded ear, and back into the sock. Repeat 7-8 times to secure the ear. Tie several knots inside the sock and cut the thread.
Head shape: Cut batting into three long strips about 3 inches wide. Roll each strip into a cylinder. Place the first cylinder horizontally into the toe of the sock. This is your “nose.” Place the second cylinder perpendicular to the first. This is the “face.” The final cylinder will be perpendicular to the face, and parallel to the nose. This is the “jowl” of the horse.
Mane: Pinch the top of the sock between the ears to make a small fold. With the plastic needle, thread 5-6 inch pieces of yarn through and tie on top of the pinched fold. Continue the length of the neck, but leave 1-2 inches at the bottom without “mane.”
Neck: wrap a 5 inch strip of batting around the top of the side of the dowel with the groove. Pull the ankle of the sock over this cylinder and tuck the excess sock under the lip of the bottom edge of the batting. Cut a 24 inch piece of yarn. With the plastic needle, coarsely whip-stitch the bottom edge of the sock-covered batting. Use the excess tail of yarn to tie a secure knot and bow in the dowel groove.
Optional Bridle: Wrap the leather around the sock horse’s “nose” and stitch in place on either side using sewing needle and thread. Sew the excess leather piece to each side of the “bridle” to form reins.
Hobby Horse: Training the next generation of Capital Cowgirls!