One of my fabulous customers, Brenda, created the most wonderful stick hobby horses for her son’s country-western party! They’re made from red heeled socks, the same socks used for sock monkeys – that’s why they might look a little familiar to you sock monkey fans. : ) After whipping up a batch of 28 sock horses, Brenda wrote a tutorial that’s so easy to follow, I’m turning over the reins to her today (heehee). Here’s how to make the hobby horses, in Brenda’s own words!
I wanted to do something special, and memorable, for my son Stavros and his party guests for his upcoming birthday party; so I decided to make a stick pony for each of the kids! In all, I made 28 horses! Each horse took me about 45 minutes to complete. It was really a fun and simple project, so I decided to make a tutorial. Your little one is sure to love this handmade, old-school toy!
Items you will need:
Brown and/or Cream Yarn
Red Heel Sock (The best price I could find for the socks was at The Sock Company. I purchased size medium. Size large is more typical, but I think they looked good in medium – not ‘floppy’ at the neck.)
1″ Wood Dowel
Step 1: Fill the sock with poly-fil. Use ample poly-fil to ensure the “head” will not be floppy. Tie yarn or a rubber band around the opening of the sock to make sure the poly-fil remains in place while you’re working.
Step 2: Sew a “mouth” along the toe-seam of the sock using a piece of yarn. (Make a knot on one side of the “muzzle,” pull the yarn snugly across the front, and then make a knot on the other side to complete the mouth.) Above the mouth, make small knots of yarn for a “nose.” This step can be left out, but I think the horse looks quite friendly with his big smile!
Step 3: Use your glue gun to apply two small, round eyes made of felt. (I used felt, but buttons or “animal eyes” found at the craft store would probably be even cuter!)
Note: Remember that buttons aren’t safe on toys for very young children, so be careful if you use them.
Step 4: Pull your yarn through the sock with your needle and tie a knot in the middle to make the mane–this yields two strands of “hair”. I pre-cut about 40 pieces of yarn, each about 8 inches long, for this step. I started at the edge of the heel and continued about half way down the “neck”… This is the longest, most tedious step.
Step 5: Cut “ears” from your felt at your desired shape and size. Pinch the ear and glue one ear on each side of the heel – just behind where you started the mane.
Step 6: Insert your dowel into the sock, as far as possible. (It may be necessary to rearrange some of the poly-fil after doing this.) Fold back the sock at the opening and apply glue around the stick. Press the sock to the glue to secure the head. For an added detail, tie some yarn around the stick, where you added the glue.
Step 7: Use a long piece of yarn to make a bridle. I wrapped the yarn between the nose and eyes then tied a knot under the “chin.” To secure the bridle to the horse, I applied a small dot of glue where I made the knot.
That’s it! So simple, even I could do it! I hope the kids at Stavros’ party are as excited about receiving their stick ponies as I was about making them!
Thank you so much for sharing, Brenda! Fabulous job!!