The Easter races home-made hobby-horse

The Easter long weekend is coming up soon and for many of us who reside in and around Adelaide, the following equation applies:
Easter weekend = chocolate + Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival
or
Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival = Chocolate +Easter weekend.
In honour of this long-running event I have designed a very quick, whip-together in a jiffy hobby-horse that your child will enjoy racing around the house on for the Easter long weekend.
If you’re not from Adelaide, bookmark this project for Melbourne Cup (November), as there are some primary schools that ask their younger students to bring in a hobby horse to celebrate Melbourne Cup day.  My daughter’s school has begun a tradition of holding a mini-hobby-horse-‘Melbourne Cup’, and this is how this project came about, I couldn’t bring myself to purchase an overly pink and prissy hobby horse that I felt would be left in the corner of the cubby house, unplayed with and ignored, so I went ahead and made something that I thought would be able to withstand a day’s play at the races and then could be dismantled and the broom returned to sweeping duties around the cubby house.  How wrong I was as the home-made hobby-horse remained intact and was well played with for quite some time until he was left out in the rain one night.  The one in the photos here is a new one I popped together and that’s why I can provide step-by-step photos.
It’s truly pretty simple and swift to whizz up, so have confidence and please have a go!
Here are the 6 PDF’s you will need to download and print out.  I have reversed the image for you, so just click and print (onto A4).

Horse head 1 of 3 pdf pattern

Horse head 2 of 3 reversed pdf pattern

Horse head 2 of 3 pdf pattern

Horse head 3 of 3 reversed pdf pattern

Horse head 3 of 3 pdf pattern

 

What you will need:
A small child sized broom
Some poly stuffing
Stapler and staples
Glue stick
Sticky tape
Scissors
The 6 print outs of the PDF’s provided (onto A4 sized plain copy paper)
A4 sized plain copy paper x 6 sheets
2 lengthsof ribbon (I used black and white stripe), 40cm and 150cm
1.              Print out the PDF’s onto A4 (each side is made up of 3 A4 prints, you need 2 sides, so 6 A4 print outs in total).
Showing the 3 print outs required for each side.
Also note the centre strip (with the eye) which has been trimmed of white excess.
2.              Take one set and cut the excess white paper off the top and bottom of the centre image.
3.              Run the glue stick along the excess white of piece 3 and piece 1 on areas shown on pattern.  Stick piece 2 (the centre piece) in place, lining up the image so a complete horse head is created.  Repeat for the other side.  You have now created a left side and a right side.
The 3 pieces glued together.  You need a reverse version of this also to form the other side.
4.              Cut out the black triangles on each side (these will be used to match the sides together).
5.              Match the triangles together, and hold up the horse head in front of a bright window to check the two heads line up together.  Pop a staple onto the nose to keep the two sheets in place.  Roughly cut off the excess paper  around the edges to allow the stapler access to the perimeter of the image.
Illustrating the triangle cut out to match to the other side.
Look closely at the bridle over the nose to see the first staple placement.
6.              Re-check that the images line up and begin stapling the two images together around the mane area, around the top of the head, and around the nose, into the mouth and under the chin.
The orange arrows show roughly where to staple.
The extra paper has been cut away to allow the stapler to access the stapling line.
7.              Trim around the stapled area, leaving a 5mm edge.
Stapled, and now trimmed with a 5mm ‘seam’.
8.              Push a little stuffing into the nose and mouth area.
9.              Slip the horse head onto the broom head.
The lower half has not been stapled yet, the neck needs to be trimmed.
10.           Lightly stuff the horse head with poly stuffing, especially over the cheek and over the eye areas (both sides).
11.           Staple* under the chin to complete joining the two sides together on either side of the broomstick, stapling in a line along the chin.
Staple along either side of the broomstick following the cheek line.
12.           Trim excess paper from under the chin and on either side of the broomstick.
13.           Use a generous amount of tape to secure the horse head to the broomstick.
The lower cheek line area has been stapled and trimmed, and sticky tape has been applied to secure the hobby-horse head to the broomstick.
14.           To form the reins, take the 150cm length of ribbon and fold it in half, making a knot in the ends.  Put the centre fold in the horse’s mouth and have the ribbon lead up from the mouth to just under the lower ear on each side.  Staple the ribbon in the mouth area to secure and staple through all layers (both ribbons and the two sides of paper) several times to secure.  Then staple through all layers under the ear.
The ribbon has been secured to the hobby-horse head with staples in the mouth and under the lower ear.
15.           Complete the bridle by wrapping the 40cm length around the nose, and slipping the ends under the horizontal bridle straps to keep the look tidy.
Note well that the ribbon has been folded under to discretely hide ugly raw edges.
*It is advisable to check to ensure that all the staples are sitting flush to avoid any nasty cuts/grazes.
Your Easter races home-made hobby-horse is ready to run!

This horse head image has been taken from:
“Animals, 1419 copyright-free illustrations of Mammals, Birds, Fish, Insects, etc. A Pictorial Archive from Nineteenth-Century Sources” selected by Jim Harter, Dover Publications, Inc. New York, ISBN 0-486-23766-4
It is copyright free.  These sorts of publications are great fun to noodle through, you can use these images in so many millions of ways, and all you need is a scanner, a program to re-size or manipulate the image and a printer.
Cover illustration

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