DIY Stick Horses

Before the birth of Ava I had already concluded that my soon to be 5-year-old daughter should have a proper birthday party — no excuses. For months and months she’d been talking about a ‘pony’ birthday (probably secretly hoping we would get her a real horse), which is not an easy theme for a party, especially if you don’t want to end up with loads of plastic trash!! So, 9 days after giving birth, my husband (still on paternity leave — this is Europe!) and my mother-in-law and I spent a whole evening making 7 stick horses for my daughter’s party. I got some rough instructions from This Vintage Chica, went to the market to get broomsticks, stuffing, and decoration, and to HEMA for some groovy socks, biggest size. We worked hard and stayed up late, but the result was a HUGE success! Part of the party was about personalising the horses with letters and glitters, and part was a horse racetrack, and of course all the girls got to take their own stick horse home. The kids absolutely loved their horses and are still playing with them today.

If you feel like making your own stick horse — it’s pretty easy, you don’t need a sewing machine at all. An (old) broomstick and an (old) sock will do. Here’s the how-to:

First, cut the broomstick to the appropriate length for your child’s height, and use a hand saw to make a ridge in the sticks, about 30 cm / 1 foot from the top.

Fill the socks with stuffing.

Use buttons for the eyes, and wool for the manes.

We used 2 colours felt for the ears — we cut it in 1/4 circle shapes…

… and wrinkled it to get ear shapes.

Attach the ears with needle and thread — messy is ok.

Attach the horse heads to the sticks (stick should go all the way up to the sock’s heel), and add more padding around the stick. Tightly secure the sock around the groove in the wood using a piece of twine.
We used leather strips, bells and curtain cords to make bridles.

At the party, we let the children personalise their horses.

And built a track in our garden for a proper horse race…

Have fun!!! And please do share pictures of your horses, if you get around to make them!!

xxx Esther


Comments (20)

July 26, 2010

Wow I love these! Great idea! I will definitely try to make one

Courtney in London
July 26, 2010

I still can not believe you made those horses right after your baby was born! You crazy mama!
But those horses are so stinken’ cute. I’m so impressed! I will definitely copy this idea.

July 26, 2010

Esther, you are superwoman. Except, really, really creative. Wow 🙂

July 26, 2010

cool and great idea, really love this!!!
i am surprised you mention the european paternity leave in The Netherlands you get officially 2 days!!!
My husband is working for a great company and got 4 weeks in April for No2 – lucky us and we all really enjoyed it!

Dina in NYC
July 26, 2010

The photos are beautiful and the idea is so cute!!! I seriously need to step it up over here in the “crafts” department – I am so lazy sometimes. This is the kind of project that a kid will always remember….

Emilie in Paris
July 26, 2010

Fab idea Esther!

July 28, 2010

When my brother waas born my grandparents made horses like these for my sister and I (there is at least one still stabled in a cupboard at my parents house) and this brought back fantastic memories of riding round on them – what a great project.

I can’t wait to make some for my children – I might have to wait a while as numbers one and two are boys and, based on current behaviour, are more likely to use them as swords than steeds…

Sara in Melbourne
July 28, 2010 are one clever mama! They are gorgeous – if only I had the craft know how! I’m going to suggest it to my girlfriend who would love this for her 4 year old son’s party.

Esther in Amsterdam
August 2, 2010

Check out this cute stick horse Marga made for her little girl — adorable!!!

August 10, 2010

Love this idea – know the kids in South Africa will love it too!!!

September 4, 2010

this really looks great. hope I remember when Nils is old enough

Esther in Amsterdam
October 27, 2010

Check out these stick horses, that Belinda made for her girls Lucy (that called hers Sunshine Flower) and Sophia (that named hers Sunshine Butterfly). So cute!!!
here and here and here!!

December 15, 2010

[…] more detailed info and pics hop on over to Esther’s post on the very lovely Babyccino […]

Esther in Amsterdam
January 5, 2011

Check out these beautiful stick-horses Hetty made for her daughter’s birthday:

January 13, 2011

[…] El tutorial con el proceso, fenomenalmente bien explicado y con mejores fotos que las mias (que como siempre lo hacía de noche, han salido muy oscuras), lo podéis ver en Babiccino, que es donde yo lo encontré buscando cosas para la fiesta indias-vaqueros. (Pincha aquí.) […]

February 20, 2012

[…] look too close – – I’m not that crafty! But when I saw these adorable monsters on Babyccino Kids, I knew I had to take a crack at it. They were definitely a hit. To keep everyone active, the […]

April 3, 2012

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these stick horses. I would really like to feature them on our website on our horse theme birthday page. Let me know what you think. 🙂

August 29, 2012

Lovely stick horses..

February 17, 2013

WOW! Doing a toy story theme for my daughter’s 3rd birthday at her school. Couldn’t figure out what to do for giveaways and after seeing this I think i’ll just make 20, one for each kid! WOW…thank u!

October 3, 2013

[…] I didn’t have anything to do with her styling. (Coincidentally she’s playing with the stick horse we made for Sara’s 5th birthday party years ago — do you remember that sweet project?) […]

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