A hobby horse is the classic childhood accessory — it’s the next best thing after a real pony!
Sewing a hobby horse will take a couple of afternoons, but with these step-by-step instructions, it should be easy.
But be warned, once you know how to make a hobby horse, every child you know will demand that you make them one! It’s worth it though, because there’s nothing like this old-fashioned toy to keep the kids entertained and away from their screens.
Follow our step-by-step guide on how to make a hobby horse.
What you will need to make a hobby horse
- Templates, downloaded, enlarged by 150% and printed
- Basic sewing kit
- Mid-weight fabric, 60x35cm
- Black suede or felt, 20x15cm
- Two 2-cm black buttons
- 110cm black cotton tape, 12mm wide
- Four 15-mm metal rings
- 100g brown wool
- Corrugated card, 20x10cm
- Hot glue gun
- Pole, 2cm in diameter and 80cm long
- Sewing machine and thread
How to make a hobby horse
- Click here or on the picture on the left to download and print the templates (enlarged by 150%).
- Use the templates to cut out: two fabric heads, one reversed; two fabric ears, one reversed; two suede or felt ears, one reversed; and two suede or felt nostrils.
- Mark the positions of the eyes and ears on both sides of the head.
Stitching the head darts
- With the right side of the fabric facing inwards, fold the nose onto the head piece, so the two points match up. Pin the two sides, then machine stitch the dart. Do the same on the other head piece.
Sewing up the head
- Pin and tack the two heads together with the right sides facing and darts matching. Machine stitch, leaving the bottom edge open. Turn right side out and stuff the head and the top of the neck.
Adding the eyes & nose
- Stitch a nostril to each side of the head, positioning them over the ends of the darts. Sew the buttons onto the marked points.
Add the ears
- With right sides facing, pin the fabric and felt (or suede) ears together in pairs. Machine stitch, leaving the bottom edge open. Trim the seam allowance, then turn right side out and press. Fold in half, with the main fabric on the outside, and stitch along the bottom edge.
- Make two cuts in the head, snipping along the marked ear positions. Tuck the ears into the slits and stitch in place.
Making the harness
- For the noseband, cut two 15-cm lengths of tape. Join a metal ring to each end of the first length. Add the other piece of tape to make a loop. Cut a 25-cm length of tape for the browband. Join this to a 20-cm length, using the other two rings, to make a larger loop.
- Join the two loops with two 10-cm lengths of tape for the cheek pieces. Fit the harness on the head. Cut a length of tape for the headpiece that goes round the back of the head and sew the ends to the browband loops.
Adding the mane
- For the horse’s mane, cut the wool into 24-cm-long strands. Take four or five strands at a time, fold them in half and back-stitch along the head seam. Start stitching behind the headband and finish 5cm from the bottom opening.
Attaching the pole
- To attach the pole, cut two 9-cm discs of thick corrugated cardboard, and snip out a 2-cm circle from the centre of each. Stick them together, then slide the double disc over the pole, so that it lies 12cm down from the top end.
- Using a double strand of sewing thread, sew a round of running stitches around the neck edge. Push the pole into the neck, add more stuffing so it’s firm and partly draw up the thread. Add more stuffing below the disc, then draw up and secure. Finish off by folding the neckerchief in half diagonally and tying it around the neck.
Now that you’ve mastered sewing a hobby horse, try your hand at sewing an oilcloth tote, a personalised hot water bottle cover, a special fairy doll or even a super-cute (and super-easy) cactus cushion.
This step-by-step guide on how to make a hobby horse was taken from Belle & Boo: S is for Sewing (Quadrille Publishers).