cowboy party: sock hobby horses

heads. no horsemen.

These are one of the creepier projects I’ve produced.  These and the hand turkey garland.  Perhaps it’s a disembodied limbs thing?  They’re pretty cute when finished though, if you can get by the dismemberment look. This, like many over-the-top craft ideas, was gleaned from Pinterest.  I cursed its existence at 11pm on a work night, but again, end product is worth it…as was seeing the kid gallop around like a cowboy possessed.



The materials list is for 12 horses; I had lots of extra material too. Add or subtract materials at will. I include the item needed, then in parentheses, its use. Ya know, just in case it’s not so clear what’s being used when.

– 6 1/2-inch dowels, sawed in half (post)
– pack of men’s socks w/ contrast color toe and heel (horsey head) – NB: a six pack of socks has TWELVE socks. don’t end up w/ 24 socks, like yours truly.
– two bags of poly-fill (stuffing)
– two big hanks of yarn, cut into desired lengths (mane)
– 1 yard of flannel backed vinyl (bridle)
– felt squares in two colors (ears)
– bag of bells (if you’re into that)
– bag of buttons (eyes)
– mid-thickness hemp twine (wrapping post / making “reins”)
– yarn or string scraps (for tying bells on)
– hot glue gun
– SO MANY GLUE STICKS / or if you’re ambitious or a masochist, needle and thread.

1.) Stuff socks. Pull biggish pieces of poly-fill and stuff the socks. I initially overstuffed them, which led to wonky, floppy heads. Stuff them so they’re firm, but the sock isn’t stretched. I then moved some of the stuffing around to make a “forehead” shape and nose. It’s easier than it sounds, once you get the hang of the stuffing. I put a little stuffing in the cuff area, but not very much.

2) Insert dowel into cuff of sock, adjust stuffing, then tie off cuff. My cuffs were long, so I cut them shorter. Then wrap the cuff firmly around the dowel and secure w/ hot glue.

3) Glue on hair. I attached longer pieces to the neck and shorter pieces to the ears / forehead area. I like bangs! The more hair the better, I think. Some of mine got mullets in the end, but so it goes when you’re just not going to cut anymore yarn pieces at 12am.

4) Make ears / glue ears. Free hand ears on felt and cut out. I cannot draw, but managed an oval, w/ a pointed top and flat bottom. These functioned just fine for ears. Make 24 big ones (2 ears for each horse) and 24 smaller ones. Glue the smaller ones to the bigger ones, so they have an inner ear and outer. Decide on placement on the horsey head, then glue in place. I fooled w/ this a bit, then added more mane to hide the glue spots.

5) Make bridle. I made the bridle out of two different widths of vinyl — a thicker piece for the noseband and thinner one for the cheekpieces. For the noseband, determine the circumference of the nose part of the stuffed sock. Add a little extra to this, so you have enough to glue both ends t/g on the underside of the nose. Now, cut twelve wide-ish (mine were ~2 inches) strips at w/e length you need. Glue around nose part of sock. For the cheekpieces, determine the length needed to go from one side of noseband, around the back of the head / ears, and down to the other side of the noseband. Leave a little extra, so you can glue it on the inside of the noseband. Now cut 12 strips at that length x ~ 2/3 inch wide. Glue on the side of nosepiece (tuck it under), and in a few spots around the side of the face / back of the head, then down on other side of nosepiece.

6) Glue on eyes. Figure out placement first, so they’re not too cockeyed.

7) Wrap bottom of sock in twine. Glue, glue, glue this on.

8) Attach bells to yarn scraps / tie on wherever.

9) Ride’em into the sunset!