Carpentry, Parenting/Children

How to make a classic wooden hobbyhorse toy

classic wooden hobbyhorse toy

The classic wooden hobbyhorse toy is still a favorite with children all over the world. Our step-by-step guide shows you how to easily make it.

If you are  planning a riding tournament with homemade hobby horses for the next children’s birthday party , you should know that just under $4 per horse plus some color is completely sufficient. 

We used very simple and inexpensive materials such as blockboard for the head, simple wooden strips, round bars and acrylic paints from the hardware store as well as paint from the hobbyist’s needs.

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Classic wooden hobbyhorse toy: instructions

The best thing is to build a herd

The duration of the production is very difficult to estimate, since of course a single horse takes a lot more time than an entire herd . Based on experience, however, we can say that it takes about two hours for a horse , but only five to six hours for five animals. This has to do with the fact that you only have to make the template of the head once and when sawing out the head you can saw out two superimposed plates at the same time.

The varnish work should be carried out on three consecutive days , as each coat of paint must have dried thoroughly before the next coat, sanding and glaze application.

Sketch for the hobbyhorse

For a fast and good riding horse, you no longer need a big annual salary today, but only a few pieces of wood from the remains of the hardware store or a carpenter. 

The template for the hobbyhorse head: one box of the grid corresponds to 4 x 4 cm in the original. Draw a grid cross and copy the contours. The cut silhouette can then be used as a working pattern for a whole horse breed. 

Construction steps

Step 1/12: Drawing and sawing

In the first step, the 4 x 4 cm grid and the horse head silhouette are drawn onto a piece of joiner’s plate and the shape is sawn with an electric jigsaw.

Step 2/12: Hole for handle… drilling

classic wooden hobbyhorse toy

To ensure that the 12 mm thick handle wood is also exactly in the head later, a drill stand is used for punch drilling.

Step 3/12: Drill hole for roller axis

Also in the drill stand the hole for the roller axis at the lower end of the square rod should be drilled. Since the axis is 10 mm thick and it should naturally move loosely in the borehole, one takes a 10 mm drill, first drills the hole and then pulls the workpiece up and down on the rotating drill, so that the hole borrows so to speak and in this way a hole of 10 ,5 mm.

Step 4/12: Making Rollers

classic wooden hobbyhorse toy

The rollers are made of a round rod about 3 cm in size, centrally provided with a blind hole and glued with the 10 mm axis.

Step 5/12: Connection bars

Narrow ledges that have an identical width to the square rod form the connection to the head. They are simply glued on and fixed with small nails.

Step 6/12: Primer

classic wooden hobbyhorse toy

Apply the primer in red and let it dry. Then coat a white varnish over it and let it dry again.

Step 7/12: Sanding edges

Now with sanding paper of the grain 180 carefully sand the edges so that the red primer becomes visible in places. Finally, apply a colored glaze, allow to dry briefly and wipe lightly again. This is how the antique look is created!

Step 8/12: Alternative: Crackle Lacquer

classic wooden hobbyhorse toy

As an alternative, you can also trim the horse to old with so-called “crackle varnish”. First paint white.

Step 9/12: First layer

Apply dark crackle spray after drying.

Step 10/12: Second layer

classic wooden hobbyhorse toy

According to the manufacturer, then spray the bright crackle paint.

Step 11/12: Make mane

Once the paint has been applied and dried, the mane can be glued in. Whether a rope made of hemp or nylon is used is a matter of taste. To do this, drill into the head all 2 cm holes that have the same diameter as the rope. Now glue the rope and swirl the individual fibers.

Step 12/12: Paint your eye

classic wooden hobbyhorse toy

Finally, paint the eye. Finished!

gerhardt-richter Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.