How To Create Your Own Carousel Horse and Stand From Childs Hobby Horse Part 2
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Sealing and Plugging Your Horse
Well, Hello there! Since you are reading part 2, I will assume and happily so, that you've decided to create your own carousel horse. Wonderful!!
Let's get going then.....
Hang your horse as you did to paint it because, you will need to spray clear sealer (Matte Finish) over the entire horse to seal it, being careful to cover top, sides, underneath and tail evenly. This may require two coats (allow to dry completely between coats).
You are now ready to plug your horse.
Using a hot glue gun, I glue wooden plugs (depending on hole size, 1 to 2 in. round) that I find at Lowe's to place over the ....(this is the "later" I was talking about in part 1)...handle holes and the holes where the springs were located. I have used costume jewelry and other items to embellish my horses (be creative) but, for convenience and a more uniformed look, I use the wooden plugs and stain them to match the pole and base. You can leave the stirrups attached or remove them and fill in those holes the same way. It is according to your preference.
Now you are ready to mount your horse to the pole and base!
Mounting Your Horse To The Pole and Base
I thought I should add (for those of you still out there hunting for your horse) that I have also used the horses from children's swing-sets. They have a hole for the swing-set pole already cut out so, I use this hole to embellish with a plume. It plugs the hole and it looks very nice. You can use tassels, feathers, fans and all sorts of things, to make a plume out of, just get creative and unique in your choices. I plug/cover this hole because it is located down through the horses mane and I like for my horse to set centered on the pole. So, I make another hole (see below) for mounting.
Now, to mount your horse to the pole you will first have to cut a hole in the saddle and belly using a hand held drill and bit (1-3/8ths). Before doing this, you will need to find center of your horse. I have found that most often it is closer to the front of the saddle where the "horn" is located. The pole I use is 6ft tall and 1-3/8th in. round. You can leave the height of the pole at 6 ft or shorten it, if desired.
You can cut the hole before you paint your horse or after, it is up to you. I have done both. Don't worry about the frayed plastic around the hole, you can smooth it with sandpaper and you can embellish around that area, so as to unify the joining of the two.
Once you have your hole cut, you can slide your horse onto the pole and decide at what point you want to set your horse permanently. When you have decided how far "down or up" on the pole you want your horse to set, you will need to mark that spot. Then slide the horse back off of the pole because, you will need to drill a hole into the pole so that you can place a screw, wooden dow rod or metal pin to hold your horse in this spot (your horse will rest on this).
You will need to use the same drill and bit (1-3/8ths in.) to countersink a hole in the base. Your pole will then set flush onto the base with a 3 in. Lag Screw running up through the bottom of the base and into the pole thus, securing base tightly and firmly to the pole. I use two different type bases. I use a 2ft round wooden base and a 3ft rectangular wooden base. You can use whatever base you choose. Again, be creative and unique in your choices.
I have pre-stained pole, base, phenial and wooden plugs to match one another. You can use whatever color stain you prefer..I seem to love oak but, I have went with white and gold. You can buy the phenials that go atop the carousel pole at Lowe's also. (If you decide to use one) I just love the finished look of them and to put a beautiful bow with it.
Embellish and Finishing Your Horse
Now you are ready to embellish your horse to your liking. At this point in the project, you have to really watch because, it can become tacky really quickly, if you are not careful. But, remember too, that you cannot do anything that cannot be undone. You may start over several times but, eventually you will get there.
You will need to decide what you want to use for the reins of the bridal, if you want to make reins for your horse. I always use cording or lacing to create reins that travel from the horses mouth, draping along the neck and around the pole at or about the point where the pole and saddle mesh, leaving enough to drape down the side of the saddle and attach some type of decoration onto the tips. You may or may not want to do this step, completely up to you.
I love to place a beautiful bow on top at the seam where the phenial screws down onto the pole. I usually make these by hand but, sometimes buy them pre-made. I have used flowers, dream catchers and other items on the top of my carousel poles also. It just depends upon the horse that I am creating.
You will need to decide if you want to embellish the base or not. Myself, I cannot imagine not doing this but, it is a personal preference and completely up to you. I love to place a beautiful basket at the base (drill hole through bottom at same point that the pole meets the base) the pole will hold the basket to the base. I place an assortment of flowers in the basket and just go from there. I have hot glued just the flowers to the base and placed a beautiful plaque in the center of the arrangement. Again, be creative and unique in your choices and make it your own. You know best what brings you joy and what goes with the interior and feel of your home.
The rest is up to you! Do more or less to your horse. It is a personal choice and preference and it's your project. Good Luck!
The Horse That Started My Love For This Hobby
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CREATING YOUR OWN CAROUSEL HORSES
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