How To Create Your Own Carousel Horse and Stand From Childs Hobby Horse Part 1
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Where To Begin
Most of us have or have had a "Hobby Horse"..you know, the kind mounted on springs and you rode like the wind and bucked around on like a rodeo star. If you still have yours or the one your child rode, you are ready to go. If not, then the search begins!
I am forever searching front and backyards as I travel around. I have found them in trash bins, yard sales, garage sales and even posted an ad in a local trading paper. I want pay allot for them...the most I've paid has been $25. It was in excellent condition. I have had some in terrible condition but, a little TLC brought them right back and they made some of the prettiest carousels yet!
Prep Work On Your Horse
Now, we will pretend you have your horse and are ready to begin.
I always clean up my horses before beginning. As a matter of fact, it is a must! Some clean up with just soap and water, others take a little more work. Don't worry if while cleaning you notice the original paint is fading or has already faded, as you are going to take the horse to a base white anyway.
Clean it up good. Make sure it is dry. I remove the horse from the frame and springs, unless I have been blessed to find one that has already been removed for me. I also remove the handles from the head and replace them with...well, I will tell you that later! Find somewhere to mount it or hang it, so as to be able to paint it all at once. I take metal clothes hangers and put them thru the holes where the handles were and suspend it where I can reach all the way around and underneath. I spray the horse a base white with a spray enamel, being careful not to cause runs as this makes for more work. You want your base coat to be smooth. I usually put two smooth coats (letting each coat dry) on each horse. Not to worry tho if you do get a run, as you can take a low grade sandpaper and remove the run and start again.This does not mean your horse has to be white. It just makes it easier to paint whatever coat you have chosen and without the original showing through.
Painting Your Horse
You need to take the time now, if you have not done so already, to pick what colors you want for your horse. Beginning with the "coat" or body and mane color. You can go online and find plenty of ideas. You then need to decide the colors for your bridal, saddle and accessories.
I have used all different types of coat and mane color combinations. I love that no two horses have ever been alike. I usually ask my client what colors are in the room that the horse will be setting in. Sometimes they will already have colors and themes in mind. My job then is to listen. With this being your first horse it will most likely be for you, so go with what colors you prefer.
I use Acrylic Paints from the arts and crafts isle at Walmart. I keep a large supply of colors available at all times but, you can start with just the colors you need for your horse. You will need allot of different size brushes as well. Go with what works for you and which ones are easiest to handle in the small, tight areas of the saddles and so forth. Trial and error are your best teachers here. Always allow your first coat to dry before applying more to any area you are painting.
You will want to paint your horse, mane and tail first. I have found that a technique called "dry brushing" works best in these areas. For example if I were to paint a gray or black mane. I will load my brush and then unload onto a cloth then add a layer at a time until I have reached the desired effect. I have found that,blue jean material works really well to unload my brush on.
You will want to paint the hooves and shoes. I have painted them solid black and I have painted them black and then painted the shoes separately. I use gold, silver, or a brushed metal color on the shoes. I have also painted the hooves with colors that compliment the coat and that's not necessarily always black. This is to "your" preference and can be done however you like.
Once you have the horse itself painted to your desire, you can begin on the "accent" portions. It will require a steady hand but, you can do it! I usually paint my bridal first and then move onto the saddle area. There are paints that look just like leather but, you can paint these areas however you like. I love to make the details on the saddle stand out by painting them different colors but, this is my preference and not a requirement.
For the eyes you need to paint the inside a solid brown and then after it is completely dry, paint the round of the eye from the inner corner to center with black or a darker brown, leaving a small portion of the original brown showing in the back. After that has completely dried. I take a very thin brush and paint a white crescent shape at the top of the eye round. I then place false eyelashes on the top and bottom lids..this really brings the eyes to life.
Will be adding Part 2 soon... Sealing the paint on your horse and Mounting horse onto pole / stand.
CREATING YOUR OWN CAROUSEL HORSES
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