I don't know about you, but for me a hobby horse conjures up memories of childhood, Christmas, and holiday decorations, and we're showing you how to make your own—DIY style!

Step 1: Print, Trace, and Cut

Begin by printing out the template for the horse's head and ears here. Now you can cut out the shape of the horse's head and—using a pencil—trace the shape onto your board. 

trace hobby horse plan

Step 2: Clamp and Cut

Now secure the wood to your workbench using a clamp. Then, carefully cut out the shape using a jig saw or a circular saw.

clamp wood for hobby horse

cut wood for hobby horse

saw wood for horse

wood is cut for hobby horse

Step 3: Sand for Smoothness

It's time to sand. You can sand this by hand or use an electric sander. Keep in mind, you'll want the end result to be extra smooth to ensure little hands don't get splinters!

sand wood for smoothness

Step 4: Drill

Next, secure the horse's head so you'll be able to drill into the bottom of it. We have this handy workbench, but if you don't have something like this, clamping the piece on its side to your work area will be just fine. Measure 2-3" in from the back of the head . Using a 1" spade bit, drill a hole that's 2-3" deep.

drill hobby horse

Step 5: Attach Dowel

Now we'll secure the dowel in place. You'll need to cut it to be appropriate for the size of the child who will be using it. You can use a handsaw to do this. After cutting the dowel to size, add glue to the hole you just drilled, set the dowel in place, and allow it to dry. By inserting the cut piece into the  hole you can also eliminate a step of sanding!

attach dowel to horse

dowel for horse

Step 6: Create the Mane

Time to get this horse a mane! Grab the yarn and cut a bunch of 12" pieces—as an alternative to buying yarn, you can also use a mop head!

Staple one piece of yarn along the horse's head in line with where the mane will be, and staple it down every 3-4". Then, tie the 12" lengths of yarn to the piece you've attached to the horse's head.

create a horse mane

yarn for horse mane

staple head of hobby horse

stable hobby horse

staple mane on wood horse

Step 7: Add Eyes

Next, draw on some eyes. We used an acrylic paint marker for this step (but you can also just use a permanent marker).

add eyes to horse

Step 8: Make Ears

Locate the ear templates (they are on the same template as the horse's head). Use the template to cut out the ears. We used felt and loved the way it looked.

ears for wood horse

wood horse head

Step 9: Attach Reins

Finally, add the reins using jute or a similar material.

reins to wood horse

how to make a hobby horse diy

Love Christmas crafts? Find all of our festive 12 Days of DIY projects here.