Check out this step by step guide for a fun stick horse project that you can enjoy doing with your little one. You can use a sewing machine, or hand sew your horse head.

Materials you will need:

  1. 3 sheets of felt for the horse’s head and mane
  2. Sewing thread and needle
  3. Sewing machine (optional)
  4. Print out of the horse head template
  5. Card stock paper or manila folder (optional)
  6. 2 dark buttons
  7. Craft store stuffing for stuffed animals, or plastic grocery bags
  8. Hot glue gun
  9. Ribbon
  10. Bamboo stick or dowel rod

stick horse materials

Print the pattern & make the template

Stick Horse PatternTo start, print out the stick horse template to use as the pattern. Download a PDF of the stick horse pattern. Cut out the horse head and ears and trace them onto a piece of the felt.

I didn’t have card stock on hand for this project so I traced my paper print out onto a manila folder and cut that out. This makes the template sturdier and easier to trace onto the felt.


Trace the horse head and ears onto the felt and cut it out

trace stick horse template

I cut out both pieces of felt at the same time to make the process quicker and so both halves of the head match. You only need two ears, so you can cut those out using the scraps from where you cut out one of the horse heads.

Cut the felt for the mane

felt mane

Cut the third sheet of felt in half lengthwise for the mane.

Pin the horse heads together

pin felt stick horse

The side that has any marks from when you traced the head should be on the outside. Pin the strip of felt that will be the mane onto the inside of the horse heads so you make a mane sandwich with the outer layers of felt. We will turn the head inside out when we finish sewing it, so the mane will be in the correct position then.

Sew the heads and mane together

sew stick horse head

You can use a sewing machine or hand sew the horse heads and mane about 1/4″ from the edges. Be sure to leave the bottom of the horse’s neck open so you can stuff the horse.

Turn the head right side out!

Turn the horse head outside in for the big reveal! This is the exciting part. You can finally see what your horse will look like!

You see the mane is now sewn onto the neck and visible on the outside!

Trim the mane

Using sharp scissors, trim the mane into strips. Be careful not to cut too close to the neck or you may cut the horse!

Stuff the horse and sew on the eyes and ears

You can use stuffing from a craft store, or plastic grocery store bags make great stuffing too! We used stuffing from an old dog bed. Make sure you stuff the nose and head the way you like it before you proceed with stuffing the jowls and neck.

Pin on the ears where you want them and sew on the button eyes. Sew on the ears by hand.

We sewed the button eyes on at the same time by threading the needle through the middle of the horse’s forehead.

Attach the horse head to the stick

Using thick thread of you have it, sew the needle all the way around the base of the neck loosely. Select your dowel rod or bamboo stick.

You may want to create a hole in the stuffing with your fingers for the stick before you hot glue it in place. With the help of a grown up, run hot glue along the top of the stick and stuff it up into the middle of the horse’s neck. Our sticks went in about 5″. Let the glue cool off for a few minutes, then pull the thread tight around the stick and tie it off.

Finish it off

Wrap ribbon around the base of the neck to cover your stitches. Add a dab of hot glue as you go to hold it into place.

And now you have your very own homemade stick horse!

Such fun! We even made halters for the ponies with strips of brown vinyl that we hand sewed.

Send us a picture of a stick horse you created to [email protected] and we may add it to the website!

We built backyard horse jumps and put on a stick horse “horse show” after we completed our horses. Post to come…