Finishing Sophie’s rocking horse (before christmas – just)

December 25th, 2009

Part one of the horse making is here:

With time moving on I had to really move to get the rocking horse done. After protecting the foam with the tin foil I applied layers of fibreglass and polyester resin. I built up a nice, thick skin of glass all over the horse.

glassing1 Layers of fibreglass to make a shell.

After the fibreglass shell had hardened I gave itย  a quick sanding just to remove any sharp bits then set about adding in Horseome Paul’s super secret feature – a hidden hiding place where Sophie can keep things. The cavity was made form a piece of PVC piping. A hole was cut in the horse and the pipe gently inserted.

cavityinsertion Gentle insertion of secret hiding place.

Once the pipe was fully inserted the excess was trimmed off with a cutting disc on a Dremel.

cutting Cutting off the excess.

Once the cavity was done I then covered the body in several layers of 5mm thick upholstery foam. This was glued on using Ados F2 spray contact adhesive. I put extra layers on the head for some extra padding in case of face plants by the young rider!

foam1 Covered in foam padding.

Next I had to figure out how to cover him in fur. A visit to Spotlight (a material and craft super shop – kind of like Bunnings for girls) provided me with some great fake fur and some pink frilly stuff for the mane and tail.ย  I roped in a friend to help with the sewing (at the cost of making her dinner). I wrapped the horse in plastic from an old plastic bag then wrapped that in layers of brown packing tape. The idea is to make up a tape shell that you can then cut off with scissors and cut to form flat pattern pieces that will exactly match the three dimensional shape you are trying to cover. I was going to buy a sewing machine and learn to do all this myself but with only a few weeks before Christmas I ran out of time.


Wrapped in plastic and tape.

So, with time running short my friend Dani came over to help with the pattern making and sewing. One look at Horseome Paul though and we decided it was going to be trickier than we though. Dani makes quilts which are flat. A three dimensional horse was a much trickier problem. We decided I should try to find someone with a bit more experience to help. Still made her dinner though ๐Ÿ™‚

As it happened there is an alterations place near to where I work (errr, used to work as I was made redundant just before Christmas). I popped in there and talked to a woman who didn’t speak much English but after must gesturing and explaining she realised what I wanted to do and said she could help. I took the horse and material along to her and she sewed on the covering for me in a very short time and for an extremely reasonable price! She also made a bridle and sewed on buttons for eyes and even gave him a little charm necklace. He has a zip running down his back so the fur can be removed if needed.

head Horsey head!

In the mean time I completed the wooded base. I originally painted it pink but in the end repainted it white and the pink become overwhelming! I attached some cardboard stickers I got from Spotlight to give some detail and to put Sophie’s name on the base. They were supposed to be self adhesive but I found I needed glue to get them to stick. Finally the body was simply bolted down to the base and held with large fender washers and Nylock nuts.

So here is the final product!

horsedone1 horsedone2 horsedone3 Horseome Paul is complete!

I ran out of time to make a saddle but I think he doesn’t really need one anyway. Christmas day is today so we shall see what young Sophie things in a few hours or so! Hopefully it doesn’t scare her!

Oh, that secret hiding place. Well, you can get to it by simply unzipping the zip under the tail a little. I am not sure my sister is going to approve…


And finally, 6 months later, an actual picture of Sophie on her horse. Yes, it is still bigger than she is!

sophie_horse5 Sophie aged 2 years 5 months (or so). Horse aged 6 months.

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6 Responses to “Finishing Sophie’s rocking horse (before christmas – just)”

  1. Asciimation » Blog Archives » A rocking horse for Sophie Says:

    […] Posted in Projects | Trackback | | Top Of Page […]

  2. Shawn Keech Says:

    Mr. Simon Jansen,

    I stumbled across your site this evening (Merry Christmas!). I was dinking
    around, looking at mame emulators when the search results led me to your
    beautiful TARDIS cabinet (signed, no less). I treated myself to the ASCII
    Star Wars, enjoyed getting “Rick-Rolled”, and especially liked your slot-car
    camera. Well done in all areas.

    I haven’t browsed your MGB restoration, but my dad was into the midget, gt6
    and tr series, so I’m looking forward to that as well.

    Well done in all respects! If you are ever in the states, let me buy you a
    pint of whatever suits you.

    Shawn Keech
    Music Teacher
    Springfield, Missouri

  3. Simon Says:

    Usually a pint of anything suits me ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Horse Lady Says:

    What a beautiful piece of art. And this horse is entirely hand-made? Amazing.

  5. Emily Matthews Says:

    heh it looks like a rocking boar hehe (I found your blog through my father in law Ian Ramsay)

  6. Simon Says:

    Yes, he isn’t too horse like. My niece kept calling him a dog at first!