Friday, June 25, 2010

Everything Old is New Again

I buy some ugly things off of Craigslist, but this rocking horse takes the cake. In the ad listing, the picture was small and it looked cute enough for $5. But upon inspecting it in person, the paint was bad, the body scratched and chipped, and the hair a monstrosity. I was seriously worried that there might be bugs in that matted hair, so I chopped it off immediately upon arriving home. Once it was down to the stubs, it took a Herculean effort to remove the 37 staples securing the mane and the gorilla glue securing the tail, which I ended up ripping out one piece at a time with pliers and arm muscles shaking with the effort. (I made sure the horse was in a medically-induced coma first, poor guy.) Then I had to fill in the various gouges all over the body with wood putty. This hole in his leg was especially bad and exposed the entire length of the screw holding it in place. Ever the equal-opportunity toddler, Topher loved him, even when he was bald and at his worst. After the final humiliation of popping his eyes off, we hit rock bottom. I was sad to see that someone at some time hastily painted "rein" lines all over his face. Here's the beginning of your new start, little horse. Hang in there, it just gets better from now on. And I'm now proud to introduce Freckles, the once-neglected-but-now-super-loved horse.
He received new paint, new yarn, a new "working" bridle and reins, and some freckles. He has a new owner and a new lease on life.
I have to admit, I wasn't sure I could pull this off about halfway through, but I'm so happy with the results. The hair was especially challenging because googling how-to-make-a-yarn-mane-and-tail-for-old-rocking-horse yielded no results, go figure. So I was on my own, but I love how it all turned out. I think The Velveteen Rabbit effected me quite deeply as a child because I think every toy with eyes needs to be named and loved. Welcome to your new life, Freckles. :)


  1. UTTERLY adorable! Two thumbs WAY up! How did you do the hair? It looks just perfect.

    luvs, aby

  2. Thanks so much, Aby! I ended up making several little "bundles" of yarn that I attached with hot glue. I was so excited to see that they made a natural part in the hair and that the end look was seamless. The tail was more like one gigantic bundle of yarn that I gathered at one end and secured with the hot glue again. But I tried to make many different lengths of yarn in each bundle (if that makes sense) so that the final product would look more interesting. Can't wait to see you next weekend!