Dala Horse Earrings




Introduction: Dala Horse Earrings

About: I would rather make something than sit and watch T.V.

My girlfriend and her mother love Swedish culture. Every year for Christmas they bring out their dala horses and display them proudly. This year I had the idea to make jewelry for them. After brain storming ideas I came up with the idea to make miniature dala horses and it evolved from there. I did a ton of research on the process of making dala horses and tried to make it as authentic as possible.

I would love input from someone from Sweden and what they think. I also welcome anyone's constructive criticism.

(sorry about the picture quality, I had to use my galaxy siii)

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Jewelry saw
Sand paper (60, & 120 grit) - I used a sanding block, sandpaper, and the sandpaper attachment for my dremel
Round nose pliers
Wire looping pliers
Fine tipped paint brush
Drill and 1/16" drill bit


Scrap wood - I used a pine pallet scrap pieces I had left over from a previous project. From what I understand Pine is the traditional material used (please correct me if that is wrong). The blank I made measured 7"x1"x1/2"

Paint - This is where you can get creative. There are many different color schemes out there on the internet. I choose to use red, white and blue (to match the one my girlfriends mother has from Sweden). I also used black to paint the space between the legs that would typically be carved out (I thought carving the legs would be too thin to put up with the wear and tear of wearing the earrings)

Clear coat - Don't skip on this. Get a good quality spray paint. It is always worth the extra you pay for.

Label paper - I got box labels at a common superstore for a couple dollars but I am sure any place that carries shipping supplies will also carry them.

Head pins - Part that connects the Dala horse to the earring and/or necklace.

Metal beads - I used what came with my beading needles.

Earring post - or if you are making a charm bracelet/necklace then you would need chain instead.

Optional (but recommended)

Eraser and Paper clip - Jig to hold the Dala when you are painting/spraying clear coat

Step 2: Preparing the Wood.

I used left over scrap pine that I cut down to 7"x1"x1/2" and sanded. I then printed off the template of a dala horse onto label paper. I found the image on a quick Google search. I then stuck the dala onto the wood and traced around it with pencil.

Step 3: Cutting the Wood to Rough Shape and Drilling the Hole.

The first one I did I used a jewelry saw. It worked very well, but it takes forever. I ended up using my dremel for the rest of them. Alternatively if you have access to a band saw or scroll saw it would be easier.

You can see from the photos how I made the cuts. I then used a file and sand paper.

After the shape has been cut out and the edges have been sanded/files use a drill to cut a hole in the middle of the body for the earnings to securely grab on to.

Step 4: Paint and Seal the Dala Horse.

There are a ton of different patterns you can find online. I choose a simple pattern.

Using a eraser and paper clips I made a jig to hold the horse.

I did three coats of white paint, three coats of red paint and then painted the details.

Because they are so small I didn't cut the legs out, and painted black in the areas where the space would be.

After the paint is dry and you have it exactly the way you like it, apply 3 coats of clear coat.

Step 5: Making the Earrings.

I put a metal bead onto the head pin then cut it down to size. I then used my wire looping pliers to form the loop to attach the earring post.

There you have it! A one of a kind earring to give to loved ones.

I would appreciate any positive feed back. Let me know what you think or how I could improve the instructable.

If you make one, I would love to see it! Please post a picture of your creation!

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    7 years ago

    wow my dad could make those for my mom if he really wanted to