Unicorn Hobby Horse

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There are two things that some people don't think are real: unicorns... and the color indigo. Have you ever searched Google images for indigo? It seems no one can decide what the true color is, making you question your entire life and think to yourself... isn't that just a purplish-blue or a bluish-purple?! There are even Facebook groups and petitions to get it removed from good ol' ROYGBIV! So I wanted to combine the impossible: a unicorn built from the many shades of this elusive color of the rainbow that idles between blue and violet - with an added stick to make into a child's toy! If you are making this at home, feel free to use whites and silvers or any other colors, but I wanted to stretch the capabilities of this color, showing you can accentuate with all different shades; every piece of this magical creature is a hue of indigo.

Step 1: Materials

Materials

  • Many shades of indigo fabric
  • Indigo & black thread
  • Dowel rod
  • Indigo paint
  • Eye button (x2)
  • Poly-fil stuffing
  • Heavy and medium-weight interfacing
  • 3" styrofoam ball
  • Elastic

Tools

  • Printed and taped pattern
  • Paint brush
  • Pins/clips
  • Hot glue gun
  • Handsewing needle
  • Scissors/rotary cutter
  • Ruler/tape measure/cutting mat

Step 2: Paint Dowel Rod

Just so the dowel rod or broom handle is drying while you work on the unicorn, paint now. On one horse I painted the stick indigo, and on the other I added periwinkle metallic paint to the indigo, which made it more of an electric indigo (read: more magical). You don't have to paint the whole stick since it will be covered by the unicorn head. Likely, you will need to add another coat in 30 minutes or so.

Step 3: Cut Pieces

  1. Cut out pattern pieces and rectangles as stated in picture
  2. Press interfacing onto wrong side of appropriate pieces
  3. After cutting the hair into the 9"x10" pieces, mark a 1/2" line on one short (9") end with a friction pen or white chalk. Then take your ruler and lay it perpendicular to the marked line, 1" off the side edge of the rectangle. Make your cut with a rotary cutter all the way up to the marked line, leaving a half inch at the top uncut. Continue on to make 10 "hairs" total in each piece.*

*If you aren't using batiks, instead of cutting the one inch marks with a rotary tool, you should use pinking shears, which will give you a zigzag cut and help with fraying.

Step 4: Horn, Ears, & Hair

Horn - this is one of the hardest part in the whole Instructable! Sewing circles like this is hard work. Take your time and use lots of pins. Just think, because you are taking your time here, that means you don't have to hand sew on the horn later!

  1. Fold the horn piece (B) in half, stitch 1/4" seam, and trim off selvage close to the seam
  2. Turn inside out.
  3. Use piece (D) to cut out a hole near the end of piece (E), the 3" strip, leaving roughly 2" of room. This doesn't need to be exact since you'll trim off excess later.
  4. Stick the horn through the hole as shown and line up the raw edges, right sides together. The seam of the horn should be facing the center of the long end of the strip. You may have to trim up your circle a little to get the horn to fit perfectly.
  5. Pin into place.
  6. Sew 1/4" seam around the circle.
  7. Measure 1/2" from the horn and trim off excess on the SHORT side of the 3" strip.

Ears

  1. Take one light and one dark indigo ear (C) and place right sides together. Sew 1/4" seam around the ear leaving the bottom open. Trim off the selvage and turn inside out.
  2. Fold the outer bottom corner of the ear in a little and sew it down as shown. This gives the ear some movement.

Hair

  1. Take one (1) strip (F) -the 1 3/4" fabric- and lay right side up. Place (4) hair pieces (G) down. Lay the other (F) strip right side down.
  2. Clip and sew the whole length of fabric.
  3. Press open.
  4. Trim off excess selvage 3/8" after the top of the hair.

Combine

  1. Lay Hair section right side up, and place ears as shown, leaving at least 1/4" of room off both edges of the strip. Basting the ears at this time will make step 2 a whole lot easier.
  2. Lay Horn piece face down, raw edges together with the Hair piece. Clip and sew 1/4" seam or until the ears are fastened in securely.

Step 5: Add Side Panels

  1. Lay your (A) pattern over the coinciding fabric and mark the line on the top of the head pattern piece onto both sides of your fabric. This will be where you line up the center Horn/Ears/Hair strip AND will help you line up the second face panel once you start sewing the opposite side of the face.
  2. Mark where you want the eyes on the pattern and then place the mark on both sides of the unicorn's face (so the eyes aren't crooked. Hand stitch in place. (I forgot to add the eyes at this step, so it isn't pictured. Let me say, it's a lot harder adding eyes later on).
  3. Take one face panel (A) and lay it right side up. Take your Horn/Ears/Hair strip and line up the connector seam with the mark you made in Step 1 of this section. Flip the strip over, keeping the lines lined up, and clip into place. Be careful about keeping your ears (unicorn's ears, not your ears) out of the seam!
  4. Because it's easier for me to sew without clips - so I am able to push and pull edges to line up easier - I start in the center and sew down the front of the face first and then start in the center and sew down the back of the head. You can choose either method: clipping all the way around and sewing or starting in the center of the head and working down both directions.
  5. Repeat with opposite panel A.
  6. Trim off excess on both ends
  7. Make tie tube: Roll up the entire bottom of the unicorn 1/4", press, roll up another 1", and sew all the way around the edge closer to the top of the unicorn, leaving a 1" gap in the back. This creates a tube for the tie to fit through.
  8. Make the tie (which fastens the neck hole closed so stuffing doesn't fall out): Take an excess strip and trim it down to a 1 3/4" x 13" strip. Fold each long edge to the center and then fold again. Sew down the open edges to create a skinny tie.
  9. Turn unicorn right side out.
  10. Clip a safety pin on the end of the tie and move it through the tube until both ends are visible on each side of the tube. While you are stuffing, safety pin both ends of the tie together so you don't lose the tie into the tube.

Step 6: Stuffing

  1. Hot glue the styrofoam ball 4" from the end of the stick, both on the top and bottom of the ball.
  2. Push poly-fil stuffing into the horn and the face area.
  3. Place dowel with styrofoam ball into the the opening and push the dowel all the way into the horn.
  4. Fill the rest of the unicorn with stuffing.
  5. Take the two ends of the tubing tie and double knot closed.

Step 7: Hair

    Take two pieces of hair and knot them once. Continue with the rest of the hairs, giving the mane some much-needed volume.

    And you're done!

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      5 Discussions

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      Whitney Fabre

      5 months ago

      Oooo, I love those indigo fabrics. Good job tackling a "confusing" color in such a cute design, and I appreciate the very limited hand sewing in your project!

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      jessyratfink

      5 months ago

      This is so good!! I would have loved one of these as a kid. :D

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      Penolopy Bulnick

      5 months ago

      These are great! So colorful :) I remember my grandma making ones like this when I was younger!