How to Make a Carousel Horse

Written by yuliya prilepina
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How to Make a Carousel Horse
Carousel horse hanging on its pole. (carousel image by Natalia Bratslavsky from

A carousel horse is an excellent addition to any collection. With the help of modern technology, almost anyone can now create a realistic reproduction of this beautiful work of art. All you need is the ability to manipulate a paint brush, drill and glue gun. You can then make and decorate any kind of carousel horse you wish.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Mold of carousel horse--full size, half size or small
  • Soap, water and cleaning cloths
  • Paint brush
  • Paint sprayer
  • White base enamel paint
  • Decorative coloured paints
  • Clear sealer
  • Glue gun and glue
  • Drill and bit
  • Metal clothes hangers

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  1. 1

    Purchase the size and style of horse you want. The largest ones are typically 65 inches tall. Clean your horse with soap and water before you begin. Make sure you dry it thoroughly. Remove the handles from the horse's head.

    How to Make a Carousel Horse
    Cleaning up your horse is important before you start making your carousel horse. (carroussel image by Jacques PALUT from
  2. 2

    Find a place to hang the horse where you can paint it. Take the metal clothes hangers, and insert them in the holes where the handles used to be. Sprinkle the horse with a base white with a spray enamel. Make it as smooth as possible, and avoid causing runs. Put two coats of enamel on your horse, which enables you to paint a colour of your choice without the original coat showing through.

    How to Make a Carousel Horse
    Spraying your horse with a base white is an essential part of the process. (carousel horse image by Mat Hayward from
  3. 3

    Select the colours you want for your horse's body and mane. Some people like to recreate the look of a traditional, carved wooden horse. You can purchase special paints that enable you to imitate a wood surface. Choose the colours for your saddle, bridle and accessories when you are finished choosing the body and mane paints.

    How to Make a Carousel Horse
    Choose the colours for your horse before you start painting it. (carousel horses image by Debbie Torkelson from
  4. 4

    Paint your horse, beginning with the mane and tail. A technique known as dry brushing is most efficient in painting these areas. Paint the hooves and the shoes in your chosen colour. Sink the brush in the paint and then unload it to a cloth, adding one layer at a time until you get the appropriate effect.

    How to Make a Carousel Horse
    Paint the hooves and the shoes of your horse. (George the roundabout horse image by Shirley Hirst from
  5. 5

    Continue with the accent portions. Paint the bridle first, then move on to the saddle area, using the colours of your choice. Paint the round part of the eyes--starting from the inner corner to the centre--with either black or dark brown. Then, paint a white crescent-like shape at the top of the horse's eye.

    How to Make a Carousel Horse
    Paint the saddle area to help decorates your horse. (carousel image by david hughes from
  6. 6

    Spray a clear sealer over the horse to protect the paint when all the paint has thoroughly dried. Cover the top, sides and bottom evenly with the sealer. Use a hot glue gun to fasten wooden plugs over the handle holes and the holes where the springs were originally located.

    How to Make a Carousel Horse
    Use a hot glue gun to glue wooden plugs over the holes. (Hot glue gun isolated image by Marek Kosmal from
  7. 7

    Attach the horse to the pole. Make a hole in the saddle and belly with the help of a drill and bit. Slide the horse onto the pole and decide where you want to set the horse up. Drill a hole into the pole so that you can put in a screw to keep your horse in position. Use the drill and bit again to make a hole in the base. Set the pole onto the base with a 3-inch lag screw going firmly through the base and into the pole. Select the colour stain of your preference. You should always do this after you put the clear sealer on the horse. Finally, decorate your horse.

    How to Make a Carousel Horse
    Attaching the horse to the pole is the final step of the process. (carousel horses vertical image by ryasick from

Tips and warnings

  • Be as creative as you can with your horse.
  • Be careful when embellishing your horse, because it can become messy if you don't take care.

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