An easy horse inspired DIY

When I was younger, to say I was horse obsessed would have been the understatement of the decade. I lived and breathed horses, I just didn’t own one or get to ride that often. But I read horsey books, magazines, I even had horsey pen pals (back before the digital age). I knew all the breeds, I knew how to measure a horse’s height in “hands”.

I didn’t have posters from boy bands on the walls of my bedroom. Nope, I had horse posters…I was obsessed. There really wasn’t anything about horses that I didn’t like. My favourite breed was (and still is) the shire, and at some point, I plan on getting a rescue one. But that day is still far in the future but every now and then I do think about it and smile. So, for now, I will have to content myself with daydreams and this horse DIY. 

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My riding was pretty much centred around Sunnybrook Stables and I went as often as I could. But there was one other time I got to ride, and it was by far my favourite…and that was when we visited England to see family. I was lucky enough to go every two years when I was younger, and each time we would head up to Scotland to see my mum’s oldest sister Margaret. She lived on a farm which was my ultimate happy place.

Riding school

That’s my Auntie Margaret with her horse and trap (back in the day). I remember back in grade six, we had an assignment where we had to write about our role model(s). I dutifully set to work and completed my report, (I was a nerd and I say that as something I am proud of not as a negative). When it was my turn to present, I launched into an explanation of my two role models…Dr. Jane Goodall and Auntie Margaret. Everyone else had done reports on people from Hollywood or athletes. My teacher even questioned me on my choices, but I was adamant…my role models were as stated in my report!

horse and trap

Auntie Margaret was the epitome of amazing. She was a strong woman, living on a farm, surrounded by horses and dogs, living in Scotland. In my eyes, that was pretty much the coolest thing ever. I loved sitting in her kitchen, as she cooked on her wood-burning stove. She also had a Soda Stream waaaaaaay before it was cool over this side of the pond. Maybe that is the seed that bloomed into my love of the farmhouse style. Stay tuned as I slowly remake my house into my own little piece of farmhouse heaven. I’m not sure, but our visits to Scotland definitely had a profound effect on me.

Just looking at this picture makes me smile. Honestly, it makes me feel at peace and I wish I was there. I would wake up bright and early and walk down to the paddocks to see the horses. Or I’d be in the stables helping to muck out the stalls, or in the kennels helping with the dogs. We would also visit the moors when we were in Scotland. I loved seeing all the heather, with its pretty dainty flowers. I have recently been gifted a little heather plant which was amazing. It’s definitely not a plant you see in a lot of North American gardens but it’s one you should consider adding. If you want to know why and also how to grow heaths and heathers you can check this post out.

Horses in Scotland

Now the second part of this story is that my mother is a hoarder of things from my (and my sister’s) childhood. In one of my “boxes”, there was a plastic model of Secretariat, it was something I cherished when I was younger. Would I still have it if she had given it to me when I moved out? Probably not. But when she brought it over recently, in all honesty, I set it aside and forgot about it for a bit.

Then I developed this love of copper/rose gold and came across some spray paint. Somewhere in my head, the thought process went like this “Secretariat + Copper Rose Spray Paint = AMAZING HORSE DIY”. You could do this with just about anything you cherish from your childhood. I’m picturing a dinosaur for some reason or to some cool piece you found at a garage sale. The possibilities are endless! So let’s begin…

The Necessities

  • A cherished hard toy or other object
  • Spray paint in your choice of colour
  • Some newspaper
  • Synthetic steel wool 

Let’s get started!

The Hubby suggested I use the synthetic steel wool to scuff up the surface of horse. It’s important not to use something too rough or you are going to leave marks that will show up as soon as you start spray painting. Luckily The Hubby had some medium Mastercraft synthetic steel wool on hand that he uses to maintain his snowboard and he was willing to share. I also found similar synthetic steel wool on amazon that would work just fine. So I set to work, gently removing the top layer of paint to help the spray paint stick.

horse DIY

I gave the whole horse a once over and then gave it a quick rinse to remove any residue and set it aside to dry.

horse DIY

Then it was time to get down to painting! I set myself up on the deck (which we are getting rid of very soon), put down some newspaper and got to work. The Hubby was quick to point out that it is best to do this on a day when there isn’t much wind, which is good advice.

horse DIY

I have the horse a nice thin coat on the sides and top and then left it to dry overnight (I carefully brought it back inside). Then the next day I was able to spray the belly, I then left it to dry for a bit and brought it back in overnight. On the third day, I gave a complete once overcoat and left it to dry until I could pick it up without the paint being tacky. I probably could have. done it quicker but when I first sprayed the paint I noticed it felt quite tacky (sticky) and wanted to make sure it had enough drying time so that I didn’t leave any marks. All in all, this really is a quick DIY but I am over the moon with the results.

horse DIY

I really think my little horse DIY turned out quite good. It’s the perfect addition for my farmhouse bedroom makeover!

horse DIY

Happy crafting! Are you going to attempt your own horse DIY? Do you have another childhood memento you would use instead? Does your mum hoard your old things too?