Looking to make something adorable that a child will love this Christmas? Hobby horses have been played with for centuries and this sweet reindeer version is bound to be much loved and used at Christmas and the rest of the year too. This and other homemade Christmas gifts for children can be found in Quilt A Gift For Christmas by Barri Sue Gaudet.
You Will Need
• Brown fleece 5/8yd (0.6m) of 54in (137cm) wide
• Tan wool felt for ears 8in (20.3cm) square
• Black wool felt for nose 3in (7.6cm) square
• Green wool felt for holly 4in (10.2cm) square
• Black fabric for eyes 6in (15.2cm) square
• Two self-cover buttons for eyes 7/8in (2.2cm) diameter
• Freezer paper
• Large bag of stuffing 1lb (450g)
• Four pipe cleaners
• Long tweezers
• Ribbon ½in (1.3cm) wide x 3yd (2¾m)
• Buttons: two brown 1in (2.5cm) and two red ½in (1.3cm)
• Bells: four gold and two red each 1in (2.5cm)
• Wood dowel 1in (2.5cm) diameter x 28in (71cm) (or old broomstick) sanded well
• DMC stranded cotton (floss): 433 brown, 310 black and 3777 red
• Reindeer Hobby Horse Template
Finished size of reindeer head:
18in (45.7cm) tall x 12in (30.5cm) wide
1 Sewing seams are 3/8in (1cm) for all of the reindeer’s head and ears and 1/8in (3mm) for the antlers. Begin by tracing on the solid line one each of the reindeer head/neck, back of head/neck, ear, nose and antler shapes on to freezer paper. The solid line is the cutting line and the dashed lines are sewing lines.
2 With the brown fleece doubled, wrong sides together, press the freezer paper shapes on to the fleece. Use pins to hold the paper temporarily while you cut the shapes. Cut two head/necks, two back of head/necks, two ears and four antlers. Cut one nose from black wool felt and two ears from tan felt.
3 With right sides together on the head/neck piece sew the dart at the nose on both head/neck shapes. Use your sewing machine’s reverse stitch to anchor well.
4 With right sides together, pin the head/neck pieces and sew the centre front seam from top of the head to bottom of the neck. With right sides together, sew the centre back seam of the back of the head/neck pieces.
5 With right sides together, sew a fleece ear to a tan felt ear, leaving open at the bottom. Turn right side out. With brown stranded cotton, turn the sides of the ear bottoms to the centre of the ear bottom and hand stitch in place. Repeat for the other ear. Pin the ears right sides to the head/neck front (in between the Xs marked on the template) with tan wool felt to the right side of the fleece.
6 With right sides together, sew the antlers with a 1?8in (3mm) seam. Leave open where shown for turning. Clip the inside of the curves. Turn the antlers right side out and then whipstitch the opening closed. Take small bits of stuffing and stuff into each ‘finger’ of antler so there is at least ½in (1.3cm) of stuffing in each. Bend the top of two pipe cleaners over by ½in (1.3cm). Stick the bent end of the pipe cleaner into the centre finger of both of the three-fingered antlers. Finish stuffing the antler until it is stiff. Leave ¾in (2cm) free of stuffing at the bottom. Repeat for the other antler.
7 With right sides together, pin the antlers at the circle marked on the head/neck piece. My antlers were pinned so the three fingers were pointing out from the centre seam. With right sides together and matching centre seams, pin the head/neck to the back of head/ neck, making sure the antlers and ears are inside. Start at the centre seam and sew from the top centre to the bottom. Repeat for the other side.
8 To make the eyes, use the self-cover buttons and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to cover with black fabric. Using a scrap of fleece, sew on the buttons, with the fleece on the wrong side for extra strength. Sew well with six strands of black stranded cotton.
9 Stuff the head well with stuffing just to the jaw. I used a rubber band to hold the stuffing inside for the next steps. Pin the nose in place and whipstitch with three strands of black stranded cotton.
10 Cut two ribbons each 8in (20.3cm) long. Pin the ribbons in place for the bridle around the mouth. With one strand of red stranded cotton, whipstitch the ribbon. Trim the ends where they meet. Cut one ribbon for the bridle and reins 2¼yd (2m) long. Mark the centre of the ribbon at 40½in (103cm). Pin the centre of the ribbon to the centre back seam where shown. Using pins, bring both sides of the ribbon around the reindeer head to the ribbon around the mouth. Where the ribbon meets, fold the ribbon for the reins so it points back and then anchor with a pin. Leave the reins free for now. Whipstitch the ribbon in place around the head with red stranded cotton. Stack a red button on top of a brown button and with six strands of red sew in place where all the ribbons meet.
11 Cut two holly leaves from green wool felt. Sew two red bells to the holly ends. Sew in place at an antler with six strands of red.
12 Remove the rubber band and trim the neck edges even. Turn up the neck edges to the inside by 1½in (3.8cm). Working with six strands of brown and starting with a 9in (22.9cm) tail, work running stitch around the neck edge 1¼in (3.2cm) from the turned edge. Leave a 9in (22.9cm) tail at the end.
13 Stick the length of dowel into the reindeer head as far as it will go and stuff well all around the dowel to hold it in the middle of the reindeer neck. When you cannot stuff anymore, tighten the thread and squeeze glue into the neck for extra hold. Secure and tie off the thread. Set the reindeer aside until the glue dries.
14 Cut a 12in (30.5cm) length of ribbon. Sew three bells to the ribbon, spaced from the centre about 1¼in (3.2cm) apart. Place glue on the strip around the neck edge where knotted. Tie the ribbon to the reindeer neck on top of the glue and trim the ends. Sew the last bell on top of the knot and allow to dry. Tie the reins together at a comfortable distance, tie into a bow and then trim the ends to finish.