Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

I’ve added to my collection of horse show awards:

This includes trophies, silver plates and statues.

This is kind of a tutorial, but like many of my “tutorials” it’s more of a creative-process type post. I’ve stuck it under Tutorials anyway, and I will try to explain how I made each one as best I can!

Starting with the easiest, the silver plates.

These were made from large buttons.

The holes were covered with circles of cardstock, then the entire thing was covered with silver alcohol ink. (I love this stuff) Here they are with their first coat:

These usually have some sort of engraving in the center, but I left mine plain as I didn’t trust myself to free-hand a design. One way to put a custom design in the center would be to print on a clear label sheet, cut it to size and stick it on.
The gold stands were bent from wire, after doing a quick google search on plate stands. 🙂

Next, the gold horse:

The base was cut and sanded to shape from a piece of craft wood, then stained with watered down paint. The gold piece was cut from the edge of a Rio-Rondo parts sheet.

The horse is a H0/model railroad scale horse, painted gold.

The horse bust was my attempt at making a “bronze” statue.

The head was also made from a H0 scale horse. I had a duplicate of this one so off went it’s head!

This was difficult and potentially dangerous SO please be careful if you’re going to try this yourself. A mini whinny would be easier to cut through, I think. (or sculpt one if you’re feeling brave!)

The base was cut from a square dowel using a mitre box. (which is another new favorite thing!)

I mixed up a blob of magic sculpt to even out the bottom, and once that was cured, covered it in paint.

The “bronze” coloring was made by mixing brown and metallic gold paint together, dry brushed over a black layer. There are probably a dozen better ways to do it – this is just an attempt from what I had on hand. The gold piece was cut from a large gold sequin instead of the metal this time.

Next, the trophies. Ohhh… those darned trophies… >_<

The bases were cut from wood…

Then covered with holographic-patterned paper I printed up off the internet. A metallic scrapbook or wrapping paper might look better, but like I said I was trying to use what I had! 🙂 I covered the pattern with a piece of clear packing tape before wrapping it around each piece.

All of the other pieces – the bases and toppers – were sculpted from black polymer clay. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos showing this, as the pieces were super tiny and super fiddly and my patience was wearing thin. Once they were baked I glued them all together with drops of E6000, hoped they would stay glued together, then covered them with a coat of gold ink.

Last, but not least, the trophy cup.

The shape of the cup was made by wrapping polymer clay around a sharpie. I wrapped that in foil beforehand, so I could slide it off easier, then left the foil in the cup until after it was baked.

There was a second cup made around the larger mascara tube, but it didn’t turn out very well. 😛

I added two handles and a (somewhat lopsided) base afterward, then painted the entire thing silver once it was baked. It was a pain to sculpt though. Next time, I think I’ll hunt down a plastic doll trophy and repaint that instead! XD

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Mini Brushes

I’ve neglected the grooming kit project for ages, but finally have another few pieces to add to it:


Like the posts I’ve done on the mane brushes and hoof picks, this isn’t quite a tutorial. Also, these things are extremely tedious to make, but I think the end result is worth it.

For the bristles, I used some cheap hair extensions I bought off of ebay.


I used a popsicle stick to sketch out the size, then used an exacto blade and sandpaper to get the shape I wanted.


This is a pin vise – it’s a hand held drill that allows me to drill different sizes of holes, depending on the bit used.


I used this to drill multiple holes in the wood, being careful not to go too deep. A lot of the splintering I was able to sand away later, but I found it hard to avoid.


To add the bristles, I would cut off a length of hair in the amount I wanted, then trim one edge flush.


I added a bit of glue to the end and stuck it inside one of the holes, working from one end to the other.


This really was the most frustrating part. Synthetic hair is quite slippery and the tacky glue I was using didn’t set fast enough. I did end up switching to Fabri-Tac and that worked out a lot better. Fabri-Tac is what I like to call the “cold” hot glue, as it sets fast and is very tacky. (unfortunately it also comes with those annoying glue strings/”cobwebs”) It was definitely a trial and error thing though.

Eventually I got the entire piece covered:


After letting it set for a bit, I trimmed down the bristles. The wood got a coat of varnish and I added a scrap leather strap across the top:


The others were made pretty much the same way, but I did experiment with different shapes and thicknesses of wood. The brown one was made using an old paintbrush instead of the hair. It’s very soft while the others are more stiff. (hey like full-size brushes, woohoo!)



I’d like to experiment with different materials, and I have tons of hair left over so I’m sure I’ll be making more in the future!


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Miniature Hoof Picks

Hoof picks were next on the list of things to make for the grooming kit. I ended up making four different styles since I couldn’t decide on just one.

While these are less tedious than the brushes, they’re still very small and fiddly and require quite a bit of patience. 😛


The easiest way to make a basic hoof pick is from a paperclip. I use the colored plastic-coated ones but they can also be made from the plain ones as well. When I was younger I would make them from the silver clips, then dip the “handle” into paint to give it color.


To remove the excess plastic, take a pair of scissors or your wire cutters and gently score around the clip. You want to cut through the plastic, not the metal. It doesn’t take much pressure and can be pulled off once it’s cut through.


Bend the top into shape, cut off the excess and ta-da! A tiny hoofpick.


I like to take mine a step further and flatten out the actual pick. I’ll do this by leaving the top unbent and flatten the wire with a hammer. Because I don’t have an anvil of sorts, I use a second hammer underneath. Also, don’t smash your fingers like I usually do.


Another way is to bend the clip into shape, then hammer it over an edge… if that makes sense…


The difference is subtle but I prefer it over leaving them round:


To make the other styles, I started off by sketching them out on a piece of scratch paper first. They measure about 3/4 of an inch tall, so drawing them beforehand helped me keep them the same size.


The first thing I did was make the metal picks. These were made from a long piece of wire, again, flattened with a hammer beforehand.


Using my drawings as a guide, I bent and cut down each pick to size, leaving excess to attach to the handle.


I found that cutting out my sketches and using them as a template was a lot easier than trying to draw them again. I used Sculpey polymer clay for these, rolled out thin, but not thin enough to have the wire poking through.

Using the template, I cut two of the horse head shape…


Then stacked them together, sandwiching the wire piece inbetween.


I used my sculpting/dotting tools to smooth out the edges, seams and add some detail.


I also made sure to add a little hollow in the back, for the bristles to go in later:


The red and purple hoof picks were made in a very similar way:


I added a small groove here before sticking the wire inside:


This one was lightly textured with sandpaper before baking, but it didn’t show up very well.


Here’s the purple one. I just now realized that the pick is facing the wrong way, AGH. Pay attention to reference pictures, hahaha.


Once they had baked and cooled, I gave them a coat of matte varnish. (which still looks glossy, urgh) The red and blue needed bristles, and those were attached by filling the little hollow with glue, then gluing bits of an old paintbrush inside.


I found it easiest to pull a small bunch away from the paintbrush, cut it off (somewhere along the red line here) and glue that cut end into the hollow.


Once completely dry, cut the bristles down to size and they’re done!




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