Posts Tagged ‘Traditional’

For the longest time I’ve been wanting to learn how to make better barrel or gaming reins. The easiest way to make them is with a regular three stand braid, and that looks nice enough:

But I wanted to take it further and recreate this in miniature:

Weaver Leather Barrel Reins

I did some searching on different paracord braid styles, found two tutorials that I thought would work, then made these:

I really love the result, and wanted to share how I made them with you. Keep in mind that this is not an easy complete-in-20-minutes type of project. It may take hours, and will require a lot of patience. While the braid patterns are quite simple, the tricky part is keeping the strands (in this case, 8 strands made from split embroidery floss) in order, which is hard to do, especially in miniature!

You will need:

  • Embroidery floss in two colors (you can use more than one if you’d like but two will simplify things)
  • Two 1/8″ buckles
  • Two hooks (to attach to bit shanks)
  • Two small jump rings
  • Fray Check

My hardware is from Rio Rondo, but you can definitely make this yourself from wire.

A common length for full-size barrel reins is 8 ft. In 1:9 scale, this is around 10 1/2 inches. To start, draw a 10 1/2 inch line on a piece of paper. Make a center mark at 5 1/4 inches. From the center, add two more marks at 2 cm and 4 cm. Repeat on the other side.

You will use this drawing for reference when you adjust your finished reins.

Because it’s better to have more than not enough, measure a 12 inch piece of embroidery floss, then double it to make 24 inches. Cut two of these in one color, then two in the second.

Knot together at the top, then separate the four strands. In my first attempt, I split each strand into two, so I had four strands with two colors in each – if that makes sense?

The first braid we’ll be doing is a four strand flat braid. Rather than attempt to re-explain that, HERE is a link to the tutorial I followed.

This braid is pretty easy and quick to do once you get the pattern down. Continue braiding for about 12 cm, then tie a single overhand knot.

Next, we’re going to do an 8 strand round braid. Separate your four strands, then split each one in half. For this specific color pattern, keep all of one color on the right side, and the second on the left.

Again, HERE is the tutorial I followed for the braid. This braid is also very simple, but like I said, keeping the strands separate in this scale is tricky until you get the pattern down. It’s also slow-going because it’s so small, but the end result is worth it.

Continue with this braid for about 9 cm, then tie another overhand knot. Whew!

Arrange your strands into four, like we did in the beginning, and continue with the four strand braid. When you’ve gone another 12 cm or as far as you can, knot the end and trim off any excess.

Tie two overhand knots in the round braided section, keeping them about 2 cm apart. Use your sketch for reference, and keep them loose until you have them positioned the way you want them:

Eh, close enough!

The four strand braid has a natural twist to it which is unavoidable, but really annoying in miniature. I tried to tone it down some by pressing the entire braid with an iron, and it seemed to help.

To make adding hardware easier, saturate each end of your reins with Fray Check (or something similar, regular glue should work as well) and let dry completely. Do this close to the knots on each end. Once dry, cut off the knots.

Thread on a buckle, bottom to top. (if you’re using etched hardware, bend the buckles slightly beforehand) Add your jump rings/hooks, then fold over your braid and thread it back through the buckle.

Repeat on the other side, then go back to your sketch and adjust your reins to size. You can further adjust them on a model too. Lastly, determine where you want to trim the excess braid and cover it generously in Fray Check. Trim once completely dry. Please note that this will not permanently seal your braid ends, but it will help keep them from unraveling. Excessive handling or threading them on and off the buckles will cause them to come apart, so re-apply if necessary!

Your reins are now complete!

The braid pattern can be changed up by switching the order of your threads (the links I referenced show some good examples of that) and the color combos are endless, so have fun!

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Recently I was inspired to make hay bags for my models, and have turned it into a tutorial for you all.

This time I included Traditional, Classic and Schleich sizes on the pattern. 🙂

You will need:

  • The Pattern – can’t open a PDF? Download this – it’s free!
  • Fabric (I use cotton as it’s easy to work with) + matching thread
  • 1/8 ribbon, jump rings and hook (etched or bent by hand)
  • Acrylic paint – this will be the “binding” around the edge
  • Fray Check, fabric glue (I use Fabri-Tac)
  • Iron – a flat iron can work nicely! 😉

The first step is to iron your fabric to remove all wrinkles. Cut out your pattern and trace it onto the wrong side of your fabric. The pattern includes a seam allowance – you can add this in free hand or bend back the pattern tabs, then trace again.

With Fray Check, go over the lines of the round opening, top edges of the bag and short edges of the long piece, then let dry completely. This will soak through the fabric so make sure you have something underneath! Fray Check can darken some fabrics, so it would be a good idea to test a scrap piece first.

Cut out your pieces, then fold all tabs inward and iron down. The long piece’s pattern is divided into three sections. (marked with dotted lines) Fold and iron these down, then make small cuts in the tab on each side.

Line up the top edge of the long piece with the edge of a bag piece, then glue the tabs together. I’m not using a lot of glue here – just enough to hold it in place.

Repeat with the opposite side, then glue the middle section together.

Repeat with the second bag piece. You should have an inside out hay bag when you’re finished.

Sew the bag together along the folds. You could skip this step altogether (depending on how much glue you used) but I want a little more strength here.

Trim off the excess, then flip the bag right side out. Press the edges with an iron (or your fingers!) to shape it.

Add paint around the top edges and opening for faux binding. Remember to paint the inside edges too!

Cut three pieces of ribbon about an inch long. On two of the pieces, fold a small amount over and glue down.

Fold these in half and thread on a jump ring. With the folded side on the outside of the bag, glue over the top edge.

With the third ribbon piece, fold over one end, add a jump ring and glue in place. Fold and glue the excess, then glue to the back of the bag. On real hay bags, this ring is to add extra support to the bag when it’s tied up. On the model ones it’s just an extra detail, but it could be used if you wanted to. 🙂

Your bag is finished! To make a simple hanging strap, glue a jump ring to one end of a piece of ribbon, and a hook to the other. (this one is from Rio Rondo but you could bend one out of wire if you’d like)

Fill the bag with hay (mine is a painted manila folder, cut into a bazillion tiny pieces) and hang someplace for the ponies to enjoy. 🙂

The smaller ones are made the same way.

For the Schleich size, I saturated a piece of 1/8 ribbon in Fray Check, then split it in half to get a thinner piece.

Hope you enjoy!

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Fantasia Del C and Gozosa were added to the herd a few months ago… they were my favorites of the 2017 releases (RR horses, anyway…) so I’m glad I got to add them to my overcrowded bookshelf.

In hindsight, I probably should have photographed Fantasia on a black background.

She is a bright white in person – here she is compared to Susecion:

Yay! A lot of collectors were worried she would be shaded bare plastic like some previous releases, so I’m happy to see that this isn’t the case.

One thing that does disappoint me is her forelock:

Ugh! I was so hoping that she would be tack friendly but that extra bit of sculpted hair is going to be a huge pain to work around. :/ It’s still a nice mold though… and I still love the fact that I can own plastic Eberl horses. 😀

The foal is my favorite of the two I think…

His eyes are painted a bit better than the mare’s so I’m thinking I might touch her’s up some.

Overall they’re a nice pair, and I really do love mare & foal sets. ❤

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