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Making a Recycled Rocking Horse Carousel Decoration

Category Decor
This is a guide about making a recycled rocking horse carousel decoration. When you keep your mind open to what others see as trash, you may be able to recycle and create a special decoration.


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26 found this helpful
February 20, 2011

I found a broken child's rocking horse discarded on the curb for trash pick up. This is how I gave new life to an old horse.

Approximate Time: 1 week, on and off



This horse came from the older style rocking horse set with springs that the child rocks back and forth on. I didn't know how I was going to transform it into a carousal horse, I just knew I wanted to try it.

  1. I removed all the hardware until the horse stood on it's own.
  2. I then sanded the entire horse until I had it down to it's original plastic color, which in this case, was white. I had never done this before so the entire project was "learn as I go".
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  4. With a light grade of sandpaper, I rubbed all the scratches and dings until they virtually disappeared. This type of horse is attached to a frame so it already had holes on each side of the head (where the handles were) and a large hole in the stomach area (where it is attached to the frame). It was also equipped with metal stirrups and I saved these to reinsert. They were dull from wear so I just painted them silver to shine again. I covered the holes on the sides of the head with two metal disks that were the perfect size (They are the western type you use making raw hide beaded keychains).
  5. I primed the entire horse and then painted it. I was very pleased with the results and gave it two coatings of varnish.
  6. I took a wood closet pole I already had and screwed a finial to one end. I then painted the whole thing gold.
  7. I drilled a hole in the center on top of the horse to insert the pole. I had flat metal brackets in my garage "what-nots" collection and used them to attach pole to bottom of horse. I just bent one end up and screwed it into the pole. The other end of the bracket, I screwed into the inside of the horse, using small bolts and nuts. It was sturdy and firm.
  8. I wanted to place the horse on my screened-in back porch and decided to use a cedar planter I had hanging around in my garage. It was heavy and sturdy and worked well. I drilled a hole in the bottom, halfway down, inserted the pole and screwed it to the planter.
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  10. I change the flowers in the planter to go with the seasons and holidays.

Keep your mind open to items others discard. It's true that one man's junk is another's treasure!

By Mary from Palm Coast, FL

Comment Was this helpful? 26
February 24, 20110 found this helpful

What a great idea! Now I'll probably never see one of these at the curb again, now that I know what to do with it! LOL! Thanks!

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February 25, 20110 found this helpful

What a beautiful job you did. It looks wonderful!

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February 26, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you all for your feedbacks. Hope someone comes across one of these and gives it a try. Would love to see it!

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February 27, 20110 found this helpful

You did a beautiful job! You must give yourself a pat on the back for a great job.

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March 6, 20110 found this helpful

That is so neat! To be able to recycle your child's rocking horse and keep it around after your child is grown is neat. Even finding one on the curb is great. Lets all start looking at every ones junk. LOL

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April 10, 20110 found this helpful

That is beautiful! What a smart idea!

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June 19, 20130 found this helpful

Wow!I love this~ My husband found this post the other day and told me about it! We had gotten one missing a spring free at a yard sale a while back so he wants to do this but I wanted to find out what kind of paint you used. Thanks! :)

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February 4, 20140 found this helpful

I would like to purchase one of these for my little girl's 1st bday. Does anyone know where I can get one of these less expensive ones made of plastic?

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January 9, 20150 found this helpful

Mary, I know that I am reading your post quite a number of years since it was originally posted, but, I just want to thank you for posting the picture and instructions on how you "upcycled" a castaway child's rocking horse into a beautiful carousel horse.

I have wanted a carousel horse for many years and now even more so that I have instructions to make an affordable one. Now, I just have to find an affordable rocking horse so that I can fulfill my "want". Again, Thank you!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 9, 20150 found this helpful

I love Carousel Horses. Just something about them. What a fabulous thing to do with an old horse. Absolutely beautiful!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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