A long time ago, before Hurricane Katrina ever tried to wipe out New Orleans, I came across a family's Halloween idea site. One of the many ideas I loved about this site was the horseman idea the King family posted: "Create this neat prop by using a child's horse. Paint it all black, eyes painted white, and stick a skeleton on the saddle. Then attach real rope to the face and use a child's size grim reaper costume." The idea stuck with me for some time and I kept it filed away in the back of my head. (The family that runs the site lost EVERYTHING when Katrina blew through.)
Then I discovered Craftster. A fabulous post over here caught my eye, on how to turn a child's bounce horse into a carousel horse. And somehow in the twisted confines of my head, these two projects combined to form a carousel My Little Halloween Pony.
I bought this used for $10, because the dowel for the handles on the top of the head was missing. I removed the American Flyer frame and was going to put it out for the metal scrappers, but a man came past our house, recognized it for what it was and asked me if he could have it.
He legitimately seemed surprised that I gave it to him. The horse was standard black and very dirty. The dowel where the stirrups hang was starting to rot.
Primed in our driveway. I used Rustoleum Extra Cover Primer, Rust Control flat black for the quick and dirty spray jobs I did on the mane and tail, and Textured grey spray paint for the body. Unfortunately, it wasn't as textured as I was hoping. I was originally concerned that the details in the saddle (it's just a blow mold plastic horse) would disappear once primed, but that wasn't the case here.
Umbrella base for support from Ace Hardware, a wooden dowel, a random furniture leg from Home Depot, and some PVC pipe fittings. The saddle area is still primer, but the rest of the horse has it's first coats of paint.
In our dining room at this point. The pole has been sprayed with aluminum paint, left over from my Jedi communicator project earlier this year. The first bit of detail painting has begun. Do you see the vampire bite marks on the horse's neck? It even has a little dribble of blood running down.
Done with the detail painting and the clear coats. I also went back to the mane and tail, and brushed on some blue glitter paint on the top parts of the hair to catch the light, kind of like highlights. I also ran a thin paintbrush, dipped in the darkest black paint I had, through the deepest parts of the mane and tail, to show depth. I actually ended up being quite happy with how some of the paint crackled and ran, once the clear coat was applied. In some places, it looks like veins. The umbrella base is a little larger than the dowel, so I have to finagle it into place to make it stand straight.
I purposely drilled the holes for the pole through the middle of the saddle, instead of more towards the front. We have some "interactive" looking props in our yard for Halloween. While we don't let anyone play with them (so no one can get hurt), we can't be there 24/7. So I wanted to avoid any parents seeing this in our yard and think, "Oh, the baby would look so cute sitting on that carousel horse. Let's put her up there and take a picture real quick!" This horse is supported on the pole with super glue, hot glue and 550 cord. While the bottom PVC fitting makes for a pretty tight fit to hold the horse up, it's not fool proof. If a parent put their kid on this, the kid will fall when the horse breaks and then they'd probably want to sue us. But, since they can't sit their kid on the saddle, problem avoided!
The finished horse of doooooooooooooooooo
oooom! To hide the hot glue mess in the saddle, I dressed it up with some ribbon I had and some flowers/leaves from the Dollar Tree.
Close up of the paint job on the saddle.