Saturday, May 17, 2014


Several months ago, as in way before spring break, a coworker, Johanna, asked me to refinish a rocking horse for her first grandchild. She gave me free creative reign to do whatever I wanted, which was really nice. She only requested a fleur de lis somewhere on the horse and neutral colors. Way past spring break, I was finally able to get started on the project. Since then, I have been doing a coat here, a coat there- slowly getting the horsie finished. It is now mid-May and complete! Good things take a lot of time, right? :)

We started with a blank slate. Johanna's husband made some repairs to the horse before we got it. Todd sanded it over spring break...

... and then I primed it and painted it with a gorgeous cream called Belle Grove Antique White by Valspar in Satin finish.

I used scrapbooking paper with a gold, cream and black color scheme to create a design on the back of the horse, the bottom "treads" and the handles. I used Mod Podge to adhere the paper and even more to create a protective layer on top.

Since Johanna requested a fleur de lis somewhere on the horse, I purchased two fleur de lis wood pieces from the craft store and painted them with a Martha Stewart metallic acrylic paint in Black Nickel. I used superglue to stick them to the sides of the horse. I like how the golds accent the fancy fleur de lis! I also like how the fleur de lis that I selected is rounder in shape, creating a more child-like vibe. 

For the hair, I used ribbon. I found a canvas ribbon and a gold glitter one. I used gold plated nails to attach the ribbon for the horse's mane. For the tail, I also used ribbon. I looped the ribbon instead of having the cut ends showing because I didn't want to deal with hemming the edges.

Since there was a huge hole left by the previous hair, I superglued a large wooden button on top. 

To finish it off, I used a spray polyurethane (before applying the ribbon). Here is the final product:

If you enjoyed this project, check out the Rocking Zebra we did two years ago:


  1. This is amazing, Lindsey! It's so beautiful, magical, and charming.

  2. It is absolutely stunning friend!! WOW! I think that you should be selling these! That piece is something that I would treasure for a lifetime!!! A wonderful weekend to you! Nicole xo

  3. Quite a transformation, Lindsey! I love the neutral palette you chose. I am sure she (and her grandchild) will love it. Thanks for sharing the materials you used. I love that ribbon and the paper.
    Lisa :-)

  4. Hello Lindsey,
    That rocking horse must be so happy you got your hands on him. What a magnificent transformation. It is so beautiful and so unique. A great big bravo my friend.
    Big hug,

  5. This is so cute! My daughter would love that... me too =) Hannah

  6. The ribbon hair is such a creative touch. I love the scrapbook paper too. It's so cute. The zebra is fantastic!


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