Thanks to this awesome post I came across from Talking Trash and Wasting Time, it gave me a great idea to make Hobby (or stick) Dragons! I’ve seen the hobby horses before, of course, but most of them looked so silly and fake to me. When I saw her idea redone for dragons I was hooked. I ended up making a bunch of these for birthday and Christmas gifts this year and thought I would share a tutorial on how to do them.
Now, I’m not really a tutorial type of person, so I don’t have pictures of every step along the way, and the pictures I do have are from all the different dragons I made so the colors and shapes jump around. But there are a lot of tutorials out there for hobby horses so I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out anything I left out or is a little confusing.
Your going to need: Material of your choice (I made some dragons out of fleece, others out of cotton with a sparkly mesh overlay). Fleece for spikes, nostrils, eyes, and teeth. A 3/4″ wooden dowel that is 4′ long. A glue gun. And lastly, some embroidery floss, thick thread, string, etc to tie the horses head on.
The first thing I did was lay out my fabric, folded over, and I cut out a dragon (or horse) shaped head. Since you folded it over, you should have two pieces the same size. You can use a template (the one pictured was cut out of 11×14 construction paper) but I found it easier to free hand it and I love that each dragon I made is a little bit different for each of the kids I made them for. (And some advice, make sure your fabric is facing the right way when you cut. The crowns on the one above all ended up being upside down on this dragon. Oops.)
You also want to cut out whatever you want to do for spikes (or fire) at this time. Lay one piece of your horses head down, fabric side up. Place you spikes, facing down, on top of your fabric. Likewise, if you decided to make some fire coming out of your dragon’s mouth, put that down facing inwards as well. Lastly, place the second piece you cut on top, wrong side facing up. In the picture above, instead of felt spikes I used tulle.
I suggest pinning everything together so things don’t shift inside. Then just sew along the edges leaving the very bottom of your dragon open. Hem the bottom edge up to prevent unraveling.
Turn your dragon inside out and admire how cool those spikes look! (Sorry for the dark photo, I did a lot of these at night once the kids went to sleep). For the one above, I didn’t hem the bottom but it ended up starting to unravel while I was working with it so I hemmed the bottom edge on all the rest of the dragons at the same time.
Now cut out your face peices from different colored felt. You can get away with only using black and white if you don’t have different colors, but most of my dragons ended up with blue eyes.
Now here’s where I took the short cut for crafting and broke out my glue gun. You could hand sew the eyes and nostrils on, but I’m not that talented and trying would have taken me hours. Instead I just used the hot glue to put the eyes together, and then glue the face onto the dragon. I didn’t put any teeth on the one above that has fire.
Now the fun part my kids liked helping me with, stuffing it! Stuff your dragon head up to the head. When it’s stuffed full and just to the neck take a little break. Here’s the part I didn’t get a picture of but here’s a great tutorial on youtube that’s generally what I did. I put some stuffing on the end of my dowel to pad it and wrapped extra fabric over it. This helps prevent the dowel from sticking out the top of your dragon over time with rough play. The tutorial shoes thread, grooves, and a lot more work then I did with mine. I just hot glued the fabric on the dowel instead of doing thread. It’s inside the dragon so I don’t expect this to come loose since it won’t be played with directly.
After that, stick your now padded dowel inside the dragon head (It shouldn’t go all the way to the top since you already put some stuffing inside the dragon head). Finish stuffing your dragon the rest of the way, leaving about a one inch gap at the top. Hot glue all around the dowel and push the fabric down on the glue until it holds tight. Now take your embroidery floss and tie a knot around the bottom to secure. I wrapped it around the dowel with a drop of hot glue to hold it all together, making a nice, tight binding.
And that’s it. The finished one above was a birthday present for a friend. I’ve made five all together and they all came out just a little different. I had so much fun making these. If you try it yourself let me know how it goes!