I’m sharing with you a candy cane Christmas ornament that has been in my family for three generations. There are great candy cane choices that include the traditional peppermint, chocolate, and famous fruit candy flavors (Jolly Rancher, Sweetarts, Starburst…). These candy cane stick horses add some sweet whimsy to your tree and give you a cute way to continue the old hospitable custom of offering visitors a “sugarplum” from your tree.
Supplies for candy cane Christmas ornament
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To make this candy cane hobby horse you will need felt, baker’s twine or other similar cord for hanging, trimmings for mane, and notions for eyes.
- Size 14 sewing machine needle
- Zig zag foot
- Matching thread
- Sewing marking pen or chalk
- Parchment paper
- Felt: a 12-inch by 9-inch rectangle will make 4 horse heads. Three felt pieces will give you a dozen felt hobby horse ornaments.
- Baker’s twine, ¼ or ½” satin ribbon, or tinsel metallic cord. You will need 4 inches for each horse.
- Trim: Each mane takes about 5 inches of trim. I used pom-pom trim, plastic gemstones on a strip, and ½ inch wide rick rack.
- Eyes: 3/8 inch buttons or sticky back googly eyes (3/8 or 5/8 inch) or 3/8 inch sequins.
- Other notions: I found little red jingle bells to stitch on. You may find buttons, charms, beads, or other notions to dress up your candy cane Christmas ornament horses.
- For 12 horses: 3 felt, 48 inches baker’s twine, 12 buttons, 60 inches trim
- Download and print out the pattern for the head. Check the dimensions with a candy cane to make sure it will fit inside.
- Trace the pattern on parchment paper and cut out. You can use this pattern to pin to the felt. If you are working with children, it may be easier to make a cardboard pattern to trace on the felt with a sewing marking pen or chalk.
- Cut out two heads from felt. I had one felt that was sparkly on one side, so I had to be careful that the heads would fit together to have sparkle on the outside.
- Attach the eye to the head piece, 1 to 1 ½ inches from the nose and ½ inch from the forehead. Sew on a button, attach a sequin with blanket stitch and French knot, or press on a googly eye.
- Cut a 4 inch piece of baker’s twine. Fold in half and tie an overhand knot in the ends.
- Put a new needle in the sewing machine and thread to match the felt. Set the machine for a narrow zig zag and short stitch length. Place the knot of the twine about 1 inch down from the tip of the ear, so that the loop will get caught by stitching. Sandwich the heads. Carefully stitch two heads together stitching very close the edge. Leave the bottom edge open.
- OR you can assemble the head without a loop. Thread a hand needle with a double length of thread. Sew into the top of the head and make a thread loop two inches long.
- Place the trim on the edge of the head, starting at the bottom of the ear. Zig zag into place.
- Hand sew any additional trims.
- Insert a candy cane and hang on your tree!
- OR If you don’t want to sew, you can use Tacky Glue or hot glue to assemble the horse and decorate.
- Candy cane stories from Why Christmas?
- DIY Felt stick horses from Lia Griffith
- 14 candy cane crafts from Woman’s Day
Let’s talk story
I love childhood Christmas-y things on the tree: angels, Santas, teddy bears, and toy horses. This was a craft my mother did with me when I was a child. She taught my Brownie troop how to embroider, and those stitches made it into the little horses. I made some with my daughters that we still hang on the Christmas tree. We made them with glue, no sewing. I’m happy to make this candy cane Christmas ornament now for my grandsons’ trees and hope you will add them to your tree, too.
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