Great news! Hunky Hanoverian’s amazing guest blogger Joanne is back with an awesome tutorial- and just in time for Christmas! She’s really outdone herself this time with a totally adorable equestrian themed necked hanger, the perfect DIY gift for barn mates and trainers alike. See below for step by step instructions!
By: Joanne Scott
Shopping for barn friends is one of the hardest Christmas tasks. It’s like that Little Mermaid song…
Looking around here you think
Sure, she’s got everything (from Dover Saddlery)
I’ve got gadgets (clippers) and gizmos a-plenty (double-ended snaps)
I’ve got whozits (polo wraps) and whatzits (lead ropes) galore
You want thingamabobs (saddle pads)?
I’ve got twenty!
Step away from the generic tack shop gift card and grab some materials from the barn or your garage, and head home for a quick afternoon of DIY. This customized necklace hanger is the perfect gift for that hard to shop for friend!
Piece of wood
Twine, string, or baling wire
As previously mentioned, I’m a total DIY hoarder so I had all of these items on hand except for the specific color of paint I needed and the horse shoes. Oh, what kind of horse owner doesn’t have shoes on hand? This gal right here, who has a collection of shoes displayed below right from her mare who battled mechanical laminitis this spring. Pretty they are not!
I picked up some cheap shoes from Tractor Supply and a sample paint can from my local home improvement store. Total investment was under $10.
I always have spare wood laying around the garage, so I clamped a piece onto a dresser I’m refinishing and used a circular saw to trim to size. Be sure to “dry fit” your shoes to make sure you’re allowing ample space. Important note! If you don’t have clamps, a saw, and a random dresser “work table,” most home improvement stores will make cuts for a nominal fee.
To create the hanger, you have a couple of options…
- Drill two holes equidistance from the top opposite corners and thread the twine through.
- No drill? You can staple the string to the top of the wood, then tie or knot as desired.
- Feeling fancy? Pick up some picture hangers from your home improvement store to attach to the back for a hidden hanging solution.
Use your paint sample to apply two coats of paint to the wood. Alternatively, you could use stain or spray paint. I’ve found painting with a brush gives a smooth finish – and I was really excited to use this light purple paint that I knew my barn friend would love! Be sure to let each coat to dry completely before starting the next coat – this was not an issue here in Texas, since it was close to 80 during this December project.
While your wood is drying, set to work trimming your photos to fit each horse shoe. My barn friend’s horses Tessa, Leo, and Tobey are featured! For a size 0 shoe, I used a 4×6 photo. This allowed for a close up of the head without white space on the inside of the shoe. Trace the outer edge of the horse shoe onto the photo, then cut.
When the wood is completely dry, lay out your horse shoes and photos, taking care to space evenly side to side and top to bottom.
Hammer your first nail through each top hole of the shoe until the nail head meets the shoe. These are your anchor nails.
The remaining holes should be filled with nails left about an inch tall, to allow for jewelry hanging.
If you haven’t already attached your twine, string, or baling wire, do so now!
The beauty of this project, aside from its price tag, is that it is totally customizable. You can use new shoes or used shoes. Want to spice up the shoes? Spray paint! Have more than 3 horses? Select a longer piece of wood and more photos. (Barn friend has so many that I picked her “top three” for this project – otherwise her board would be too long for photos!) You can also leave off the photos, as shown in the header photo, for a simpler look. Oh! Your barn buddies don’t wear jewelry? Just leave off the extra nails and gift a super cute, customized picture collage!
Now – grab that hammer and create your barn friend’s new favorite present!