I’m so excited to share my first DIY project with you all!
I’ve always wanted to be craftier but was always too scared/inexperienced so it’s completely surreal to be sharing a DIY project I made up myself. Before I get into the details, I want to share my inspiration and how this unicorn really got started.
A few weeks before her birthday, I was in World Market with Ella. It was pouring down rain when we went inside, I was alone with her and Jack, and she had just been super helpful and sweet and patient for the whole experience. I decided to let her pick one thing to get as a special treat and she chose this book called Uni the Unicorn. It’s a cute story and it inspired yet another party request from her. She asked me to have a “family of unicorns” at her party. Clearly, I have a hard time saying no to her and immediately started wondering (read: panicking) how I could make that happen. My first idea was to take a big piece of cardboard and maybe try to paint a bunch of unicorns on it. But I’m a terrible artist so I thought I would look up unicorns on Google Images (my personal Pinterest) to get inspiration and see how difficult it might be to draw a unicorn. Then a unicorn bust image came up.
Then immediately, somehow, the idea of a unicorn ride on toy came into my mind. I thought of those vintage toys with the horse head attached to the stick and thought I could use this image to cut up pieces of cardboard to make my own. I went into our garage (a cardboard graveyard), and found some sturdy pieces that were also pliable enough to cut.
Here’s everything else you’ll need to make your own:
36 inch dowel rod
Gold spray paint
Hot glue gun & glue
First, I printed out the picture I found online and used it as a guide (I couldn’t just trace it because it was too small, in my opinion) to draw a unicorn bust on the cardboard.
After cutting it out, I spray painted the horn gold and painted the body white.
Then I attached the yarn. I tried this a few different ways because I wasn’t sure what would work the best. For the first try, I punched holes and the tied the yarn on but I didn’t like how the holes looked. Then I glued the yarn to pieces of paper, then glued the paper to the head. This was tedious but the yarn was the most secure. The third way I tried, just using packing tape to attach the yarn, was the fastest but not the most secure. To make sure they stuck, I painted over the tape and that held up. So all of the ways worked, it just depends on your preference.
Once the heads were complete, I could attach the dowel rods. I just used a small hot glue gun and would press down on it for a few seconds. The rods I used were 36 inches long and I picked that length by taking a tape measure and having Ella stand over it to see how long would be appropriate. They were almost an inch thick and sturdy enough to be ridden.
And if you really want to dress it up, you could paint the rod and add yarn to the bottom for a tail.
I had a little unicorn factory going for a few weeks but in the end, the work was so worth it! Whether you just want to make one as a gift or a bunch for a party, these are such a cheap way to make a big impact. And it’s super inexpensive to make! They were the biggest hit of Ella’s party by far, a whimsical activity and party favor for the kids to take home. And of course, it was wonderful to fully execute my vision and invent something for Ella to cherish.