How to Make Toy Horse Reins (Children’s toy)

Posted under Felt and Felting, Toys and Toy shops


How to make Toy Horse Reins using fingerknitting and a piece of handmade felt!


Over the years, the horse reins from felt and fingerknitting have proved to be a big favourite with children and adults alike.  They are super simple, yet really effective, and are often the first ‘toy’ that a mother makes for her child with her own hand.  It can be a truly transformative object. Mothers are nourished and satisfied with their creative work, and children love the fact that mama made it for them.  It is a win win!


Why not make a set for your children??


how to make toy horse reins


How to make toy horse reins


Here is the layout of a child’s toy set of ‘horse reins’.


  1. You’ll need a piece of handmade felt about 15cm by 10cm in any design you like. (Here is a simple tutorial for felt making with children. Click the link HERE.) Or simply cut two rectangles of 100% pure wool felt (3mm) and embroider a design onto the front of one piece.
  2. Place the fresh piece behind the design, and get ready to sew it all up.
  3. Step three is to Fingerknit a length of wool 1.5 metres in length.  I use 16 ply 100% wool.  If you like, you can fingerknit two colours together to make a double thickness.


how to make toy horse reins


4. Take your piece of felt like so.  Start in the top corner, and sew on a silver bell.


how to make toy horse reins


5.  Blanket stitch your way down the first side, catching the fingerknitting and the felt together.   At the corner, let go of the fingerknitting and sew along the bottom edge on its own.


how to make toy horse reins


6.   When you reach the other side, begin catching the fingerknitting to the felt once again.


how to make toy horse reins


7.  Be sure to leave enough space for the child’s head.   (Measure it. It should be able to just slip over the head of the child)
8.   Continue to the top, then add your second bell.   Let the finger knitting go, and complete the fourth side of the felt with blanket stitching only.


how to make toy horse reins


9. Tie the two loose ends together with a knot. Wool tends to slip with prolonged use in toys, so a few securing stitches over and around the knot will help keep the toy in good use.


how to make toy horse reins


10.  Here is the happy horse rein all done!


how to make toy horse reins


Horse reins in action. (Or how to use them!)


Pop small loop over the child’s head, then help them step through the larger lower loop so this loop is behind them for someone to hold on to and ride eg mum or another child.


Once you are done, make up a horsey kind of game or song that will help introduce the toy into their play.
I like to take the horse (child) out for a BIG gallop!!


Trot, trot, trot.  Trot, trot, trot.
Go and never stop. Go and never stop.
Trot along my little pony,
where it is rough and where it is stony
Trot trot, trot trot, trot.


(A variation on a song I know.  Original author unknown.)


PS:  Apologies about the quality of the inside photos. This post is from 2010 when I knew little about the value/necessity of natural light.

5 Responses to “How to Make Toy Horse Reins (Children’s toy)”

  1. Donna

    I still have the boys horse reins. It was one of their favourite things to do in kindy – trot around with someone holding the reins! Joshie made his pair with you….I love that.
    You have inspired me to make some for Grace. Hugs, Donna x


    I have never seen these before any way you could possibly demonstrate how they work? I am envisioning a major choking hazard and I am sure that’s not how they work. or you can always just pop over to my blog and drop me a line with wearing instructions as I am sure my boys would love them.

  3. Amber Greene

    HI Donna, I found Henri’s ones too. We have been using that as our demo model! 11 years old it is! For Love.. I will post some pics today of how they work. Supervision is necessary of course, as with most toys, but they are pretty fool-proof. I havent seen a choke in over 11 years of playing!

  4. Anonymous

    What a great idea! I have been teetering on the edge of being more creative (esp with a 2 and 4 yr old) and I think this is just what I need (simple enough :) to take the leap – Thanks for sharing!

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