diy project: cardboard stampede w/ ann wood

In 2006 I started making cardboard horses. They were a self imposed assignment, a daily creative task intended to motivate and loosen me up, little experiments, paralysis prevention. My plan was to make a cardboard horse everyday, Monday through Friday until I had 100. I did and exhibited the group at Tinlark in Los Angeles in 2007. I’ve made 3 patterns, two adults and a colt, to share and I hope you make a cardboard horse or two or three or maybe a little family or maybe your own stampede! -Ann Wood

CLICK HERE for Ann’s full project after the jump!


What you will need:

-Cardboard – you can use any kind – I think a medium weight is good, I’m using cardboard from a gift box for this demonstration.



-manicure scissors

-hammer and one nail


-thin wire


-paint and brushes, glue, paper, fabric, lace etc. – whatever you like, whatever you’ve got.



First download the pattern, cut out the pieces and trace them onto your cardboard, I’m using an old box. I like to use a pair of manicure scissors for the difficult small bits – corners etc. I included an optional tail and mane in the pattern. I’m foregoing those for this horse and will add a tail and mane of antique lace.


You can finish your horse with collage or fabric or pencil – the possibilities are endless – but if you choose to paint like I am today, then paint both sides to prevent curling. I’m using latex paint for the base.


And adding some dapples from my water color box.


And some splatters of ink. You can use a stiff paint brush or old tooth brush and I used a fine sharpie pen to draw on a very simple eye and mouth.


Next I’m adding the antique lace mane and tail using a glue stick ( or elmer’s glue if you prefer).
Once that is dry we’re ready to assemble.



Arrange the legs with the body sandwiched between and use the nail to

make a hole through all three layers. You’ll need to put a piece of wood or heavy cardboard underneath to protect the surface you’re working on.


Thread the wire through the button holes and then pass both strands through the legs and body.


Thread both wires through a small button on the back, pull it tight and twist to secure and trim the extra wire with pliers.


Add another piece of wire for hanging by twisting it around the buttons. I like to give all my horses a name, this is Sebald, horse #101.


Finished! I’ve hung Sebald amongst the snow flakes over my bed with Winston (horse #71).


wow–what a great tutorial! thank you so much for sharing this. i definitely see some pretty little horses in my (very) near future…


These are absolutely gorgeous! So sweet, so variable; what a fun DIY. Thanks!


What a fun project! I’m always excited for horse themed crafts! I collected Breyer horse models as a child, and now ride once a week!


Yay! I will attempt a round-up for my hallway. Ann’s ships and birds are very cool, also.


so beautiful. makes me want to run wild! can’t wait to show this to my daughter today.


I love this, I love horses and Ann Wood is one of my favorite artists.


oh wow! i loved the hundred horse project! how very exciting, i’ll certainly be trying to make some of these!


One word: wow.
How inspirational are you?!
I LOVE this. I LOVE the fact that you gave yourself your own assignment. And what a great idea.
The horses look beautiful, especially all displayed together; they have a fantastic impact. And the fact that you gave them all names is so cute :)
That’s my kind of creavity – organised creavity!
Polly R


Oh my, they are amazing. Perhaps I should do this to make my other half happy until we can afford a horse!


I am confused, where is the pattern? These horses are beautiful


This is such a lovely idea. I’ve contemplated doing the same with birds, but never got round to the actual doing part. Maybe I’ll make some of these for the wall of my niece’s nursery.


Wow, so cool! I think my son would LOVE a herd of these in his room.

Lori Danelle

We took my 2 year old camping this weekend and she loved driving by fields full of horses. She kept asking for “more horses!” so this would be wonderful for her. I’m sure she’d love her very own field of horses.


Since I started my blog 8 months ago, I’ve seen 20+ DIY projects every single day. I think this might be my FAVORITE! This would be so much fun stampeding down my hallway. Thanks SO much for sharing this Ann! I’ll be linking.

ann wood

Thanks so much everyone! And thanks Grace and Ann for sharing my stampede. It occurred to me today that it might be fun for littler kids to cut them out of construction paper and use those little brass paper fastener things for the joints.

Thanks again- ann wood

ps – the pattern download link is at the beginning of the instruction text and you can find it on my blog as well

Jazzy J

This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!


ohmygoodness – this is pure wonderfulness! I might have to try this for my boys room!


i am in love with the concept of such a project! and the horses are so great :O)


great galloping goodness…my horsie crazy girls are going to love these!!! thanks so much for sharing!


I LOVE Ann Wood!!! Thanks for sharing the pattern!! Can’t wait to make my own.


My daughter is asking for a horse birthday party. Thank you for sharing this wonderful project. I plan to use these as both decorations at her party and an activity for the kids.

mrs boo radley

Coincidence! It’s my sister’s 13th birthday today, and she loves horses…I am totally going to send her a link to this page! Wow!


Very fun project! Thanks for sharing =) Great that you give them all names – and a personality.


I am definitely going to make a whole pile of these!!! Although, I confess that one or two of them will have to have a unicorn horn added, I think….


These are so cute! I made one just last night and I’m gonna keep making them til I have a heard.

ann wood

I’m so excited that people are making them – send pictures – I’d love to see!


We’re doing a workshop with adults with developmental disabilities, something like this would be a fantastic workshop idea for them! Thanks for posting it!

ann wood

Kristen that’s great – I’d love to send you some supplies- buttons( I have tons) embellishments etc. – you can contact me through my blog or website if you’re interested.

Lalla Lydia

Love this. I see ‘em randomly scattered around odd spots in a room to draw visual interest. cute!

China Rose

Thanks for sharing… more than one fine art is being demonstrated here. Most especially the art of accomplishing something on snatches of borrowed time through a daily, ritual act. BRAVO


I love this idea! I’ve already made about twenty of them. Once you start it’s sort of addicting! Now it’s just the question of what my cat will think of them up on the wall….


Wow! I love it. So many horses make a great impact.

Sox and Patches

Absolutely beautiful. I love the colours of the herd – happy, bright.
Your creativity is inspiring -thanks so much for sharing.


As a lover of horses what better way to display their characters. Thanks for sharing! I am going to make a few of my own too!


I love this! I have one question though, how does she hang them on the wall? That would be a lot of nails and holes in your wall.


my horse loving sister is just buying her own house. She is so going to have her own herd of these to go in it….thank you


Magnificient diy! I can’t wait to create my own stampede. Thanks Ann! Thanks Grace!


omg, those are fab! how did i miss them before!?! I have many “horsepeople” in our family & friends and these would be great for them! Thank you so much!


I made 3 tonight. I have a feeling I will have my own herd soon! Please take a look and thank you again!

Terri Farley

Dear Ann,
What a wonderful introduction to your work! My friend Lori sent me a link to this project, thinking I could use it during my school visits for my PHANTOM STALLION and WILD HORSE ISLAND book series! I can’t wait to try it with the kids; I would love to have your permission to post this in my reader newsletter!
Thanks so much,
Terri Farley


I just discovered your site and your work…outstanding! The horses are wonderful and I am eager to try making one. Thanks for sharing.


This is so inspiring… thank you for sharing! I am wondering what this idea would look like if I did a bunch of birds in the same manner. I love horses, but I really have a bird fetish. A whole flock of watercolor, fabric covered birds. Thanks for your inspirations! Your horses are so pretty!

Sandy L

This is fabulous! Thank you SO much! I’ll be making some horses and some unicorns and maybe a random Pegasus… Thank you again!


how fun! a group of us horse owners get together occasionally and do a horsey craft project. I’m going to suggest this one. Thank you so much for sharing.

carol Gearing

The Stanpede is amazing, just love the way they galloping across he wall en mass. I think I migh make one myself
thanks for sharing


You are so talented.
I am amazed at all the unique and delightful things you make!!
I must make some of these horses.
I have all kinds of ideas of things to do to them and I can hardly wait to get started!
Too bad I have to go to work everyday!

Denise Spillane

love this project – Beautiful. My friend is doing the horses and I want to try to do it too.


My daughter is planning to decorate the nursery for her first baby with the horses, and I’m about to start making some. I’m not very crafty, but this is so creative surely I can come up with some cute ones. I appreciate the details about how you made Sebald and I love the idea that you named each one. Onward!


BEAUTIFUL!!! How are the horses secured to the wall or canvass? Thanks!

Vicky W.

I adore these! I made one yesterday with the main bit covered in sheet music and called her Melody, and I’m really pleased with how she turned out. I’ve been thinking about redecorating my room, but my mum has said I can’t spend too much, so I think this is going to be a great way to decorate my wall. :)

Michelle H.

I love this project. I am a volunteer art teacher at my son’s elementary school. This month I was looking for a horse art project to go along with the the artist that we are learning about,m Frederic Remington. Over the next few weeks, my friend and I will be teaching over 60 kindergartners and having them make their own Kindergarten Stampede. We can’t wait to hang it in the hallways.

Valentina C.

I love this project. I am creating a huge abstract art display on my bedroom wall and these horses fit in perfectly. Thank ya for the idea :)


Thank-you so much for this. I decided to take on 100 horses myself, because I’ve been struggling to really focus on my art lately and I thought this would be a good thing to get me loosened up and feeling confident again that I can actually finish a task. I’m up to 5 so far and I’m in love with each one. Thank -you so much for sharing



you can download the template on our site- just keep reading the post and where it says “download the pattern”- those words all link to the download :)


Dan Sloan

Dear Ann; I want to paint horses on the walls at work.
Would you sell me a cardboard horse I could use to trace and paint on a wall? Please let me know.
Thank you.
Dan Sloan Email


Hi…I love love love this…but I can’t get the link for the template to work…


I would love to try this project, but the link for the pattern takes me to a 404 error (page not found).


The templates are missing!!! PDF is not found when link is clicked! HELP



we had a server problem and lost our ftp files- i’m uploading them as quickly as possible, but we need to get a new version of this file so i’m working as fast as i can to get new versions of every file we’ve ever uploaded in the past 2 years. as you can probably guess, it’s going to take a while ;)



If you look at earlier comments, your’ll find Anne’s own words an a link to working template, “”:
ann wood said:
May 27th, 2009 – 5:12 pm
Thanks so much everyone! And thanks Grace and Ann for sharing my stampede. It occurred to me today that it might be fun for littler kids to cut them out of construction paper and use those little brass paper fastener things for the joints.
Thanks again- ann wood
ps – the pattern download link is at the beginning of the instruction text and you can find it on my blog as well

Debbie S

The link to the pattern does not work. Can you please send me the pattern?


This is great! I love horses so much, so this is an awesome craft. I am going to try the 100 horses idea. Such a great idea, thanks for sharing!


I would love to try this but the pattern no longer works! I love how whimsical yours turned out.


I would also love to try this project but the link to the pattern isn’t working. Re-link pretty please!

Beth Rome

Amazing! Your creativity, and use of color is incredible! You are one talented girl Ann!

Marquita Herald

I love your project, though I’m not really clear on how you’ve hung them on your wall. I rent – love my house – but my landlord has one (and only one) rule – nothing hung on the walls. I lean pictures/stack books – whatever I can think of to add color.


Oh my god! I haven’t seen such a beautiful craft in at least two months. Since my daughter was sitting and cutting up some old books with some new scissors. It reminds me of bits of cards that someone has cut out a horse shapes, and than painted it! Witty!

Joy Francis

This is awesome..but the link is no longer found or not working….Can you share the pattern please…


This is perfect! Love the inspiration! creating a mobile for my baby daughter…but somehow think it will be hard to stop and a beautiful collection will grow on the shelf!


I’ve got everything ready but the pattern! Please give us an update when it’s working! I’m SO excited!


these are beautiful, but I can’t down load the pattern! Could I possibly still get it? I would love it please!

Mimi Hanna

Love your horses…just downloaded the pattern…THANK YOU! Just what I love to do …among jillions of other things..


Our school mascot is the Mustang… I want to have each of my art students make one and hang them up around the front office :).

Catarina Ek

I love this. Made me think of doing a similar project with monkeys (I currentlt have a little thing for monkeys).
Thank you so much for posting. It’s a beautiful piece of art.

Sherree Williams

Wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed using you pattern for these wonderful ponies! First I made them with my grandchildren, than I made them with the tops of old Christmas boxes and sent them as Christmas cards! Thank you for sharing your art.

Martha in Oregon

I just ran across this! My boyfriend loves horses and these are going to start appearing on the walls of his place!


A perfect test of class and style is when someone finds such a great site/article 4 years later and both the article and style are still fantastically gorgeous and still beloved. Good Job! I will enjoy trying to create some horses too .. .. tyvm for a great DIY Ann W. Respects


This has so reconnected me with the preteen who loved horses more than anything else. Thank you!


This is a wonderful project. I have put a link to your blog on my page. I hope you get loads of hits. x