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How to Make Your Own Horse Santa Blanket

By Christina Handley

5-Dec-09

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Make a horse Santa blanketEditor's Note: After printing one of Christina's images featuring a horse in a Santa blanket in the December 2009 issue of Horse Illustrated, we received numerous inquiries from readers wanting to know where they could find that blanket for their own horses. Here, Christina shares the secret of the popular equine Santa suit.

I am always looking for new holiday photo ideas for horses. Every year I plop a Santa hat on my Belgian Draft horses and get some fun photos and have a few laughs. My friend Laura usually visits in the winter for some snow photo adventures and we brainstorm ideas for Christmas-y photos. We have a couple Santa suits for people that we enjoy photographing but we wanted to take it to the next level. We came up with the idea of a Santa suit for a horse.
 
Laura’s mother is a dressmaker and we went to her with the idea to get her help with the Santa blanket. We wanted an authentic, high quality look for the Santa blanket. We based the design on the popular version of Santa created by Coca Cola in 1931. This is the modern day image that we have of St Nick as a jolly man in a red suit with white fur trim. The trim on our Santa blanket is scaled and designed to be in similar proportion to this well known and loved image of Santa.
 
While we used our Santa blanket as a photo prop, it could also be used for costume classes, parades or portraits. You could put a saddle on top like a quarter sheet, too. Because the blanket is a real cooler, the possibilities are limitless.
 
Here are the instructions from our dressmaker to make your own Santa blanket.
 
Materials:
These measurements are for a 76” cooler.

  • Red polar fleece cooler in a size to fit your horse
  • 5 yards Sherpa Craft Fur (Jo-Ann Fabrics)
  • 2 ½ yards black Naugahyde vinyl
  • 24” Velcro strips 2” wide

Optional belt buckle:

  • Cardboard
  • Gold spray paint
For the fleece trim:
  1. Fleece Trim
    Click for larger image.
    Fold the blanket lengthwise along center back seam, wrong sides together.  Lay blanket (right side up) on fleece (right side up).  Pin the fold of blanket to edge fleece allowing 2 inches of fleece beyond blanket fold.  Smooth blanket as flat as possible on fleece.  Pin blanket to fleece along all edges and through all thicknesses.
  2. Using the blanket as the pattern, cut a single thickness of fleece 1/2 inch beyond blanket binding.  Remove blanket from fleece.  Cut fleece 7 inches from the first cut edge, creating an 7-inch wide strip of fleece.
  3. Pinning wrong sides together cut the second strip of fleece using first strip as a pattern.
  4. Pin both strips of fleece (right side up) to edge of blanket (right side up) overlapping outside edge of blanket binding by 1/2 inch.  Topstitch outer edge of both fleece strips to within 3 inches of center back.  Overlap fleece at center back to fit.  Trim excess.  Stitch in place.  Pin inner edge of fleece to blanket and topstitch through all thicknesses.  Cut slits in the fleece as needed for surcingles.

For the belt:

  1. Belt
    Click for larger image.
    Cut an 86” length of Naugahyde 16” wide. Fold with an overlap of 2” in the center back and top stitch through all thicknesses. Top stitch again ½” away through all thicknesses. Length of belt is dependent on the size of your horse. This belt fits at horse that wears a 76” blanket.
  2. Apply two 12” long Velcro strips with a double row of top stitching. Long strips of Velcro are helpful for holding strength and adjustability.

Optional belt buckle:

 

  • Cut a belt buckle out of thin cardboard. The back of a notepad works well. Spray paint the buckle gold.

Accessories:

A red halter and a Santa hat complete the look.

Resources

NorthWind Fleece sheet from Dover 
Dura-Tech Dress Sheet from Schneiders 
Sherpa Craft Fur from JoAnn Fabrics

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Reader Comments

Melanie    Minerva, OH

12/18/2014 6:48:34 PM

Neat idea!!

Chance    Oberlin, OH

12/7/2013 9:50:41 AM

I am making an elf one for my mini because he has an elf hat that says Santa's Helper I will post pictures soon be sure to look at my pics and my profile! Merry Christmas!

irene    potsdam, NY

9/10/2012 4:26:47 PM

dear miss handly
i think your santa suit is adorable,I don't
have a horse of myown,but I am aloud to put a santa
hat on the haflinger i take lessons on at the local
riding stable.
your friend irenethestablequeen@yahoo.com

Dana    Elizabeth, PA

12/25/2011 7:20:06 PM

I wish I was that crafty. That's really cute. :)

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