Thursday, April 30, 2020

d.i.y.: beaded horseshoe

I’d been working on cleaning the house, organizing closets, doing my regular work, and was getting burned out. I needed a craft!

In organizing my shed I randomly found about 10 horseshoes I’d collected over the years. Four were from my first horse, the rest were random finds. Though Major may be barefoot, I’ve nothing against this traditional horse accessory, and figured to make the most of it! I looked at a couple ideas online, but most were too gaudy for me. Then I did what I usually do: wing it.

gather all the stuff (and more!)

get the worse of the rust/dirt off (leave some for character if you like that!)
First, gather all the stuff, though this is a pretty basic project. Horseshoes, wire, beads of any sort, sandpaper/steel wool to clean up the shoes (if they are as dirty as the ones I had!). Not pictured: I did use a nail and hammer to push out the leftover bits of nail rusted into the holes, you want the horseshoe nail holes available when beading!

beads and estimated placement

The next part of fun: figure out the beads you want to use. My sophisticated bead layout device (plastic food storage top) was very handy, about the shape of a horseshoe and easy to see to many I needed (FYI: I did overestimate).

sometimes easier to take the wire to the beads (rather than try to pick up tiny, tiny beads!)

begin wrapping by inserting wire through horseshoe nail hole

continue by weaving up and down and back till filled

The wire I found worked best was some 28 gauge craft wire. There are few pictures of my process (since I only have two hands, sorry!), but I’d wire some beads, enough for between 2 holes (about 3/4 inch), then go down one hole and up the next, wire some beads, repeat, sometimes backtracking to fill a gap. The back of the horseshoe has wires twisting around and about (and no beads), but when complete I wrapped them and trimmed the wire, making sure the wire end was not going to stab someone. You could also wrap wire around the shoe, but it was too much for me, I preferred the simple look.

completed (just add hanger!)

I did like my addition of some letter beads. I could only spell things for letters I already had, which was limited, but I think they worked. I added a rusted chain hanger for some and a ribbon hanger for another. Those connect to the excess wire in the back of the shoe.

the four horsemen horseshoes of the apocalypse

This was fun, cute project, that I’d love to share! In the summer (hopefully) when stay-at-home gets lifted and I feel like going out, I’d love to mail these off to anyone who wants them (I’ll also be donating to the organization I belong to that has a horsey raffle). I hope this simple little project inspires someone to create!

brave, luck, bold and trust


  1. This is so cool! I absolutely think they'd be a hit in a raffle, and you have inspired me to try something similar with my pony's shoes. I've been wanting to honor his memory somehow but I'm not very creative. This is perfect! Thanks for sharing.

    1. That would be a lovely way to remember your pony, you could use the colors you rode him in, even his actual color in beads, lovely.