How to make a Leathercraft Stitching Pony

I have been struggling to find a good quality stitching pony. I came across one in the USA for $149.99 or £95, being an ” I can make that ” famous last words in some cases, I printed off the pictures and set about working out the dimensions and material needed. I popped to my local diy store to the off-cuts bin and picked up the bits of wood for the job, total 90p.

From my piece of off-cut 140mm x 18mm  I cut a piece 630mm long. This made the Base 250mm x 140mm and 2 x arms 250mm x 70mm , both jaws 60mm x 70mm and part of the swivel base plate 70mm x 70mm and a spare piece of 70mm x 70mm.

Next I rubbed the edges with a piece of sandpaper to tidy them up and smooth them off. The Base was then drilled in the centre to take the screw, wing nut and washer.








Then take a 70mm x 70mm and with a piece of baton 34mm x 21mm x 70mm stripwood glue and screw together. You could use the spare piece of 70mm and cut it 34mm wide. I was lucky to find a piece of 34mm baton in the bin which made my life a bit easier. You need the 34mm because you are placing the 18mm thick arms on either side. 18 + 18 + 34 = 70mm, that keeps everything flush to 70mm. Drill through the block to make the swivel base.


Cut a 45deg angle in the top of both arms and the same to the 60mm jaws. Cut 5mm off the top of the jaws to form a work surface.

Glue and pin the jaws to the arms.






Put both the arms together and drill a hole through them to take a bolt,wing nut and washer. Glue and screw one of the arms to the base block and the other is attached with a piano hinge


I finished of the project by clear varnishing it and added a strip of leather to the jaws to protect my work as it is clamped.

I hope this is helpful with your leatherwork.





10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jim
    Jul 08, 2012 @ 03:22:02

    Wonderful photos. I will need to convert metric as I’m a Yank and still work in feet and inches. As with you, after seeing how much Tandy and others want for a “professional” pony/horse, decided to look on the web to see how to diy. Glad I found you!


    • thecraftycouple
      Aug 18, 2012 @ 09:25:06

      Hi Jim,
      I couldn’t believe how expensive these Ponies are. Here are the dimensions in inches, I stil work in old money as we say in the UK. In the UK a lot of us still like our old feet and inches. The base is what ever scrap piece you have lying around, I used 10″ x 6″ x 1/2″. The pony was made from 2 3/4″ x 5/16″. The bottom piece was cut 2 3/4″ square so it fit the clamps exact. The clamps are 9 1/2″ tall and cut at the top at 45deg angle. They butt up against a piece of 1 5/16″ x 2 3/4″ x 3/4 block. The jaws are made out of the 2 3/4 x 5/16 and covered in leather, a bolt and wing nut is used to tighten the jaws and on the base so you can swivel your work. Also countersink the bolt on the base so you can use it on a table . Basically you need 2ft of a 2 3/4″ x 5/16″ or simular, 2 x bolts, a bit of scrap for base and a bit of leather. That will not cost you $90 which Tandys are asking. Good luck I would like to see your results.


  2. Dean Obendorf
    Jul 20, 2012 @ 19:02:35

    nicely done


  3. Dean Obendorf
    Jul 25, 2012 @ 17:07:08

    This is a great stitching pony. I’m going to copy your design and build two. One for a friend and one for myself. Thanks for the drawings and great pictures


  4. Pete
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 15:03:03

    This is a great looking stitching pony I am off to make one of my own, thank you for the plans and pictures.


  5. Phil
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 12:08:30

    Thanks for the plan I hope to put one together over the weekend. I am sure that it will be a lot cheeper than a shop one and much more rewarding than just buying one.



  6. Julie
    Nov 26, 2012 @ 07:53:42

    Brilliant!! I showed this to my boyfriend and he made me a leather pony today. It turned out great. I just stained mine and will add leather tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing this design!! Darrell added a hinge to one of the legs so it would open up more. I am attempting to make a purse out of some stoned oil cowhide, but not before I practice on some cheap leather first. This just saved us a lot of money.
    Thanks again,
    Santa Fe, Nm


  7. James
    Nov 27, 2012 @ 18:01:07

    I see that you said your total cost making it yourself was 90p. Sorry me being American but I couldn’t find the answer to what that is.


  8. Rod
    Feb 03, 2013 @ 00:33:20

    Hi Ian, You’ll find a really great set of plans for a large scale stitching horse in the back of Al Stohlman’s book “Art of Hand Sewing Leather”. It’s great for larger projects.


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