Horsing Around with Horseshoes: Fun Projects for the Home
Before they became a prominent symbol in pop culture, horseshoes were both a functional part of horse ownership and a common good luck talisman. For centuries, horseshoes were mounted outside homes to protect residents by warding off evil spirits and spell-casting goblins. Though such superstitions are less common today, horseshoes are again showing up in dwellings from rural Tennessee to bustling Los Angeles as staples of the modern rustic style. If you're looking to add some country charm to your space (or are just in need of some good luck) there are several fun ways to put extra horseshoes to good use. We've selected six simple projects to help you create beautiful horseshoe-themed décor elements in no time!
Horseshoe picture frames are a great way to add a subtle country touch to your home, and are extremely easy to make! Simply use a hot glue gun to adhere a felt or cardboard backing to the horseshoe, cut a photo and a piece of clear flexible plastic to fit the space, and hang it by looping a pretty piece of ribbon through the top nail slots. For something different, swap the photos for printed messages to create fun and unique door hangers!
For a bit of rustic elegance, use extra horseshoes to make a beautiful and functional tabletop wine holder. All you will need is four horseshoes and some soldering equipment. Place one horseshoe flat as the base of the holder, and attach one vertical horseshoe to each side of the base with solder, lining up the center arch to the end of each prong on the base. Then, lay the remaining horseshoe horizontally atop the two vertical horseshoes (with the prongs facing the opposite direction of the base horseshoe) and secure it with solder. The bottle should lay at an angle in the holder, with the neck resting in the arch of the top horseshoe. This attractive holder turns an average bottle into a funky focal point for your table. It also makes a great gift for the wine and/or horse lover in your life!
A decorative coat rack is the perfect way to repurpose a set of horseshoes while adding storage to your home. Create a rack for three coats by laying out four horseshoes horizontally and inserting a perpendicular horseshoe between each pair as the "hook." Alternatively, using horseshoe nails or regular nails, attach four horseshoes to a section of wood. Then, solder a couple of horseshoe nails to each shoe (with roughly two inches sticking out) to create a hook. Either method results in a fun yet practical hanger for your favorite coats, hats and scarves. Use reclaimed barn wood as the base of the rack to enhance the rustic charm of the piece!
Jewelry Holder/Tie Rack
Who wants to use a traditional jewelry box when you can make a country chic holder out of horseshoes? Put your baubles on display and increase your home's style at the same time with this easy project. Mount a few horseshoes on a piece of wood using extra-long horseshoe nails, and leave at least an inch of nail sticking out of each hole. Fill each of the holes on each shoe with a nail, and then hang the holder with a ribbon or attach it directly to the wall. Add your favorite necklaces and bracelets to create a decorative, yet functional, display piece!
For the cowboys, this project can easily transition to a rugged tie rack. Attach the horseshoes to the base with one nail on each side of the shoe, and then solder in the remaining nails so at least two inches of metal are protruding from the hole. Hang your dapper duds on the rack to keep them wrinkle-free and ready to wear!
These horseshoe tiebacks will add a hint of country to any home and are incredibly easy to make. The project requires three horseshoes, one of which you will cut in half at the middle. Attach one half horseshoe to the middle of an intact horseshoe to create a "hook" that runs down the center of the intact shoe. Repeat this process with the other intact shoe. When you mount the intact horseshoes to the wall, the "hook" will be the part that holds the curtain back, and the base horseshoe will peek behind your draperies for an unexpected rustic touch!
To bring more pastoral charm to your kitchen, try this simple napkin holder. Using one horseshoe as a base, attach two others to either side of the shoe, parallel to one another with prongs facing downward. Secure with solder and you're ready to go far beyond functional with this kitchen necessity. Or, use in the office as a rustic chic mail holder!