How to Build a Stitching Horse

By Eric Benac ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • 3 23-inch squares of 3/4-inch thick plywood.
  • 20 feet of 2-by-2-inch boards
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Electric hand drill
  • 1 box of 2-inch wood screws
  • Metal hinge
  • 2 compression springs
  • 3-foot leather belt

A stitching horse is a harness that holds material tightly while you sew. Materials can include leather and sewing cloth. Stitching horses are old stitching tools that can be expensive to find and purchase in more modern times. Building your own can serve as a good craft project. It can also be a much less expensive way to create a stitching horse. Build this project if you understand how to work with wood, including using circular saws and electric hand drills.

Draw an hourglass shape on your plywood that is about 3 feet long. The wide ends should be 2 feet wide, which narrows in the middle to a foot long. Cut this shape out of your wood using your saw.

Measure out four 2-by-2 boards that are 2 1/2-feet long. Measure out two boards that are 3 feet long and two more that are 8 inches long. Cut all these boards out and arrange them by size.

Place two of the 2 1/2-foot boards underneath one of the wide ends of your hourglass plywood shape. Position these in a downward shaping V-shape and separate the bottom by about a foot. Screw each piece to the plywood.

Put an 8 inch piece of wood one-quarter of the way up from the bottom of the 2 1/2-foot V-shape and screw it to the boards to hold them together. Repeat this process on the other wide end to create the legs for your stitching horse.

Screw a 3-foot board one-quarter of the way up lengthwise between the front and back legs on one lengthwise side of your stitching horse. Screw the other 3-foot board on the other side of the stitching horse in the same way.

Measure out a piece of plywood that is 1 foot wide and 3 feet long. Cut out this piece of wood. Trace this piece of wood onto another piece of plywood and cut it out.

Pick a board to which you want to add your adjustment strap. Drill a hole through one of the 3-foot plywood boards you just cut out. Widen it to make it large enough to fit the leather strap.

Screw the 3-foot plywood board without the hole in it onto the front of your hourglass plywood shape. Attach it so that it is perpendicular to the board.

Lay your second board in the same position as your first. Position it so that it touches the first board at the tip. Attach the second board to the hinge with your screws. Screw the hinge to the plywood hourglass shape so that your second board is perpendicular to the hourglass board and touching the other piece of 3-foot plywood.

Run your leather belt through the hole in the board and pull it downwards on the same side. Wrap it around one of the boards and screw it to the board with your drill and screws. Tighten the belt to open up your stitching horse and loosen it to close it up.

About the Author

Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.