Monday, July 11, 2016

FCE DIY: Easy Custom Hackamore Noseband

Ok guys - here's a fun one today if you're into DIY tack. And it couldn't possibly have been easier (or cheaper, for that matter). Easy is my favorite lol.

looking regal
Perhaps you recall last week when I posted about the bonnet Olivia made us as part of her recent contest. That bonnet is navy with whale-patterned ears and is amazing. And I noted that it was absolutely perfect for all our trail riding. Except wow the red hackamore noseband really didn't go super well with it.

gotta use your imagination a little bit to envision it coming together
Then, our barn pulled together a team to go on a paper chase. And planned to be highly coordinated and matchy matchy with our outfits and tack. The name of the game was navy and black - which again would be obviously thrown off by the red noseband. But dammit I wanted to use the hackamore!

total materials cost: $2.07 from Joann Fabrics. not bad!
So it was time to take matters into my own hands. I hopped over to the local fabric and crafts store and picked up the following materials:

  • 4"x58" (58" is the default width for any purchased fabric) wide cut of fluffy padding material
  • 6"x2" navy nylon webbing 
  • 24"x1" navy nylon webbing (would  not recommend using cotton)
  • 2pack of suspender sliders
  • 2pack of slide adjusters

Also used but not purchased:
  • scissors
  • needle
  • thread


inspiration piece
Issues with the original red noseband are twofold (beyond it just plain clashing with most of my other stuff): it's slightly too narrow across the front, even adjusted to it's longest settings, since it's technically from a pony sized bridle.

original design and hardware
And secondly, the thing has a history of falling apart mid-ride at very inopportune moments. Like, say, mid gallop through an open field. No bueno! For that reason, I opted against reusing the same hardware.

rounded off corners and burned edges
Anyway, to get started - I trimmed my 2" wide webbing down to an approximate size using the original piece as a guide. Let's say it ended up being about 4" long. I rounded the corners slightly to give a more tailored look, then burned all the cut edges to prevent fraying.

suspender sliders and slide adjusters (2 each) shown here
I waffled a bit about what type of hardware to use for a closure. Honestly there are a ton of options, from buckles to studs to just sewing it all together in a fixed position. I preferred something that would allow the noseband to be widely adjustable from Isabel sized noses up to something substantially larger.

layering the 24"x1" webbing over the 2" pretty quickly resembling something that makes sense!
The suspender sliders appealed to me bc they are low profile and don't add a lot of bulk or distraction to the picture. Plus. Ya know. If they can hold up grandpa's pants they can probably hold this noseband together. lol

sewing it into place
The slide adjuster mostly acts as a keeper for the straps. This is honestly optional. Or, one of these pieces of hardware could have served as a closure instead of the suspender slider if you wanted. Also - hand sewing is by no means a requirement here. This process take literal seconds with a sewing machine. But I killed mine, so hand sewing it is... oops haha.

once the hardware is attached, the noseband no longer can be taken off the hackamore plate
Anyway. When I attached the longer strip of 1" wide webbing, I offset it a bit so that one end would double back to right around the middle of the base section. This would be the fixed-position end that has the suspender slider sewn on. The longer tail of the 1" wide webbing on the other side would therefore be the adjustable side.

And same story as before - I rounded the corners off the webbing then burned all cut edges to prevent fraying.

next comes the fluffy padding!
I used two pieces of the fluffy material back to back to make the pad as cushy as possible. This stuff was pretty easy to sew too. I sewed it inside out right up until the very last little bit, to give the edges a more finished appearance.

getting closer!
The sizing of the pad is up to your preference. I used a 4" wide cut of the material, trimmed to a length about one inch longer than my base 2" wide webbing section. Then sewed 1/2 inch margins around while it was inside out, so it took about a total inch off in both length and width, leaving 1/2 inch fluff border all around the webbing.

ta da!!
Sewing the fluff pad onto the base was a breeze (and again would have been even faster/easier with a machine). Then the tail of the 1" webbing threads through the other hackamore plate, then through the suspender slider (which clamps into place), and finishes through the keeper.

original noseband and faux sheepskin chain cover
And since I had heaps of the fluffy padding left over, I made a little tube out of it to encase the hackamore's curb chain. I'd previously used an old length of faux sheepskin intended to pad a halter, but it was kinda annoying bc it wasn't attached and had to always be threaded on and carefully taken off so as not to get lost. 

fluffy padding on chain is sewn on
The fluff basically has a slight dampening effect on the chain, since Izzy has pretty solid brakes and a lot of respect for the chain. I sewed it onto the links directly for the sake of convenience, but should I ever decide to remove it, it's just a matter of snipping out the stitches.

not too shabby!
There ya have it - a surprisingly easy and inexpensive way to customize your hackamore! This design should work for basically any style hackamore too, since it's so adjustable.

66 comments:

  1. Super classy looking - great DIY project!

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    1. thanks! it turned out better than i expected!

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  2. I actually thought I was reading one of Olivia's posts! Nice work- it looks great.

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    1. ha yea i don't do as many DIY projects as i'd like to... there are some fun ones interspersed throughout the blog tho - just check out the "DIY" tag to see them all!

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  3. Isabel looks great in her new hack!! I am sooo trying this, thanks. Also 3 cheers for all the hand stitchers out there. Starting to think I was the only person who functioned with a needle & thread vs machine.

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    1. oooh definitely try it! esp if you already have the hackamore cheek pieces and chain - this is a great easy way to customize the look or fit

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  4. Wow - you did an amazing job!

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  5. NICE job! That's great work. I'm really impressed it's all hand-sewed, too!

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    1. thanks! it came together surprisingly well - the webbing is VERY forgiving for hand sewing, esp bc it's pretty easy to keep a straight line by following the grid of the webbing

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  6. That looks really good! Although the red did always make me laugh so I'll miss it just a tiny bit tho.

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    1. ha yea i'm somewhat partial to the red one too... have no fear tho, i'm gonna keep it on hand just in case i ever decide to change back!

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  7. That's awesome! I love the step by step tutorial with photos. And it goes without saying the new navy noseband is so classy!

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    1. lol i definitely got a little picture-happy while i was making it. it was a good way to periodically step back and assess whether we were on the right track tho

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  8. That looks so sharp! I bet you guys killed it with the matchy-matchy! I'm trying to get out and about on the cheap ($800 for wiring harness and injector pumps on the new-to-me pickup kind of killed the horse budget for the summer) so I'm playing homebrew xc fences tonight after work plus also Visiting The Abandoned Rays Hill Turnpike Tunnel (it's nearby) and attempting Horse Swimming in ye olde pond. We'll see how it goes. They're outings, but cheap ones. :)

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    1. yup we were definitely a recognizable group!! more pictures to come about that later ;)

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  9. wow this is amazing!!! well done, looks profesh

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    1. thanks! the webbing is surprisingly easy to work with

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    2. i like that it involved fire (or im assuming, for burning the edges)

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    3. ha yup, definitely involved some fire. and since i couldn't find my lighter i actually just used my stovetop burners lol. the edges melted up really nicely tho!

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  10. Ok, so you're super awesome at hand sewing. I tried it for some other projects, and it looks like a toddler did it. Now I really want a snackamore for Penn so that I can make a navy one too, because navy = the best. Looks great!

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    1. ooooh Penn definitely needs a snackamore! and you might be surprised at how easy it is to sew on the webbing. the way it's constructed somewhat hides the stitches (even mine, despite using contrasting thread since i didn't have any navy) and has grid lines that you can follow) and it pulls together really well.

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  11. I love it! The navy looks so sharp on her! It makes me want a hackamore for Lexie just for the arts and crafts.

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    1. haha right? i mean it's basically just another chance to play dress up with the pony :)

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  12. LIES EMMA

    "easy"

    That was like a million steps of complicatedness.

    End product looks fab though.

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    1. no way! it was a million pictures bc i <3 pictures, but really i promise this couldn't be easier. it's basically three pieces sewn together, with a closure sewn on to one strap. really, anybody could make this happen i swear!

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  13. That looks amazing (and way beyond my skill level of DIY)

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    1. thanks! and it's really not very complicated - the beauty of picking a material like the nylon webbing is that it's so sturdy already, all you have to do is attach the pieces.

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  14. That looks amazing (and way beyond my skill level of DIY)

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  15. OMG. I want to make one of these! She looks so snazzy!

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    1. definitely make one and take all the pictures!!

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  16. I'm bookmarking this!! I want to make one of these, maybe in purple or navy and lime to match my bling browband and saddle pad and bonnet.

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    1. yasssss make one in allll the colors! depending on what type of hardware you use, you could make them totally interchangeable!

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  17. That looks awesome! I think it came out looking better than the original. Side business?

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    1. thanks!! i actually have considered making these to sell, esp since i could sell them way below the average cost for what's available online and still make a nice margin... but the reality is that it's the plates and chains that are most important in a hackamore and i have yet to find a source for just those pieces. most folks buying a hackamore buy the whole shebang all at once.

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  18. New noseband looks great! Now you need some photos with the whales. :)

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    1. right?!? photos will be forthcoming sooner rather than later :D

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  19. Wow that looks SO much better than the red one. Great job, it looks so good with the ear bonnet!

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    1. ha i still kinda love the red one (esp bc i have a sick sense of humor) but def prefer the navy

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  20. That is so awesome! Will have to give it a whirl :)

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  21. That looks fantastic! And definitely more than I could handle as I am a total DIY failure. I like to think I keep the economy functioning that way....

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    1. ha i don't believe that for a second ;)

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    1. as magical as one can get with some chains :D

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  23. Excellent solution. I didn't realize the red one was nylon; I thought it was leather. You could have dyed the old one really easily. Of course, the falling apart issue really warrants the new hackamore piece anyway.

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    1. eh, i'm not convinced any dye could have turned that red into a nice navy. but regardless, the red was just slightly too narrow and short in the straps anyway - thus part of why it always fell apart. she needed something that actually *fits*

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  24. You're way craftier than me! This came out so well. If I didn't have a habit of making holes bigger when I try to patch things up or get creative with a needle and thread, I'd be super excited to give this a try.

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    1. lol yea i waffled about punching holes for a buckle, bc honestly the edges burned and melted so well to clean up and prevent fraying, i was fairly confident i'd be able to similarly burn the punched holes.... but better safe than sorry i guess. whatever - the suspender slider worked out perfectly!

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  25. Wow!! I am suuuper impressed, that's twice in two posts you've got me "wowing' haha.

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  26. awesome!! looks really straight forward too

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    1. it seriously couldn't have been easier!

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  27. Very clever! I am impressed

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    1. thanks! it's a very simple design - that always helps!

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  28. Replies
    1. thanks :D she def appreciates that bridle - she knows whenever it comes out that we're in for a fun ride!

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    1. thanks! i'm pretty tickled with how it turned out!

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  30. Great DIY, always love crafty projects like this (:

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