Cork Horse

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Turn the paperclip wire handle and the Cork Horse bucks and kicks!

The project uses a variety of household bits and some interesting models to come alive.

This model is tricky! Maybe start with the Cork Dog or the Cork Bird if you are new to this. Hey, get a membership and you can download then all!


The body is made from EVA foam sheet in two thicknesses. The downloadable file includes the same template in three formats. PDF for you to hand cut the parts. SVG for use with a cutting machine such as a Cricut or a Silhouette and DXF for use with a laser cutter. Choose your technique and load your file!

As well as the foam sheet you will also need paperclips, a cork, two cocktail sticks, a ballpoint pen and a short cable tie.

Start by straightening out six paper clips then shape them as shown below.

Starting with the crank. Use a pair of fine pliers.

Make the two leg-holders as mirror images of each other.

Make up the three parts of the rear leg linkage.

Make the body-pull loop.

Fold up the crank linkage. The zig-zag section allows you to fine-tune the movement on the completed model.

Drill a 2mm diameter hole in the centre of the cork and thread the crank into place.

Glue the centre and one of the body sides together. I used contact adhesive. Take care of the fumes!

Fit the body pull loop into place.

Thread the double loop onto a cocktail stick then pinch it tight so it can’t move. Loop the centre linkage onto the other end of the double loop as shown.

Fit the cocktail stick into the rear leg hole.

Glue the other side into place. Make sure that the cocktail stick is free to rotate.

Loosely loop the cable tie around the cork above the crank. Thread the leg holders next to each other above the crank dog-leg. Thread the pull-loop into the other side. Pull the cable-tie tight. If necessary, bend the leg holders so they are straight.

Thread the front zig-zag into place.

Fit the rear legs onto the cocktail stick. With the centre link pulled right down the legs should be straight out.

Fit the front legs to a cocktail stick so that they are free to move. Trim of the cocktail sticks with side cutters.

Fit the front legs into the leg holders. When you pull on the zig-zag the horse should rear up.

Cut a short length from the plastic tube in a ball point pen and thread it over the crank. Fit the loop on the zig-zag to the plastic tube and nip it up with your pliers. Bend down the end of the crank to that the tube can’t fall off.

Fit the read-leg pull-wire into the pull-loop and bend it up so that it can’t slip off.

Turn the handle to test the completed model. Adjust the zig-zag so the movement is correct.