A different kind of shoe

When we were planning our trip to Canaan Valley (documented here), my mom told me about a craft that she wanted us to do but wouldn’t tell me what it was. The only hint she gave me was that none of us had ever tried it before. Now, my mom is the queen of crafts. She’s made jewelry, baskets, cards, ornaments, photo albums, quilts, and a lot more stuff I can’t remember. So what in the world could this “surprise craft project” be?

My mom found a beaded horseshoe in one of her many mail order catalogs. She loved the look of it but didn’t love the $56 price tag.

The dad of a family I used to babysit for is a farrier (equine hoof care specialist) and actually worked with the Canadian Olympic Equestrian Team in London this year. He has access to hundreds, maybe thousands, of old horseshoes and happily provided us with some.

All you need for this project are horseshoes, wire, and beads. You start by wrapping the wire around the side and then just string on beads and continue wrapping. On their own, horseshoes are too country/farm-y for my liking but almost anything looks better with a little color and sparkle.

I made the one above for myself and decided to make another for my friends Rob and Nina, who just bought a new townhouse. Horseshoes are a symbol of good luck and I thought it would be a nice housewarming gift. They both went to Arizona State University so I wanted to use the school colors of maroon and gold. This is as close as I could get with the beads we had on hand.

Handmade gifts are so special, I definitely recommend them whenever possible. Nina said it would go in their designated craft room. Oh, if only I had the space in my apartment to devote entirely to crafts!

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