Purple Horse on Teal by Heather Miller, WhiteRoses Art
Purple Horse On Teal by Heather Miller

Title: Purple Horse on Teal
Year: 2013
Size: 6.75″

Purple Horse on Teal was made using a plastic toy horse, acrylic paint, glitter paint, and a wood dowel mounted on a decorative wood plaque.

The Story:

I’m writing this story in 2016, the piece was created in 2013 so I’ll do my best to remember.

The story of Purple Horse on Teal, Pink Horse on Mint Orange Horse on Yellow are identical.  I’ve copied the story to each horse’s page just to be consistent in page formatting.

I had been in a slump for a while.  It was just before I decided to take my hiatus, and about a year after my 20th high school reunion.  I hadn’t been back to my home town in well over a decade.  I hated high school & have no family to speak of so there was no reason to return there.  During the short period I had my maiden name on Facebook, one of my high school friends contacted me.  She wanted me to come to the reunion.  She was one of a very small number of people I actually cared to see again….and then the other two chimed in.  Off to Cleveland I went.  I was surprised by this awesome gift bag of goodies from my friend Tina.  Among many other things were 3 tiny plastic horses.  They were adorable.  I had them on the shelf in my ‘library’ (that makes it sound fancy. In reality it’s a tiny spare room where many of our books live).

Just before the start of the Artomatic show in Frederick, Maryland, about a year later, I realized I needed to try to create some new pieces.  Around that time, I saw a bunch of pins on Pinterest where people used plastic animals as drawer pulls after they coated them in glitter.  I didn’t have anything that needed new drawer pulls but I did own several round wooden plaques that needed a use.

I went to the store & bought a bunch of glitter paint.  You can just start painting on plastic though, it will come off pretty quickly if you do.  I primed the horses with a spray primer made for plastic.  In the case of Purple Horse on Teal,  I applied a coat of purple acrylic paint and finally I was able to apply the glitter paint.  It takes several coats of glitter paint to get the look I did. This is a simple process but I highly recommend glitter paint and not dipping the horse in glitter.  It’s less messy and there’s no glitter shedding afterwards.

To mount it to the plaque, I drilled small holes into the sides of the horses.  I was lucky with theses in that they were solid plastic, not hollow.  I drilled a matching hole into the plaque.  I took a small wooden dowel & glued it into the horse first.  While the glue was drying, I primed and painted the plaque.  Then I glued the horse & dowel into the plaque.

I sold the pieces quickly.  One of these days I may do more of these.  Oh, and I paid my friend back for the horses by buying a case of Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate and a case of old-fashioned candy sticks for the holiday charity drive she does for senior citizens in her area.

Family Fun Time:

This could be a great project to do with slightly older kids.  If you don’t already own little plastic animals, a lot of stores now sell them.  I recently saw that Wal-Mart carries assortments of plastic animals in clear tubes in their off-brand section (at least my Wal-Mart has all the name-brand toys together & the other stuff in another aisle).  An adult would need to handle the drilling and spray painting of course.  You can get the plaques from the craft store, or even the craft section at Wal-Mart if your store has one.  Actually, depending on your local Wal-Mart, you can get everything you need there (the spray paint is usually in back by automotive & home repair stuff).  The dowels I happened to have from another project, but you can buy a dowel rod and cut it into small pieces easily enough.

The nice part is this not just a ‘girly’ project.  Glitter paints come in every color of the rainbow.  Buy some dinosaurs & paint them glittery green or brown or orange.  Yes, glitter paint comes in brown and black too.  If you &/or your family make some, share the pictures with me on Facebook!