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Saddle Up with a Hungarian Marionette Horse

During this Workshop, I will teach Learners how to make a movable horse marionette from toilet paper rolls and other materia... full details

$30.00 / per workshop

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About this Workshop


During this Workshop, I will teach Learners how to make a movable horse marionette from toilet paper rolls and other materials which can be found in any household.  It is a great project to demonstrate to children that making a toy out of paper, tp rolls, bottle caps etc. otherwise known as 'thrown away stuff' could be fun.  I am sure you will be impressed by what you can make by playing scavenger hunt in your home for just a few items.

Hungarians have always had a strong connection to horses.  They arrived to The Carpathians in the IX century on horseback.  The Hungarians were excellent cavalrymen, fired accurately while mounted on their horses and were tactical and deadly with their bows and arrows, hence there is a phrase “Lord save us from the arrows of Hungarians".  Many centuries ago, children in Hungary were imitating galloping on a broom handle with a horse head attached.  They wanted to be heroic ‘hussars’ once they had grown up.  Hussar is best described as light cavalry during the XV-XIV centuries.  The horse has a distinctive meaning for Hungarians – a horse is a friend of men and children.  Horses appear in many Hungarian bedtime stories i.e. Son of the White Mare in which tale the main character has superhuman powers.  Horses are mythical creatures in these stories as they can fly, conjure magic, and they are capable of transforming from a nag to a steed which is required to eat cinders instead of oats.

This Workshop requires use of a few tools and materials which can be found in the average household.  This Workshop will help to improve finger dexterity and grip i.e. cutting along straight lines, painting or tying knots.  This Workshop also demonstrates how to alter the approach towards reusable materials that usually end up in the recycling bin.  It is important to teach children that these items can be transformed into a toy, in a way that their creative skills can be enhanced, and that their imagination can be further developed.

I have always been interested in creating new items from reusable materials.  When I was a child, I liked to give handmade gifts for my loved ones.  As a teacher, I always encouraged my students to rely on their imagination while they were making arts and crafts.  During after school activities, I guided the students in how to work with the relevant materials that I brought in. We could source various remnants from materials like wood, metal, paper and thread from a factory.  I am very proud to say that some of my students have become artists and fashion designers.

Ever since I retired from my career as an art teacher, I have strived to demonstrate for the wee ones that things like a toilet paper roll can be transformed into a toy with inspiration.  I believe greatness lies in simplicity – in the near past while mothers and grandmothers in Hungary were focusing on household chores such as removing corn kernels from ears or working on a spinning wheel, they knew how to keep children entertained – kids were making puppets, like a movable horsey.

I can imagine almost everything I see being used as materials for arts & crafts.  I especially like those objects which are classified as “useless” after they have filled their purposes and are destined to end up in bins.  I’ve always had trouble not ignoring the waste.  I like to recycle empty detergent bottle, which can easily be turned into Santa Claus.  When I was a child, I liked to build furniture and vacuums for my dolls or gifts for parents from a small paper box, such as a pillbox.

I like to design new things when I am inspired by a new process, the merit of creativity moves me and I have endeavoured to find an original way to make little ones happy by giving them a new toy that I have made or we have created together.  I am always overwhelmed with joy when I see my grandkids smiling and playing with their new toys.

This horsey reminds both adults and children of those traditional Hungarian bedtime stories in which the horse was the main character, and children like playing these tales with their friends.  Even by holding this horsey in our hand, makes kids and adults neighing, prompting kids to tell a tale. Stories play a vital role in the growth and development of children.  Tales have been passed down from one generation to another, that’s how heroes stay with us and revive the knight, the warrior in us.

Here in Hungary, I participate in a workshop as a teacher every first Sunday during Summer Holiday where I create this horsey with kids, parents and grandparents.  This workshop is a sort of entertainment for all age groups, and the organisers invite bands to hold a concert, troupes to perform a piece for kids and various artists to set up stalls where all participants can learn how to make a toy based on traditions.  

It might be difficult to come to Hungary right now and take this workshop here with me, but I am excited to be able to bring my piece of Hungary and a big dollop of creativity to you!

Please note: This Workshop is geared toward children ages 6+ who will be able to have an adult help with some aspects of the preparation of materials, as well as with certain tasks during the project making part of the Workshop (ie. punching holes through either cardboard or bottle caps, tying knots). 


What You'll Need

GLOkit What's a GLOkit?

This Workshop does not require a GLOkit.

Additional Supplies

Each Learner will need the following supplies in order to prepare for the Workshop a few days in advance by completing certain steps:

  • A paper towel inner cardboard roll cut into two pieces: 1 piece 3 ¾ inch (to be the horse's head), 1 piece 4.5 inch (to be the horse's body).
  • Paint: either tempera, acrylic, or watercolor
  • Paint brush or small kitchen sponge
  • Kitchen gloves to protect hands from paint (optional)
  • Hairdryer (optional)
  • Wet wipes to clean hands (optional)
  • 4, 1 inch diameter size bottle-caps OR buttons OR cardboard cut-outs (for hoofs)
  • Something pointy to make the holes in the cardboard (ie. pointy scissors, pointy nail file, a meat skewer, blunt needle).  If using bottle caps, a hammer and nail could be used to make the hole.
  • Newspaper to cover workspace

*Preparation prior workshop:

  • Using the paint of your choice, paint both pieces of the pre-cut paper towel roll as well as the circle cut outs – please feel free go wild, dream and create your fabulous own horse! You’re more than welcome to paint your horsey with any colour or colours! Please make sure to do it a couple of days in advance in order to give it enough time to dry. It might be easier to utilize a kitchen sponge to paint both rolls, wearing gloves is advisable to protect your hands, but using wet wipes after painting can do the trick to remove excess paint from your hands. It is also optional to help the drying process with your hairdryer, please be careful with the heat!
  • Cut a small hole into the middle of your bottle caps or your cardboard cut-outs to be the hoofs. If using cardboard, punch the holes BEFORE cutting out the circles (it is much easier this way!)

Each Learner will need the following supplies during the Workshop:

  • The prepared materials: the pre-painted paper towel roll in 2 pieces and 4 pre-cut circles (or bottle caps or buttons)  (with holes punched in the center)
  • 2 pieces of yarn or twine, each 8 inches long (for horse's legs) 
  • Materials to make the tail and mane: you may choose to use twine, yarn, or balloon ribbon. Be sure to have about 16-20 of length.  Alternatively, 20 8 inch long, 1/2 inch wide strips of colored paper may be used 
  • ! chopstick or meat skewer
  • Something sharp to poke holes in the cardboard rolls-a pointy nail file OR pointy scissors OR a blunt needle
  • Scissors
  • Glue (can be Elmer's or a glue gun)
  • Stapler (as an alternative to gluing the mane and tail materials, if preferred)
  • Scotch tape
  • Black marker (if the horse is painted black, then choose a marker that will be visible over black)
  • Pencil
  • Large eraser (to protect fingers when poking holes)
  • Ruler


Technical Requirements

You will need a device (computer or tablet) that is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speakers. For more information, please check out our Technical Requirements page.

Meet the Instructor

instructor headshot

Katalin RónaiView Profile

I'm Katalin!  I love crafting and really enjoy being creative.  I have a passion to pass this knowledge to others, so they can feel what it is like to create, make something new for themselves, or make new things out of old materials.  I have been making dolls and puppets (as well as other fun things) for kids and adults for many years. I understand the healing power of creation. It is very heartwarming to see the smiles on the faces of people when they create something with their hands.

I graduated secondary school as a technician.  I obtained a higher education, as a technician in andragogy and library sciences. I mastered courses in toy and puppet making with textiles.  I have enrolled in eight competitions where my work received the top award, out of a total of 300 contestants.  In doing so, I have earned a certificate called “Aranykoszorus - Golden Laurel” which reflects my knowledge and creativity.

I have been doing crafts since my childhood.  My father was an upholsterer, and when I was young I would build furniture for my dolls with his help.  I recycled tiny leftover bit- such as power supplies piping, screw-nuts etc. and made toys for myself. I was a lonely child, and crafting my own toys kept me busy.  I also loved to read under the blankets, and sometimes even hid Jack London's books in my workbooks.

Due to my family background, there were few traditions in my childhood.  However, when I began high school, I started to craft, and made handmade gifts for Christmas and other traditional festivals like Easter and Secret Santa.  When I was 25 years old, I met my husband, who came from a totally different background. Traditional festivals and celebrations were always important for him.  Later when I became a mother of two lovely girls, I started to make more and more handmade gifts. I prepared costumes, masks, dresses for proms, and marionettes.  It is important that I use as many natural materials as possible, following in Hungarian tradition.

I am so excited to be a GLOMADO Instructor, because I want to show my students that making new things can bring them joy, on a daily basis.  I love to help my students be creative, so they can have the chance to use their imaginations, and spread their wings in the field of arts and crafts.

Hungary is located in the middle of Europe. It is part of our culture to relay our traditions to the next generations.  Hungarian agriculture is very diverse. We grow several types of crops, such as corn. We always strive ourselves to re-use raw materials. For example, our ancestors made dolls and ornaments from corn husks, drums from nutshells, and flutes from reeds, which are tools used to play Hungarian folk music.  In my art, I have been working with paper and paper recycling for many years. I especially love working with two specific natural materials in Hungary: the leftovers of corn (corn-husk, corn-cub), and chestnut.

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NOTE: You can choose any available date on the calendar and rest assured that your GLOkit(s) WILL arrive before your workshop time! We only display dates/times that allow time to ship.

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Saddle Up with a Hungarian Marionette Horse