Here's the toy stick horse I made for Elizabeth this Christmas. It didn't cost me a thing because I already had all the parts laying around the shop leftover from various projects. The head is made from cedar leftover from the fence. The knot goes all the way through so the "eyes" line up and are of equal size/shape. The stick is an old broom handle cut down to size. Using a back saw, I cut one side flat so that it would lay flush with the edge of the neck. A little wood glue and three pre-drilled screws hold them together.
The finish is Vermont Maple with two coats of polyurethane. The ears are cut from black vinyl and painted black on the fuzzy side. They were then stapled to the head. I spent an hour and half last night creating the mane. It's basically three pieces of yarn braided with 4" strands half hitched in the middle to the main braid at every turn. I thought he looked kind of cute with wild strands poking out from a single corn row.