DIY Horse Drink Stirrers

This weekend I’m off to the Derby! Yep, I was invited down to Louisville for the 147th Kentucky Derby. Of all the opportunities that IBC has brought me, I never dreamed that going to the Derby would be one of them. I’m both excited and humbled to be going. I’ll be sharing things on Instagram and Snapchat (@inspiredbycharm) throughout the weekend, so feel free to follow along.

To get ready for the weekend, I thought I’d post a couple simple Derby Day ideas here on IBC. First up are these DIY Horse Drink Stirrers.

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

In case you didn’t know, the Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race (that lasts about 2 minutes) at Churchill Downs. This event has birthed lots of traditions, including bright and colorful outfits, outlandish hats, and the mint julep.

While the mint julep is probably the most well-known derby drink, there are several other libations to help celebrate the event. I thought it’d be fun and fitting to create coordinating cocktail couture to embellish your derby drink of your choice.

I spotted some horse drink stirrers for sale online. Instead of buying a set, I decided to make my own version. Say hello to my DIY Horse Drink Stirrers.


DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

Other than a fresh sprig of mint, there’s nothing else I’d rather have in my glass while watching the race and cheering on the horses. In fact, I plan to sneak these into my luggage and pop them into my drinks at the derby. Too fun, right?

And as you might have guessed, they are simple to make. Let me show you.

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

You will need:
Plastic miniature horses
Plastic drink stirrers
Drill with #8 drill bit
Gold spray paint
E6000 glue

Begin by drilling a hole in the bottom of your plastic horse. (I found my horses here.) It’s best to use a grip or vise to hold the horse while drilling instead of just holding the horse in your hand. Safety first.

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

You only need to drill about 1/4 of the way into the horse. That will be deep enough to secure the drink stirrer.

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

With the horses drilled, coat them evenly with gold spray paint. (If you anticipate that the horse will come in contact with your drink, use a food safe spray paint.) I used this gold spray paint which is my favorite gold.

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

When the horses are dry, add a bit of E6000 glue to the top of your plastic drink stirrers and insert one into each of the pre-drilled holes.

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

Allow the glue to dry completely, and your Horse Drink Stirrers are ready to go.

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |
DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

Too perfect, right?

Naturally, you can use any combination of colors to create your stirrers. However, when I have the chance to paint something gold, you know I’m going to take it.

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

Plus, I felt that the combination of gold with the clear stirrers was classic and would match well with any cocktail. What do you think? I also love the mix of metals with my copper mint julep glasses.

DIY Horse Drink Stirrers |

Even if you aren’t watching the derby this weekend, these DIY drink stirrers can make any party a bit more fun. Get creative and use different animals like dinosaurs, unicorns, or cats. Crazy Cat Lady party? Um, yes please!

I hope you enjoyed this easy DIY. Tomorrow I’ll be back with a unique derby drink just in case Mint Juleps aren’t your jam. Stay tuned.


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  • Alex at

    Did anyone have trouble with the spray paint not drying?

    • InkyPinkys at

      YES! I used the spray paint recommended in this article, and a year later it *still* isn’t dry. The paint is still sticky and comes off when it touches anything. Love this project idea, but not sure what to do to get the paint to dry.

      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        That is so strange. I’m not sure why this would happen. I didn’t have any troubles with stickiness. Perhaps try a coat of primer. You could also try a topcoat. These are just solution ideas, I’m not 100% sure they will work. I’m so sorry you had troubles with you spray paint.

        xo Michael

    • Cindy at

      Yes. 2 years later the paint is still tacky. There was another crafter who did the same idea and used a different paint. I did not read any reviews. But definitely something to try. I am thinking about trying again this year. Thinking about washing the horses to get whatever coating is on it, off. And/or trying other paint.

  • Liesl at

    I made these last year and they were too adorable. However I didn’t use the spray paint you recommended and it reacted to the horses after a few weeks. Can you tell me what gold spray paint you used so I can recreate this year? The link will not link to the gold spray paint you used anymore.

    Thank you so much!

  • Sissy Watson at

    I hope you enjoyed your trip to Derby (I know this was a couple of years ago, but I just now saw it). I live in Louisville and, of course, we’re gearing up for another huge Derby only days from now. If you’re ever back in town for Derby or anything else, let me know. My condo is listed on AirB&B, if you ever need a place to stay. Really enjoy your blog!

  • Monica at

    I am over the moon with this idea….thank you for posting

  • Terri at

    Thank you for this reminder! I saw it when you first posted it and will take some time to make for this year’s derby. As a born and raised Kentuckian, I always look forward to Derby Day!

  • Linda Rubin at

    The derby is nOT this weekend. It’s May 5

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      This post was written a couple years ago. 😉

      xo Michael

  • Lisa Bader at

    The Derby was many months ago…but I just ran across this post as part of your 2016 round-up, so for me, it’s all new. Anyway…
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea. Classy, whimsical, elegant, fun. It’s guaranteed to make any drink taste better. Plus, the gold means it can fancy up any cocktail bar! If I were at your party, I would most definitely slip one into my purse as a party souvenir. Well-done!
    xo, Lisa

  • Deborah at

    Those are absolutely adorable. I love the Kentucky Derby and will be front and center on my sofa watching. I think I might have to go to the $ store for some plastic horse. Great idea!

  • Elle at

    Fab idea! I think I could make these:)

  • Julie Blanner at

    I am head over heels in love with these! Cheers!

  • Gwen, The Makerista at

    So chic! And look at you, you jet-setter. 🙂 Congrats and can’t wait to see what fun you have!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Haha. Thanks so much Gwen!

      xo Michael

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