How to Make Your Own Horse Name Plate

On large yards, it can be helpful to put up name plates.
On large yards, it can be helpful to put up name plates. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Putting a name plate on your horse's stable door is practical as well as attractive. On large yards, clearly labelled stables make the routine easier, and help prevent accidents such as feeds being given to the wrong horses.

Commercial name plates are available, but making your own is far cheaper and more satisfying. You can also personalize it to your own horse with photographs and specific colors.

Things You'll Need

  • Oblong piece of wood, the size of your nameplate
  • Tape measure
  • Pen
  • Off cut of wood
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Acrylic paint in two contrasting colors
  • Paintbrush
  • Photos of your horse, glitter stars etc (optional)
  • Glue (optional)
  • Yacht varnish

Halfway up each short side of the name plate, measure 1" in and mark with a cross. Place the nameplate on a steady surface, and position the off cut of wood under one of the crosses. Drill holes where the crosses are marked, taking care to drill into the wooden off cut to protect your work surface. Lay the name plate flat, and sand any sharp edges and around the drill holes.

Design the lettering for your nameplate on a computer and print it off. Cut the paper to the same size as the nameplate and tape it over the top. Use a pen to draw around the edges of the lettering, pressing down firmly. When the paper is removed, you should see the outline of the letters pressed into the wood.

Using the paler of your two colors, carefully paint in the outline of the letters. Allow to dry before applying a second coat.

When the paint is completely dry, use the darker color to paint a thin line around each letter. This will help to hide any unevenness in the original letters. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Decorate the nameplate by glueing on photos of your horse, glitter stars, etc, or painting a picture of him. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly.

Apply several coats of varnish, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your name plate is going to be exposed to the weather, it's best to use yacht varnish for this project. This is hardwearing, but will still need re-applying once a year to keep your name plate in good condition.
  • Take care when drilling, and use a sturdy non-slip surface.
  • Use varnish in a well-ventilated area.

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