Paint Your Own Dala Horse Workshop

Dalahäst painting workshop with iHanna

A few weeks back I held a workshop at the Stockholm university. It was super fun and I took lots of photos while we painted. Some of you have seen a few instagram pics already, but I wanted to share more from the workshop with you guys. Mostly of the student’s creativity – it was mindbogglingly amazing!

Naked Dala Horses

I started by talking a bit about the history of the dala häst (an image that has become a symbol of Sweden in many ways), kurbits (the painting style) and how the horses are still made mostly by hand today. I showed slides of my own visit to the Dala Horse Factory. Then each student got a wood horse to paint themselves, in what ever style they choose!

Spray Painting a Dala Horses

We set up a “safe area” to spray paint your horse outside, and once everyone was finished they got a sketch paper for trying out ideas on, acrylic paint, glitter glue and paint brushes.

Golden dalahäst

And then everyone was of painting. Green horses, blue horses, white horses, silver and gold shimmering horses!

Rainbow Dala Horse  (Copyright Photo Hanna Andersson)
Striped rainbow horses…

I was trying to paint a horse of my own, but as always I couldn’t concentrate on making my own art when in a room full of chatty people, sights and sounds. Instead I enjoyed walking around the tables, looking at the different horses being born.

Green Kurbits Dala Horse  (Copyright Photo Hanna Andersson)

Most of the students (people from all over the world studying at Stockholm University) tried a rather traditional approach, looking at “real” Dala Horses to learn how they’re decorated. Others did their own thing, and of course there were a lot of glitter added.

SUS versions of a Dala Horse  (Copyright Photo Hanna Andersson)

Once again I was reminded of how much I enjoy inspiring others, not only here in my online space, but IRL too.

If you would like to have me come teach a workshop like this one, or if you have other ideas on collaboration, feel free to contact me! I really enjoy myself when I get to teach, children and grownups alike. And I really like being a self proclaimed ambassador of all things creative, especially “the Swedish kind”.

Happy Dala Horse  (Copyright Photo Hanna Andersson)

I bet you want to paint your own version of the Dala Horse right now, huh? :-)

Then let me tell you, you can buy the original pinewood naked horses online, carved in Dalarna (the ones we used were 10 cm = 3.9 inches)! Then get ready to paint!

Thanks for visiting!

7 Responses

  1. How in the world did I miss this!!! You have now inspired me to add Dala to my carving wish along with a Santa Gnome. I can’t carve yet of course, but I do want to learn simple carving.

    So much love and joy and inspiration in these images. What a delight to see them. On St. Lucy morning!!! xxoxoxoxo

  2. That looks like fun! I especially love the striped rainbow horse you show here, as well as the one with yellow and orange flowers. Your students were truly inspired to design!

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