Faux Deer Head Project

I can't remember why, but I've been obsessed with looking at Carved Wooden Deer Heads online lately. I think it's because our basement renovation is taking on a rustic feeling and I love the look. I was especially inspired by this one:

Clearly, $625 was out of my price range. So, I sat on it for a bit.

Suddenly, at 9pm one night I dragged out some supplies:

Masking tape
Rigid Wrap plaster cloth

I started out by drawing the shape of the antlers on a piece of brown kraft paper, then traced it onto the cardboard. To get a pair of antlers, you will need to trace the shape one way then flip the template and trace the second one backwards.

Then I started with a ball of newspaper that I began to shape with the help of masking tape. A general skull shape is just wider at the top and tapered at the snout. Square off the snout and hold everything in place with layers of tape.

Then I concocted paper mache using flour and water and stirred. It should be the consistency of pancake batter. Simply dip strips of newspaper and apply to the newspaper skull and cardboard antlers.

I knew I could paint the paper mache after it dried, but I wanted more of plaster look, so I found this Rigid Wrap brand plaster cloth at my local craft store. Bingo!

The plaster cloth is so easy to apply, simply cut the cloth into appropriately sized pieces and soak in warm water. Rub the cloth until creamy then apply to your project. Your skull will look like white plaster when you are finished:

I painted it with a white gloss acrylic paint then wiped on then wiped off a medium stain to antique it a bit.

So, eventually, it might find a home on my new basement fireplace - but since it looks like this right now:

I think I'll keep it up here for the time being.

Don't forget your opportunity to Teach Me Stuff is right around the corner. Come back tomorrow to link up for Tutorial Tuesday!



  1. Man, now you're making paper deer heads. So talented, Jennifer!

  2. Ah, very nice!! I have some of that rigid wrap and have only made a volcano for my son with it!

  3. OMGosh!! You did such a super fabulous job! Can't wait to see it in it's new home!

  4. WOW that looks amazing! I would never have thought to paper mache. Oh the possibilities...

  5. Turned out fab! I have a real deer head hanging in my garage that you can have.....if you can get it out of my hubby's grasp that is :)

  6. I'm seeing these turn up everywhere now. So you're right on the mark!
    Very cool!

  7. Wow, what a great look. I never would have thought to try to make one of my own.

  8. I just love faux projects! Nice job! It will look great in your finished room!


  9. That deer head turned out awesome!! I'm thinking I might need one now...

  10. I love this. I made a deer head out of foam core board back in Sept last year and have only just found a home for it on the wall. I was thinking it looked like it needed something else to go with it. This might be just the ticket! Thanks :-)

  11. How fun. I've been wanting to "dip" into paper mache. Haven't done it since I was a kid.

  12. This is AWESOME, thanks so much for posting this. I have been trying to think of a way to make my own for a while now!

  13. What an awesome project!!! My boys would love something like this! I found you over at ASPTL!


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