Remember the “Woodlands Deer” pumpkin I did for Halloween this year? Well, once it was time to chunk the pumpkins I didn’t want to get rid of my fake antlers. We had found them on a walk one day and I had a good 30 minutes of painting time invested in them (okay, so that includes dry time and snack breaks, but STILL…) That’s when I got the idea to make a stick antler faux animal head. Obviously animal heads are all the rage in decorating. We don’t have any because, well, Matt does NOT like them and honestly I grew up with REAL ones hanging in our house. My dad was a hunter so the antlers on the wall thing was happening at our house way before it was trendy. Here’s how I made my Stick Antlers Animal Head.
I went to Hobby Lobby and bought this foam cube and a wooden plaque. The cube was around $3 (I used my 40% off coupon tho) and the plaque was $2.50 but on sale for 50% off. I already had all the other supplies I needed on hand.
I retracted my antlers from my pumpkin and had to snip the very ends off that had been in the pumpkin. nasty. I then let them dry for a day or so. Once they were nice and dry and got my craft paint out and added a few extra colors. The original paint scheme was supposed to be sort of fallish/halloweeny so I added a few extra stripes that were a little more random. I also got out our bread knife and a sand paper block to try and shape the foam into a shape that was reminiscent of an animal. I did not want it to look like an animal face, I was really going for something quirky.
By the way, normally the projects I do have been done before and there is some sort of example out there… not this one. I just had to wing it and try different things until I got it the way I wanted it. Once I liked the shape, I went into the front yard and grabbed our newspaper that had been sitting there for a few days (we like to store our weekly paper in our front yard). I cut around 20 strips about an inch wide and then started modpodging it onto the foam block. You could totally make your own paper mache mix but I had modpodge so I used it.
Then I walked away for the day and let it dry. A few days later I got my white craft paint out and painted the plaque and the head. (I forgot to take pics…) At this point you also need to add something to the back of the plaque so you can hang it. I just used a picture hanger that I hammered into the back. You could also just drill a shallow hole in the back so a nail head could fit in. That was going to be my plan but I found a picture hanger in our supplies so I went for it. Don’t forget this step – I almost did!
Then I used heavy duty adhesive to glue the head to the plaque. I let that cure for another day or so. I poked holes in the top of the head where I wanted the antlers to go with the end of a pair of scissors (making sure the hole wasn’t bigger than the antler’s diameter). I filled the holes with more heavy duty adhesive and then wedged the antlers in. I propped the whole thing up so it could dry (at least a day). Once that was done I touched the whole thing up with my white paint and then wrapped a piece of ribbon around the head where it touches the plaque. This was just something extra – you could skip it. I used gold thumb tacks to secure it because I thought it sort of looked like an old school set of mounted antlers. Here’s a shot from the top.
I grabbed an old frame we had in storage (we have a ton of old wall art saved because I am constantly re-purposing the frames!). I wish I had one that was more rectangle – I’m going to keep my eye out when we hit some thrift stores this weekend. For now the square one works and plays well with the shape of the “head”. If you remember, this was originally a project that I was going to hang in my craft corner. Well, I was so slow about getting it done (I only worked on it a few minutes here and there over the last week) that in the meantime we have started to transition Milo’s room into a big boy room. I thought it would look cute on his gallery wall – the colors that I randomly chose for the antlers match perfectly to the color scheme in his room! So that’s where it has found it’s home.
I love how it turned out! I can’t really tell you how much time it would take because I worked on mine when I had a few minutes here and there over a week. This worked out well because it gave the glue time to cure and the paint time to dry. It cost me less than $5 but I already had things like craft paint, glue, etc on hand. It would be an inexpensive project even if you had to purchase more supplies tho.
Let me know if you decide to make one. Maybe we can start a stick animal head trend?