Oct 24, 2012

paper mache deer head!


as i was planning out how to decorate our little one's nursery, i found myself always admiring (and drooling) over these faux deer heads i kept seeing online. the only problem was that they were so expensive. i thought about making my own but didn't have the slightest clue on how to do it. thankfully, there's pinterest and a DIY blog called lil blue boo. after reading ashley's tutorial on how to create your own paper mache animal head, i made the bold move and dived right in. i admit though, that i was a little nervous it would turn out to be a complete disaster seeing as this was my first experience with paper mache BUT with the help of some friends, it came out so much better than i expected and for only $20, i'm pretty much in love with it! so let's get started...

  
the first items you'll need are newspaper & masking tape. take the newspaper and start crumpling it in different size balls until it's the shape you need and then wrap it in masking tape. this is how you'll shape the head. this step took me several tries until i was happy with the general shape of the deer head. just keep shaping & taping until it looks something like this...


i opted out of making a neck for him because it was just more work than i thought necessary but if that's something you want, just keep using that same process you used for the head. i then cut out an oval shape from my cardboard and attached the deer head.

the next step is making your paper mache paste. i used 4 cups of water + i cup of flour. bring to a boil and keep stirring until it has a "soup-like" consistency. if the paste seems a little thicker than what you think it should be, that's fine. just make sure the mixture is smooth and all the flour is dissolved. while the paste is cooling, cut some paper towels in different size pieces. i found that the smaller pieces helped keep things smoother and easier to apply.

dip the paper towels in the paste, cover the entire head and let dry overnight (or longer if need be) - while the head was drying, i shaped antlers and ears out of cardstock & masking tape. the antlers were a challenge, so i suggest looking at a picture for reference.

once the head is dry, attach the antlers and ears with masking tape and then cover with another batch of paste and paper towels. this time, feel free to go thicker and take your time to shape the head to look exactly how you want. this is how it should look when you're done with the second layer of paper mache...


as you can see, i only added the paper mache at the base of the antlers and ears to help stablilize them. let the head dry for 24 to 48 hours (mine needed two days to completely dry) - once that's done, cut up small pieces from an old book and mod podge them all over the head, cardboard, antlers and ears until it's completely covered (this will take some time) but be patient and keep covering...


once the head was dry, i attached it to a wood plaque i bought at michael's using industrial glue and then some small wood nails around the edge to secure it. a staple gun is recommended so if you have one, i would suggest using that instead of the wood nails. 

i let the glue settle for about a day and then we hung it up on the wall! here's the finished result...


and that's it! it took several hours and the help of a couple friends but it was such a fun project and i saved some money in the process. can't beat that! happy wednesday!