Easy DIY Pattern for a Deer Head  Faux Trophy Mount


Don’t let the antlers scare you – this paper mache deer head is easy to make with the downloadable pattern.

You can add a natural, rustic look to your decor if you paint the deer’s fur like I did. Or use white spray paint or bronze coating for that awesome “faux trophy mount” look. 

Watch the video below to see how easy it is to tape the cardboard pieces together and to finish your deer head with one layer of paper mache.

What happens after you order:

This is a downloadable PDF Pattern with full instructions, so there’s no waiting, and no shipping costs. You can start on your project right away

You’ll be able to download your pattern right after you order. You’ll also receive an email with the download link, and a separate receipt. The emails may take a few minutes to arrive. If you don’t see them, be sure to check your spam or promotions folder.

Be sure to download your pattern directly to your computer or device, so you can access it again later.

Finished size: About 15 inches (38.1 cm) high, 16 inches (40.64 cm) wide and 13 inches (33.02 cm) deep.

To make your “DIY deer head”:

  • Print the pattern on plain copy paper and attach it to cardboard with a glue stick, or print the pattern pieces on full-sheet labels instead. (See the materials list below).
  • Cut out the pieces.
  • Tape them together.
  • Add a Styrofoam ball with hot glue for the eyes.
  • Use foil to make the antlers strong and curve them the way you want them.(Be sure to look at photos, so you get the look you want).
  • Add additional foil to the ears, eyelids and nostrils.
  • Then turn your cardboard armature into a permanent sculpture by adding paper mache and paper mache clay. You can find the recipes in the Art Library on this site.
  • And paint it. Use acrylic paint, like I did, or spray paint like the popular resin faux taxidermy sculptures. Or paint it with geometric designs or cover your deer head armature with colored cloth – it’s totally up to you!
DIY deer head side view
Side view of the paper mache deer, when painted with natural colors
Paper mache deer head with bronze coating
This is how the deer head pattern looks with faux bronze coating and patina.

Watch the video below to see how to use the deer head pattern:

Play Video

To make this paper mache deer head sculpture you will need:

  • The downloadable pattern
  • Printer
  • Copy paper or full-sheet labels
  • Glue stick if using copy paper for pattern
  • Cardboard from 2 standard-sized cereal boxes*
  • Pieces of corrugated cardboard from one or more shipping boxes
  • Knife and sharp scissors for cutting cardboard
  • Tape, both clear plastic tape and masking tape
  • 1 ½” (4 cm) Styrofoam ball, cut in half
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glue gun
  • Paper strips and paste or paper mache clay (or use both, like I did)
  • Acrylic gesso or white spray primer
  • Acrylic paint and matte varnish (or spray paint, if you want your deer head to be all one color).

*You can find recipes for paper mache paste and paper mache clay in the Art Library tab at the top of this site.


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Do you have a question or need help with your pattern?

I love questions!

There are two ways to contact me:

The fastest way to get an answer is to leave a comment on this page. I read all comments and answer them as soon as I can, usually within a few hours. Some of my readers might also chime in to help – we have a very supportive community here on this site.

If you prefer to reach me privately, you can send me an email.  I’ll try to respond as quickly as I can, but if you don’t hear back from me within 24 hours, assume the cyberspace gremlins ate your email and try again.

10 thoughts on “DIY Deer Head “Faux Taxidermy” Pattern”

  1. Jonni,

    I’m having a terrible time trying to figure out the ears for the deer. I’ve messed with them but can’t seem to “get it”. How do the pieces (16 & 17) go together?

    • Hi Sylvia. The ears can be tricky. Maybe the easy way to describe it is to say that the tabs should all line up along the bottom, and the extension on piece 16 needs to bend to match the V-shaped end of piece 17. Does your ear look anything like the one below, after the short end of 17 is taped to the extension on pice 16?

  2. For me, that was one of your most fun videos. I have had a difficult time viewing videos on my computer for some reason, so I was happy when they played today. I love the idea of aluminum foil around the nose and the eyes. I’m definitely going to use that. I’m painting a few projects now and am going to paint with Jessie’s brush! It looks like you paint from dark to light.? I love the fur.

    I grew up in a family of hunters (I don’t kill anything, even spiders — maybe a fly or two!), and they killed deer every year. The antlers are really impressive, and it looks to me like the marks are painted perfectly. They are not “straight.”

    I had an uncle who had a tame deer. Someone took a photo of me holding his face in my hands and getting ready to give him a kiss, so this brought back many fond memories.

    Thanks so much for thinking outside the box for those of us who hardly see daylight!

  3. Jonni, the painting of the fur is perfect. I can hardly believe it. I, too, bought one of “Jessie’s brushes” and plan on using it soon. I used the brush once and love it. The deer is beautiful. Thanks for all your beautiful work.

  4. Jonni, the fur paint job is fabulous! Jessie would be really proud that you took her tutorial to heart. I got one of those brushes after watching her tutorial but it is much smaller. I like the size that you have….may have to get one!
    The painting of the deer antlers was realistic as well. In real life, they are not all going in the same direction. My kids would find them and bring them home and they have scratches and dents in all sorts of directions, perhaps as a result of their mating behaviors??? I wonder if you used that same brush and used longer strokes if you could achieve that same effect?
    It is a fine sculpture and a really fine pattern that you offer. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Eileen. I bought one of the smaller graining brushes, too, but I haven’t tried it yet. I do wonder if the larger brush would work on fur that clumps, like bear or wolf fur – when you see small bunches coming together in a point. I guess I’ll have to try it. 🙂

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