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As I was planning out how to decorate our little one's nursery, I always found myself admiring 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 a bold move + 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 + for only $20, I'm pretty much in love with it! So let's get started.

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Some essential items to have on hand for this project are newspaper & masking tape. Take the newspaper and start crumpling it up in different size balls until it's the shape you need + then wrap it in masking tape. This is how you'll shape the head. This step takes some guesswork + took me several tries until I happy with the general shape of the deer head. Just keep shaping & taping until it looks something like this.

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I opted out of making a neck for him because it was just more work than I thought necessary (or I'm just lazy) but if that's something you want, just keep using that same process you used for the head. Next, I cut out an oval shape from some cardboard and attached the deer head.

 Now comes the fun part. Making your paper mache paste. I used 4 cups of water + 1 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 + was easier to apply.

Dip the paper towels in the paste, cover the entire head + 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. Give the head some definition (again, this is where a picture comes in really handy) This is my deer head after the second layer of paper mache.

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As you can see, I only added paper mache at the base of the antlers and ears to help stabilize 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  use mod podge to attach them over the head, cardboard, antlers and ears until it's completely covered (this will take some time) but be patient and keep covering.

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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 HIGHLY suggest using that instead of the wood nails (we accidently put some small dents in our table) - Yeah, lesson learned.

I let the glue settle for about a day + then we hung it up on the wall!  Here's the finished result!

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I love it! It's definitely one of my favorite things hanging up in Lincoln's nursery!

I'd love to hear if you were brave enough to give this project a try + if it turned out for you!

Happy Wednesday!