Tag: Crafts

DIY PAPER MACHE DEER HEAD

diy paper mache deer head

Learn how to make this DIY paper mache deer head for free using items around the house! Perfect for a woodland nursery or kids room!

DIY paper mache deer head

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


While out shopping for our son’s nursery, I came across this $15 paper mache deer head at Hobby Lobby. I could have just bought the deer head, I could have used a coupon, but me being my stubborn self said, “I can make that.”

Let me preface this with the fact that I have probably only done paper mache once back in grade school…

After completing our ultrasound picture frame and wood letters, I wanted some way to add dimension to the collage wall we were doing in the nursery. This DIY deer head was a wonderful addition with its neutral tones and antique flair of the newspaper and twine!

DIY paper mache deer head on collage wall in woodland nursery

Zero planning went into the making of this project, and my process may seem like a mess. Nonetheless, it worked and I didn’t even spend a penny to complete this project! All of the supplies was either free – newspaper and packing paper – or items we already had – twine and Mod Podge.

My logic was this:

I will make it and love it. – OR – I will hate it and it only cost me the time to make it.

Thankfully, the former was what happened!

Zero planning. Zero dollars spent. One happy mama. One good looking deer!

front view of diy paper mache deer head in woodland nursery

VARIATIONS OF THIS PROJECT:

  • Add floral to the crown of the deer’s head for a girl’s room or nursery.
  • Use this pre-made paper mache deer head and simply decorate!
  • Cover only in brown paper for a more neutral look.
  • Remove the antlers for a doe or try a different animal.
  • Use as an art project and have your kids help make it!

SUPPLIES

If you do not want to make the form from scratch, you can purchase a ready made paper mache deer head and skip to Step 3 for how to decorate!

STEP 1 – PAPER STRIPS + MOD PODGE

We had mounds of packing paper leftover from our previous move with the Navy, so I decided to put at least a tiny portion of it to good use!

I used scissors to cut my paper into strips. I later found out the the pieces of paper will lay smoother if torn rather than cut. Either way works!

strips of packing paper

I cut both 1-2″ strips for my paper mache and 4-6″ strips for creating the overall base form.

To thin the adhesive, I placed some Mod Podge in a bowl and added some water to get the thinner consistency to dip the paper strips in.

STEP 2 – FORM THE BASE

Y’all are going to laugh so hard when you see my process for how this paper mache deer head took shape! I am not exaggerating when I say that I was completely winging it on this project and seeing where it took me.

HEAD + NECK

To begin, I grabbed two brown paper lunch bags and stuffed them with packing paper. I roughly shaped them into a head and neck, and tied them off. You can use whatever you have to tie them off – rubber band, tape, glue, staples, string, etc.

brown paper lunch bags stuff with packing paper to form head and neck shapes of the deer head

ANTLERS

Next, I formed the base of the antlers by twisting a 4-6″ wide strip of packing packing into a curve and wrapping it in smaller paper mache strips.

I did the same with smaller portions to form the points of the antler and attached them to the base of the antler by wrapping with smaller 1-2″ wide paper mache strips.

EARS

The ears were simply flat pieces of packing paper that I rolled up the sides of to form the rims of the ear. I used the hot glue gun to glue the rolled up sides to prevent them from unrolling before applying the paper mache.

formation of paper ear for the deer head

FORM THE BASE

After I had all of my pieces, I then attached them all to form the base. Starting with the base pieces, I glued the head to the neck portion. I twisted some more 4-6″ wide strips of packing paper and wrapped them along the top and base of the neck to form a natural tapering shape.

base form of paper mache deer head showing the tapering of the neck

Next, I created and attached the detail pieces. I glued the ears onto the head and crumbled up some small bits of paper to form mounds for the eyes and nose.

I know, it looks pretty bad right now. Keep going, it will get better!

Dipping the strips of 1-2″ wide packing paper into the glue, I began laying the strips onto the base. I used the strips to taper and smooth the details of the face until the base was covered and I was happy with how everything looked.

paper mache deer head covered in brown packing paper

The antlers were the last pieces to be glued onto the head because of their weight. Once I glued the antlers on, I had to prop them up while they dried.

Notice my glue bottles playing the role of structural supports!

STEP 3 – PAPER MACHE THE NEWSPAPER

Now that the foundation was made, it’s time to move onto the decorating portion! Considering our son was a Navy baby, I found it fitting to use Navy newspaper articles to decorate the deer head for his nursery!

I cut the newspaper into 1-2″ wide strips for my paper mache and thinned out some more Mod Podge.

Dipping the strips of newspaper into the glue, I began laying the strips onto the base. Continue until the base is covered in paper mache newspaper.

When working with newspaper, be careful not to overwork the paper. The ink can smear if brushing the surface with a sponge brush, rubbing the surface, etc.

Make sure to paper mache the base of the neck (the part that will be against the wall) with packing paper strips to strengthen it for hanging.

STEP 4 – APPLY THE TWINE

Once all of the paper mache was complete and dry, I then used a hot glue gun to attach the twine to the antlers.

I started from the base of the antlers and worked my way up, venturing off the base of the antler onto each point.

At the top of each point, I wrapped the twine until it filled in the space, glued it down at the center of the point, and trimmed off any excess.

Then, I went back to where I left off on the base of the antler and continued up the antler with a new strand of twine.

I repeated this process until the whole antler was covered in twine.

At this point you could choose to add floral! If we have a little girl at some point, I plan to add floral to the crown of the deer’s head and possibly intertwine some into the antlers.

STEP 5 – HANG ON THE WALL

My original plan for hanging the deer head onto the wall was to attach it to a wood plaque like a taxidermy deer head.

But, I was in a pinch to get this on the wall in time for some baby photos that were being taken in our son’s nursery.

What I ended up doing was simply poking a hole into the back of the deer’s neck and hung it on the wall through the use of a small command hook. It got the job done and I was happy with it!

DIY paper mache deer head hanging on wall in woodland nursery

I gotta admit, I was very happy with how this turned out especially when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing in the process! And I especially love how this project didn’t cost me anything! You can find more of our nursery projects below!

MORE NURSERY PROJECTS:

Happy Crafting!

How did you decorate your DIY paper mache deer head? Comment below or tag us on social media to share with us!

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HOW TO PAINT DISTRESSED WOOD LETTERS

DIY Painted Wood Letters

Learn how to easily paint and distress wood letters for your baby’s nursery with this simple tutorial! These DIY painted wood letters are a great way to add a personal touch to any room!

DIY painted wood letters, how to paint distressed wood letters

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


If you caught my post earlier this week on our ultrasound picture frame, then you already had a sneak peek at these painted wood letters!

Every nursery needs baby’s name displayed somewhere in the room! I feel like it’s almost obligatory to display baby’s name, initials, or birth date in some form.

The inspiration for this project was a collage wall I wanted to do above the dresser. I needed letters that were proportionate to both the ultrasound picture frame I had made and the space available within the college area.

I found these wood letters that were the exact size I needed to fill the spot! When it came to what colors to paint the letters, I chose to use a picture frame that was going to be used in the nursery as the inspiration.

This is a very simple project that adds a personal touch to any room! Continue below to find different ways you can personalize a space through variations of this project!

DIY painted wood letters

VARIATIONS OF THIS PROJECT:

  • Use large wood letters to hang above a crib or bed.
  • Use paper mache letters to stand on top of a dresser.
  • Mix and match sizes of wood letters to create a monogram.
  • Use numbers to paint their birth date.
  • Have a painting party with your kids and let them paint their own letters!

SUPPLIES

STEP 1 – PAINT THE WOOD LETTERS

When it came to the colors used, I mixed paints I already had from another nursery project to get the desired shades. These are the colors I used:

Next, I gave each letter a nice even coat of paint using a paintbrush.

Don’t forget to paint the sides of the letters!

unfinished wood letters

I have a before picture, but forgot to take one of just the letters painted solid…

STEP 2 – DISTRESS THE PAINTED WOOD LETTERS

Once the letters were dry, I took a dry paintbrush and placed only a small amount of accent color paint on the brush.

Accent colors used:

  • Gray accents for white letters
  • White accents for gray letters
  • Lighter brown accent for brown letters

I lightly stroked the dry brush across the letters until each letter had the amount of distressing wanted.

Be sure to distress the sides of each letter where needed!

painted and distressed wood letters

STEP 3 – HANG THE PAINTED WOOD LETTERS

After all of the paint was dry, it was time to hang the finished letters!

Since I wanted the wood letters to lay flat against the wall and they did not come with any way to hang them; I chose to use command strips to attach them to the wall.

Simply press and hold a command strip to the backside of each letter. Then press and hold the letter against the wall. Easy peasy!

DIY painted wood letters hanging on nursery wall using command strips

We had these letters hanging in our son’s nursery for over a year before we moved and removing them was a cinch. Zero damage to the wall and they held up great! Plus, this is a great option when renting because it’s less holes in the wall that you have to fill when you move out!


Easy, right?! I loved being able to personalize our son’s nursery with a fun and simple project! Check out some more of our nursery project’s below!

MORE NURSERY PROJECTS:

Happy Crafting!

We would love to see your finished project! Is your baby’s name displayed in the nursery? Comment below or tag us on social media to share with us!

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DIY ULTRASOUND PICTURE FRAME

DIY ultrasound picture frame

Display those precious ultrasound pictures with a window pane frame! This DIY project is very simple and a sweet addition to any nursery.

DIY ultrasound picture frame

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


We are going to kick off our nursery series with a super simple DIY project! Seriously, this is quite possibly one of the easiest DIY projects ever. If you are not much of a DIYer, there is a ready-to-go option for you in the supplies list!

During my pregnancy I was shopping for the nursery of course and found this cute chicken wire window frame in the clearance section at Michael’s. Who doesn’t love some good old fashioned chicken wire?!

At the time, I did not know what I wanted to do with it, so I took a picture of it and left it sitting on the shelf. Then the little light bulb went off in my head…

Each window pane in this frame was the perfect size for ultrasound pictures!

Our ultrasound pictures were residing on the refrigerator at the time, but I knew I wanted a way to display them in the nursery after our son was here. So I went back and got the frame.

I failed to take a picture of the frame before staining it, but here are some random close-ups I have showing the unfinished wood.

Seeing as how it was an unfinished wood frame, the first decision to make was whether to stain or paint the frame.

Considering the ultrasound picture frame was going to be hanging above the dresser, we decided to match the wood stains. The dresser we were using in the nursery was one I had from college and it has a dark red mahogany colored wood top.

With that being said, we figured a weathered stain with gray tones would probably not pair well with the rich red mahogany tones of the dresser and went with the matching route. Plus, we already had a gallon of Minwax Red Mahogany my dad had given to us previously, which meant this project just got cheaper with one less thing to purchase!

This was probably the fastest DIY project we have ever done, but certainly a favorite. This ultrasound picture frame serves as a sweet reminder of those blissful pregnancy days and how much our little boy has grown.

DIY ultrasound picture frame

VARIATIONS OF THIS PROJECT:

Paint the wood instead of stain.

If you don’t want a project that involves staining wood, you could use this window pane frame instead.

Could use a glass window pane frame instead of chicken wire and mini clothespins.


SUPPLIES

  • Unfinished Wire Window Frame
  • Wood Stain (I recommend this one for crafts!)
  • Staining Rag
  • Mini Clothespins
  • Ultrasound Pictures
  • Scissors

HOW TO MAKE AN ULTRASOUND PICTURE FRAME:

STEP 1 – STAIN (OR PAINT) THE FRAME

As I mentioned earlier, we chose to match the stain with the dresser being used in the nursery. At the time, I had used Minwax Red Mahogany, but would now highly recommend using this craft stain.

This craft stain is specifically meant for crafting projects such as this and is non-toxic, zero VOC, and no odor! All of which is a huge bonus for me considering I would always get migraines after working with conventional paints and stains.

stained wire window frame with some stain on the wire

We used a sponge brush to apply the stain which I have to admit was a big mistake! The stain got all over the chicken wire when trying to apply it to the inner portion of the frame. Based off our experience, we recommend using staining rags!

Apply the stain and any additional coats until you reach the desired color. Allow for adequate drying time between each coat.

STEP 2 – PREPARE ULTRASOUND PICTURES

Once the frame was stained, I cut out each ultrasound picture that was going to be displayed in the frame.

Here’s a tip, DO NOT try and laminate the ultrasound pictures!! I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea. This was the result…

ruined ultrasound picture due to laminating, picture is now solid black

Thankfully, I tested an awkward ultrasound picture of my ovaries first and not a picture of my growing baby boy!

Learn from my mistake. Say no to the temptations of the laminator for this one.

STEP 3 – HANG YOUR ULTRASOUND PICTURES AND THE FRAME

As I was meandering my way through the same clearance aisle at Michael’s, I found these teeny tiny clothespins. Obviously, because I thought they were adorable (and on sale) I bought them. Well this time I can actually thank my impulse buy!

case of assorted mini clothespins

These mini clothespins were actually part of the inspiration for turning this unfinished chicken wire frame into an ultrasound picture frame. They offered me a means of attaching the pictures to the frame.

I chose to use the two natural wood tones in the kit to go with the staining of the wood frame and the overall color scheme of our son’s nursery.

ultrasound pictures attached to chicken wire with mini clothespins

Then I simply clipped one on each side of the pictures to attach them to the chicken wire.

All that’s left is to hang the finished frame in the nursery!

When it came to hanging the frame, I wanted it to be hoizontal and lay flat against the wall. The hangers that came with the frame were positioned to hang it vertically. All I did was remove the hangers and use two nails to hang it by the frame and wire itself.

Done!


Isn’t this such a fun and easy project?! I loved being able to find a way to display our son’s ultrasound pictures in his nursery!

MORE NURSERY PROJECTS:

Happy Crafting!

We would love to see your baby’s ultrasound pictures! How did you display your baby’s first pictures? Comment below or tag us on social media to share with us!

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