DIY white deer head (for 45 bucks).

While I’m waiting for the bathroom paint to dry (yippee!) I thought I would do a quick post on my weekend project. Animal-friendly taxidermy has been quite the rage for awhile, and I’ve seen deer heads and rams on walls pop up everywhere in the design world. Here are a few that have caught my interest:

 

Emily Snuffer

From ApartmentTherapy.com

Emily Snuffer

From HouseBeautiful.com

 

Emily Snuffer

From Etsy.com

 

 

(Quick aside – I love how they used the Cavern Home blackbird wallpaper there. I love it in my kitchen and have been mentally unstable enough several times to consider putting it in additional places but I think I am over it.)

Ok anyways, these deer heads aren’t cheap. They are going for $100+ on Etsy and $250+ on sites like ZGallerie and Unica Home. So given that I couldn’t justify spending lots of money on something so “nice-to-have” I had given up on the thought of having one in my home for awhile. That was until I saw this listing on eBay last week with a current bid of $29.99:

It was like a dream come true! It’s resin, large (about 24″ x 18″ when assembled) and already came ready to mount. I waited until the listing almost closed and bid last minute (sneaky) at $31.00. I won! Two days later, it arrived and I was so pumped to transform it into a nice fancy fake deer head (so strange to say that… who knew one day I would be wanting a deer head in my house?) Here it is partially unpacked:

Emily Snuffer

And here she is out of the box. I am naming her Nicki Minaj (because all of the animals in my house are named after rappers).

Emily Snuffer

And here are Nicki’s antlers (detachable, naturally):

Emily Snuffer

I’m sure you figured this out already (or hopefully, have ignored this part of the post because you’re busy bidding on your own Nicki) but all I planned on doing is coating this thing in high gloss spray paint. It only took about 5 coats. Here is the spray paint I used:

Emily Snuffer

Tip for spray painting your deer head: It is a very rough surface (for “fur” and texture on the antlers) which means there will be lots of dips and grooves. I painted Nicki at all angles several times over to make sure I was getting every nook and cranny.

And finally, here is Nicki in all her glory:

Emily Snuffer

And a profile shot:

Emily Snuffer

Talk about a transformation! She’s not on the wall yet (the above photo is her on the floor of the black room) but I can’t get over how fancy she looks. Very quick (about two days mostly due to dry time) and inexpensive. My total expenses were deer head ($31) with shipping ($10) and spray paint ($3.24). Even the smaller ZGallerie one is more expensive than that. If you’re interested in a Nicki of your own, check out the eBay seller, Houseof1000boxes. They just posted another one for sale.

P/S: I just noticed the fun, pun-not-intended use of the word “bucks” in the headline. So clever I am sometimes.

Happy Sunday!

- emily

Pssstt… It’s been almost two years since I’ve posted this entry and it seems this trend of DIY deer heads is catching on. This specific deer head is highly sought after on eBay and prices now are in the $60′s. Any “deer head” projects on Etsy are typically made from this exact deer, but sellers are charging $100+. It’s not a good of a deal now compared to two years ago, but you’ll still save yourself $40ish by DIYing!

Psssssssssttt…. Reader Nick (check it out in the comments) just passed along this great Amazon deal. $45 deer head ready for spray painting. It looks like the savings on this project just got a whole lot better!

 

 

 

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29 thoughts on “DIY white deer head (for 45 bucks).

  1. Pingback: Birthday Business (And Black Room Progress) « emilysnuffer

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      1. sharon

        Okay, won the deer head and I’m having a DEVIL of a time finding the 2x gloss white paint. Where did you find it? I’ve went to Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Michaels, and the closest was AC Moore carrying it in a semi-gloss and not in the 2x. Online, it’s around $12 total with shipping. Any suggestions on where to look? Thanks!

        Reply
        1. emily @ go haus go Post author

          No need for the 2x – I think that refers to the coverage not the type of finish. Any semi gloss or high gloss white spray paint will work! Sorry it’s been such a pain. Ugh! I know how annoying that can be. Hope it helps, Emily

          Reply
  3. Jennifer

    Bidding on my own Nikki. Hope I win – the one you did looks so great, I can’t wait to get my own.
    I first got interested when I say an albino deer head on Oddities. Of course scoring an albino deer head is near impossible and cost prohibitive. So the next best thing is a fake deer head painted white. Love this one because of the texture and the price. Thanks for sharing and giving me the info oh how to get one of my very own. Jennifer

    Reply
  4. stephanie

    I used to have the same deer head, exact same one, also painted it white. see here http://sabbespot.blogspot.com/2010/01/tutorial-contact-paper-chevron-wall.html One day last year we came home and it was shattered in a million pieces. It was not the wall hanger that failed, it was the bracket on the back of the deer head. It broke an entire chunk from the backside and fell. We were so happy it happened when we were not home or it would have fallen right on our heads! Be careful:)

    Reply
    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      Ack! Thanks for letting me know. That is scary. I love that your antlers are brown. I’ve lived with the all-white for awhile now and am wanting some more contrast like yours. Hmmm.

      Reply
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  6. Kara

    I CANNOT find a resin deer head anywhere on the internet for less than $50+. What did you have to search in order to find a $30 one?
    Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Ashley

    Loves your project! I was looking at the same resin bust on eBay before I stumbled on to your site and your pics sealed the deal for me! I believe you have the same one as one of the faux taxidermy websites out there that sells them for over a hounded dollars! I can’t wait until I get mine in the mail. I wish that I could pin your pics to my DIY Pinterest board for quick reference when I get him painted. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  8. aquaholic_tea@yahoo.com

    I just received my buck bust in the mail today!!! I wish it wasnt raining on Cape Cod Massachusetts so I could get started on this! Thanks so much for the great idea! My husband was just not on board to pay over $100 for a white deer head! ps the price on ebay has gone up to $59.00 plus free shipping.

    Reply
    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      Oo oo! So exciting! They have been hard to find recently and $59 is still somewhat decent! Send me a pic when you’re done! I would love to see! (I’ll also update the post to let people know of the price increase!)

      Reply
  9. Nick

    Just to give a heads up to anyone trying to save a couple bucks!

    I too was infatuated with the the solid color ‘faux’ deer mounts (just adds that something to a room) but as mentioned in this post was a tad bit overwhelmed with the price. After doing a little searching you can pick up this same mount on amazon for (currently 1/13) $44.99 + S&H, which is still saving you a few dollars compared to etsy / z.

    Link to product: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032JQ082/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

    Reply
  10. Sofia

    I just stumbled upon this post, I have been looking for one like this for my baby boy’s nursery but don’t want to pay over 100. The seller on ebay has gone up to $70! guess he became popular!
    I’m gonna try the one in amazon.
    Thanks for the tips. :)

    Reply
    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      Yay! I would love to see your version! Email it to me – I would love to feature it. :) emilysnufferatgmaildotcom

      Reply
    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      Woo hoo! If you think about it, email me your finished product! Would love to post it!

      Reply
  11. autumn

    I’m glad that you showed people how to do this. I encourage and applaud you. I’m glad that people are willing to do it themselves. :) The shops that you’re talking about on Etsy, which would be us, prime their stuff too before painting. We don’t make a big profit at all since we have to pay for the paint, (we use high-quality paint that are $9 a can and coat awesomely), and we don’t have to put 5 coats of paint like Rustoleum. Our paint comes from Spain and Germany. We also have to buy boxes and peanuts, (which are $20 a bag for nothing). Everything from markers, (for labeling boxes), paper, tons of paint, a working paint booth, the cost of the primer, bubble wrap etc…it adds up. So, we make about $20 something bucks off of one when all said and done? For people who don’t want to paint it themselves, shops offer services and have a wide range/ array of colors to choose from, (and many different animals), sometimes people would like to go and buy it because they want it quick and not hassle with painting, especially if the weather does not permit. You did a great job, but on your profile picture of him, you can still see the dark lines underneath. My intension is not to criticize, please don’t mistake me. It’s not that easy to paint for it to look smooth and coated well. Again, I encourage and give praise that you are encouraging others to do this, awesome idea. But unless you have a shop on Etsy, and know exactly what goes on behind the scenes, please try not to put others down for trying to make a living. I realize that you only mentioned that people are charging over a $100 on Etsy, (it’s not anymore), but it kinda sounds like we’re a bunch of creeps who are trying to make a living so we can be with our kids. Keep up the great ideas and diy projects. :)

    Reply
  12. Pingback: Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh coat of paint… | sewcleverr

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