Monday, May 14, 2012

DIY Mounted Animal Head

I admit that I often cruise Anthropologie just looking for ideas of theirs to steal, be it their products or their window displays. What? I can't always afford a $300 tchotchke. 

Today's unaffordable treasures were some of their mounted animal heads. Gorgeous, just creepy enough....and anywhere from $70 to $130 a pop. Plus, that French novel decoupage? Way too classy for my tastes.

For this project you will need:Air dry clay (I used Crayola brand, one tub is more than enough)
Elmers Glue
Frame for mounting (optional)

The clay itself isn't that heavy or hard to work with, but I found that if you make a rough foundation out of aluminum foil, you can control the shape a little better and end up with an overall lighter result that is easier to mount. (Please refrain from the That's What She Said jokes, you'll need to save that dirty humor for when you see the next few pictures.)

To make the rhinocerous/pig hybrid (pignoceros?) I ended up with, I started by making a wide-based triangle that was rounded on top and started to add clay around it, almost like you're using papier-mache. Don't worry about it being too perfect, we'll smooth it out later, and what we can't fix, we'll hide with glitter. This next picture is to show you what it is going to look like, and I ask that you be adult about it, because it looks like, well...a different kind of animal.

Okay, did you get that all out of your system? I'll give you a minute. Okay, we're all adults here (god, at least I hope we are...) so lets move onto the next step. Start building up more clay in the shape of an animal head. You can always add more tinfoil on top of the clay, then cover that in even MORE clay.

After piecing it all together, you will end up with something kind of like this-

Crayola air clay takes about two days to dry completely. Its going to crumble a bit (I had to glue a tiny piece back on), but its pretty sturdy. After it is completely dry, its time to get your Mariah on and GLITTER!!!!!

I used watered-down Elmer's glue and a paintbrush, covering a small section in glue, dumping glitter on, lather, rinse, repeat. Mod Podge would work too, but to be honest I kind of fantasized about if I had just splurged for the spray adhesive. For the glitter, I used Martha Stewart crafts in tourmaline.

For the mount, I just picked up an old thrift store painting and spray painted the whole thing white. After dabbing a bit of Gorilla Glue on the back (superglue would work too), I mounted my pignocerous for display! 

If you don't want to use glitter (in which case, I'm not sure why you are a reader of this blog), you can make your own basic papier-mache by mixing one part flour with two parts water. You can use your own French novel, pretty magazine pages, do some ombre tissue paper action, whatever strikes your fancy.

Before I go, I wanted to encourage you guys to check out Tudors Down. Brian & Sarah are friends of mine who bought a little old house, flipped it totally own their own, and gave it amaaaaazing style. Plus, their eye for vintage goodies is impeccable and their kid is damn cute. They are just getting their blog started, but trust me, it is one to add to your reader.

And don't forget about the Black Oak Vintage giveaway, which closes tomorrow!



  1. Awwwww...THANK YOU for the shout out! As always, you are too kind! And LOVE the glitter!

  2. This is amazing!!! I definitely coveted those animal heads from Anthro as well. haha

    1. You should make one! It was only about a two and a half hour project all together, and the clay is like $4!

  3. How well does the clay hold together after awhile? I'm just wondering because for some reason I have some of that clay chillin in my craft room and have never used it.


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