We Lived Happily Ever After: DIY Deer Head Stuffed Animal Taxidermy

Friday, November 14, 2014

DIY Deer Head Stuffed Animal Taxidermy


Hey everyone! A few weeks ago I shared this adorable deer pattern & tutorial over at the lovely Liz Marie's Blog.

Today I am posting it here in case any of you missed it & because I just love it that much... it's pretty darn cute after all!


If you've been following along here on We Lived Happily Ever After, the you will know that I recently designed my daughter June's room in a Rustic Prairie Theme (see the whole space HERE), and one of the biggest highlights of the room was all of the DIY'ed animals I made.

I love Stuffed Animal Taxidermy. It's a fun way to showcase your love for animals without hurting any of them. And lets face it, they look so adorable when done!


To make your own deer, you will need to download the below pattern.

As far as pattern assembly goes, the only pattern pieces that need to be attached before using are the two head pieces.


My terms of use are included in the download folder, but please do not redistribute or sell this pattern and/or items made from this pattern & tutorial.

The Materials you will need to sew your own deer head are as follows:
-A pair of Antlers
-A Drill
-Wood for the Plaque & Stand
(I used a 1x4" for the plaque and a 1x2" for the stand)
-Staple Gun
-Fabric for the Deer
(I used Burlap for the face, and Faux Fur for -the chest and ears)
-Black Felt for the eyes and nose
-1 bag of Poly-Fill for stuffing
-And finally a Needle & Thread and a Hot Glue Gun.


The first step to our DIY Deer Head is building the frame for the antlers. My husband, Silas, has a box of antlers he collected when he was growing up, so we used a pair of the smaller ones for this project.

Cut a 1x4" into a 3.5-4" block of wood as shown above. Set aside.


Next, use a drill to pre-drill holes into the antlers. This step is very necessary, because bone is much harder than wood, and you won't be able to screw directly into the antlers. 

By the way, I do not recommend drilling into your hand - the above photo is for illustrative purposes on where to drill - not how to do it. Taking pictures while balancing a pair of antlers and a camera is hard without an assistant. Haha! :)


Pre-screw two screws halfway into the block where the antlers should go. Then, one at a time, place your pre-drilled antlers onto the screw and gently attach using your screwdriver drill.


They don't have to be super tight, but just make sure they are securely attached to the board.


Next, cut your 1/2" board to about 10" long, with a 45 degree angle that tips at about 10"


Pre-drill a third screw halfway into your antler plaque.


This is what progress looks like! Attach the 1x2" to the plaque as illustrated above, with the 45 degree angle on the bottom, facing the wall.


Now we need a plaque/base to attach our antler creation onto.


I screwed 4 12" long 1x4" boards together using the 1x2" board on the back. This would be a great place to use some pallets, like I did for the Fox Head Base, HERE.


Now that we have a solid plaque, we can screw the 45 degree angled board to the other boards. You can prop it up using another 45 degree angled board, attaching it with wood glue. This baby's going nowhere! Haha!


Now for the sewing part! Each pattern piece will tell you not only what color the pieces should be, but how many of them to cut. Cut out as indicated.



We will start off the sewing with the face pattern piece & one of the head pattern pieces. 




Lay the face piece on top of the head piece and sew the outer edge together, as illustrated by the dashes in the above photo.



Now sew the nose piece to both the head and face piece.



Next, add the second headpiece and sew it onto the face and nose piece.



There should be one un-sewn edge on the nose piece. This is where we need to attach the neck piece.


Here are the 5 pieces all sewn together.



Now you can turn your creation inside out and attach the chest.



Here is the deer with the chest sewn on, turned right side out.



Drape your deer head over the antler frame. Partially stuff it so that you know where to staple it in place.

Honestly guys, I just winged this whole process. I totally didn't know how it would turn out, but at this point I was getting really excited because I could finally visualize exactly what I had been thinking up!


I just went around stapling with a 1 inch hem allowance. Try to make the deer as centered and symmetrical as possible. 



Here is what it looked like after I added the staples to the chest. Now we need to cover up that open hole in the back.



This is a piece that I didn't include in the actual pattern, because it's size depends on how much you stuff your deer, and the placement of your antlers. But basically you need to cut out a square of fabric to cover the back of the head, and attach the shoulders to the plaque. Mine was about 8" - 12" long. 


I just folded it into this triangle-ish shape to give it straight hems.



Then I attached it to the top of the head, covering the antlers.



Lastly, sew the triangle's edges to the rest of the deer to completely seal up the deer.



Now we are going to create a strip to go inside the edges and hide all the messy staples.



To give the strip crisp edges, fold the edges behind the strip, and iron it so that the crease stays permanent. Lastly, hot glue (yes you heard me right... hot glue!) the edges to the deer head.



Next sew the ears together by placing one brown, and one white piece together with their fronts facing each other. Leave the bottom un-sewn. Turn inside out & repeat with the second ear.


Sew onto the deer's head.



Now all that's left to add are the eyes and nose! You can use felt or even black tape for this step and Ta-Da! 

I finished my adorable deer off with a flower crown made for June by my friend, Jasmine, from Enchanted Honey Bee.


Now all that's left for you to do is enjoy your new Deer Head Decor... Oh, and make the Buffalo and Fox...




And don't forget to make the $6 Bear Rug




8 comments :

  1. You are insane, like insane awesome! I died when I saw this and I'm pinning like crazy. So adorable.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this wonderful creation! I'd love to make this for my sons approaching birthday but I have a few questions. 1. How much fabric did you use? 2. What's the final dimensions of the deer? I printed the pattern but suspect that my computer may have blown it up, ie the dimension of the head is 12"x15", making it appear more horse than deer at this point. Could that possibly be correct?

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    1. Hi Amanda! So glad you like it!!! :)

      I didn't actually take note of how much fabric I used, (oops!) but I'm sure it was under a yard.

      Just make sure your printer prints as "fit to page" and it should print the correct pattern dimensions (the pattern pieces were meant to be printed on 8.5x11" paper)

      Hope that helps & send me pictures after you make it! :) XO

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  3. This may be a silly question but you sewed this by hand right?

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  4. I've been trying to find ideas for my baby girls nursery. I LOVE this, the bear rug, the fox. WOW! I am amazed at your talent. Thank you for the info! I'm at least doing the bear rug hopefully this deer too! THANK YOU.

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  5. Did you do anything to cover the staples on the white chest fabric? I've almost finished this for my son's room! Love all of your projects!

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    1. I didn't, but it's up to you, if you think it needs it then go for it! I would love to see a picture once you are done! :) XO

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