{Pinterest Challenge Day! } DIY Faux Antlers

The day has come…it’s time for The Pinterest Challenge, Winter Edition (yes, it’s 80-degrees out, but the calendar still says Winter!). This was Katie’s brainchild last year to encourage us to get off our computer-parked-arses and actually make something we’d pinned. In a nutshell, STOP PINNING AND START DOING!

My (p)insperation came from this pin from Jamie Laubhan-Oliver’s Houzz page. I’m not a hunting kind of gal, but I do love the look of antlers in decor. Jamie’s oversized white antler on the mantel is beautiful.

I was also smitten by this pin of painted antlers by talented artist, Cassandra Smith. I think she goes by Cassie….holla! So it was meant to be, right?!

For my Pinterest Challenge Project, I decided to combine the two pins. And since the suburbs aren’t teaming with wild deer (and real ones make me sad for Bambi), I thought to DIY some faux antlers! (Oh, yes I did!)

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I’ll show you a few different methods, with each consisting of the same base. Gather a bunch of sticks…the more ‘antlery’ the better.


Using firm tape (I went with a combo of painters and duct), bind the sticks together to create a shape resembling antlers. This is the part I need to improve on, since Mr. Sugarplum said mine looked like arthritic hands of the Corpse Bride. Whatever. He just lost his antler back scratch!

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For the first method, I covered the sticks in air-drying clay. Try to keep the layer fairly thin and consistent. Once covered, smooth out the lumps and bumps with wet fingers.TWSS

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Since real antlers have that exposed marrow-thing happening (eeew), I added extra clay at the base and used these nifty pointed Q-tips to poke textury indentions. (Yes, I just make up words to better describe what’s happening.)

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Allow to dry completely (I propped mine in front of a fan overnight), then use wet fingers to smooth out any cracks. The clay is slightly sandable, but not enough to change the shape.

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Using craft acrylic paint, I painted the entire surface a bone color, followed by assorted colors.

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Rub n’ Buff adds the perfect metallic shine, and I sprayed the whole thing down with clear sealer for a lacquered look. The clay is ideal because it allows for more flexibility in creating the shape…and more specifically, creating a pointed tip.

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A second method was covering the assembled sticks with Plaster of Paris. I mixed it fairly thick, and applied three thin layers, allowing it to dry in between.

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I didn’t bother to smooth out the plaster as it was drying because I figured I’d just sand it.

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Turns out sanding this thick plaster is a beast, especially since you have to be gentle enough to not crack it. My right shoulder is now significantly more buff than my left. That’s a cute look for halter sundresses.

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I followed the same painting method with these as the clay antlers. It was fun coming up with color combinations that accented our rooms. I prefer the solid, finished feel of the plaster over the clay.

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These antlers are clay, but I left off the colored paint.

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The last method was covering the sticks with paper mache (ala West Elm). But not even a vignette with my cute Brass Horse and Mirror Box can save this jacked-up version! These antlers have a job as fire kindling in their future. Burn, baby, burn!

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When my kids saw the finished antlers, they grabbed them for the same pose. Each thinking they were clever and hilarious. I agree.

Picnik collage
(I was dropping them at my aunt’s for a Spring Break sleepover, the house and beagle unfortunately aren’t mine. And yes, Babygirl thinks she’s a dog and therefore wears a collar and tag. Is that not normal?)

These DIY Faux Antlers certainly aren’t going to fool anyone in to thinking they’re real, but they are cool. If I were to make another set, I’d use a combination of plaster and clay. The plaster creates a nice hard shell, and the clay provides a finished end and pointed tips.

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Now it’s your turn to get this Pinterest party started!

Link up your projects here, then hop over to Erin at The Great Indoors, Katie at Bower Power, and Sherry at Young House Love to see the masterpieces they whipped up! We can’t wait to see what you’ve been pinnin’ & makin’, so make like Lindsay Lohan and hook up with all of us! I hope to share some of my favorite projects from your links in a future post (Bear with me, my kids are on Spring Break, so it may take a few extra days.)

Oh, and even though we say Pinterest so many times spell checker stopped correcting me, they aren’t endorsing or sponsoring this challenge.


Leave a Comment


  1. Love the antlers, Cass! You know I love me some faux paper mache taxidermy ; ) Love the painted ones especially!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  2. Elena wrote:

    Love (!) those faux antlers! I am pinning them and need to give them a try ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for hosting!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  3. Nice work lady…I LOVE the pink, red and gold ones!!!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  4. Crystal wrote:

    These are awesome! I'm pinning these!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  5. Mrs. B wrote:

    Umm, love these! You are so clever! I bought some of the antlers from West Elm and thought to myself, I could totally have made this… and now I can. Thanks for the great tutorial! I'm pinning you right now.

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  6. What a fun project! At first I thought you were just going to paint the bare branches but covering them in plaster and clay was genius!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  7. Elisa wrote:

    Looks awesome! Very clever.. love that you put some color to it, too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  8. So cute! My hubby has some real life antlers, but I doubt he'd let me paint them… so I may just have to take your cue and make my own! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  9. Wow! Those are awesome! Thanks for hosting!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  10. Nice work! I love it!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  11. They ARE cool! Thanks for showing us a few different methods. I'll be sure to skip the paper mache! Thanks, too, for hosting. Can't wait to see all of the project goodness.

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  12. OMG. I love it!!!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    You must be really embarassed about how these look. ๐Ÿ™ Good for you to still posting them.

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  14. The antlers are fantastic!

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  15. That is SO creative and cool! My hubby hunts, so I'm hoping for some antlers next season!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  16. Andrea wrote:

    Love your antlers! I don't think I'd ever buy antlers, but I'd definitely make some!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  17. I really appreciate that you took a risk and went for something totally different. Not really my style but I love how they look with your decor!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  18. Real fur & antlers creep me out, but your faux antlers look great! They're fun and whimsical with the painted details.

    I like that you tried out different methods. Sometimes trying out different ways of doing something leads you to an even better idea, like combining the clay and the plaster for future DIY antlers ๐Ÿ™‚


    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  19. i love the colors you chose! i have a similar pin on my DIY board that I need to get on!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  20. I told you you'd come up with something amazing! Fun project and your mantle looks so great!!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  21. CAS wrote:

    The antler-craze is not really my style, but I like the faux ones better than the real. I think it's cute that they are colorful. Your children are adorable in their poses!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  22. Laura Beth wrote:

    Oh my goodness. That is so cool :o)I love the pictures with the kids. Thanks for hosting such a fabulous party! It's great to be pushed to follow through with a Pinterest pin!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  23. your twss was totally inappropriate today and totally made me laugh! and baby girl's collar haha

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  24. oooh they look fabulous!!!! i love the colors and love the fake-ness…. i am not a real antler gal.

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  25. Your antlers look gorgeous and so cool. I love that you were so motivated and tried a whole bunch of techniques. I envy that kind of get up & go!! This is why I follow your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the link up – looking forward to checking out other projects.

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  26. So cute! I love them!

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  27. Love it, Cassie!! Great job!!!

    Emily Hewett
    A Well Dressed Home

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  28. Yours is the best hands down!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  29. I made faux antlers the same way last fall using air clay and branches…I painted mine but think it's time to update them to color….very cool..xo

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  30. Claire wrote:

    I never even thought to use branches to create antlers. Great project, Cassie!

    Thank you so much for co-organizing this challenge. I had so much fun participating and am thrilled to finally have my own blog to share my project (#26).

    All the best from one of your loyal readers!

    Claire @ alittlesomethinginthemeantime.blogspot.com

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  31. xo J and V wrote:

    Okay, those came out really really cool!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  32. Those are great! I painted antlers for the pinterest challenge too! I grew up in Kansas, so every spring, I search the fields of my Grandpa's farm for shed antlers (it's like reptiles shedding skin, a totally natural process, where no animal is harmed–you don't even see the animal, they just leave you a nice free, natural material to work with!). I love your faux look, too! Fun, fun!
    Thanks for hosting a great challenge!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  33. Love these! What a creative idea!

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  34. love the antlers! hoe can you go wrong with hot pink on anything?

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  35. These are completely awesome! I hadn't spied the pimped out antlers yet, they are *awesome*…especially the fact that they aren't even real! Totally loving the pic of the jackalope children (c: P.S. my daughter also thinks she is a dog…complete with barking and crawling on all fours…I'm *really* hoping it's normal…

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  36. oooo, I love this project! I'm all about some faux antlers right now. They all turned out awesome! Thanks for hosting!!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  37. Hi Cassie,

    These are great! I'm glad to find out about that clay product, I'll have to try it out.

    And I love the colors you put on them, very snazzy!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  38. Samantha wrote:

    Thanks for hosting! Love the colors on your DIY antlers… way more fun than standard white or brown!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  39. I read you blog and just wanted to let you know that deer naturally lose their antlers every winter. So it's not like antlers were all from dead Bambis! My in laws go through the woods in the winter and collect antler racks.

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  40. Who would have thought that twigs taped together or paper mached would look so cute. I love the color combos you went with. You could totally sell these to an unsuspecting rich person and they would pay hundreds for them.

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  41. Alexa wrote:

    Adore the antlers! The paint is so pretty on them!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  42. Carrie wrote:

    I have several real antlers we found last spring- I've thought about painting them but I go back and forth because they're real. Maybe I'd paint one.

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  43. I truly enjoy your creativity Cassie! I must admit, this project made me laugh because I when I moved in with my boyfriend the antlers and deer head had to go! He would die if I decided to paint them and put them in the house now!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  44. You are so artistic. Love these antlers and the use of tree limbs.

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  45. Great Job on the antlers!

    I love it when a DFW blogger gets some great pub, especially from one of the big guys like YHL!

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  46. Great idea Cassie… I will be pinning to perpetuate the growing list of things-pinned-that-i-must-make! I love antlers & remember pinning those painted ones. Thanks for hosting!

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  47. Hannah wrote:

    Awesome project! I think my favorite is the one done with clay. Great job! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  48. Oh my gosh that is so cool! The best part are the fun colors you added. LOVE this project ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  49. Loving all of your antlers!

    I seriously laughed so loud reading about your daughter wearing the dog collar – hahaha so funny!

    And TOTALLY normal ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 3.14.12 Reply
  50. Those anters are bananas! You really are so talented and creative Cassie! Thanks for hosting the party and getting me off of my Pinterass!

    Posted 3.15.12 Reply
  51. Those are SO cool!

    Posted 3.15.12 Reply
  52. I cannot believe you MADE those antlers! Seriously. You are rock star status. They are beyond gorge. That gold and red and pink one? Sheesh. Crazy!

    Posted 3.16.12 Reply
  53. Crikey, is there anything you can't do?! If I didn't love you I'd probably hate you a little bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great job, and I love the be-antlered pic of S & J.

    Posted 3.16.12 Reply
  54. Umm love these. Especially the pink and gold one! I also like spying all yoru coffee table books to see what I should order! and my husband totally would have done the same thing your kids did with the Antlers!

    Posted 3.17.12 Reply
  55. I think this is the coolest idea ever! I would never have thought u could make your own antlers, and I love how it looks with all the fun colors too! Amazing job, I'm truly inspired. Have a fabulous day!

    Posted 6.15.12 Reply
  56. I just love this! The antlers are too cute. Your blog is always such a great source of inspiration! I've shared them on my blog as part of a roundup: http://jadeandfern.com/2013/05/17/friday-finds-are-those-real/

    Posted 5.17.13 Reply
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    Posted 8.31.18 Reply