THE EASIEST DIY (FAUX!) PAPER MACHE ANIMAL HEADS

5 Materials
$25
2 Hours
Easy

Do you have some kind of faux taxidermy up in your pad? Have you jumped on board the trend? I happily admit, I love a good white deer head like the rest of them.
If you have wanted to get something like that for a kids nursery or bedroom, then this DIY tutorial is for you. Forget the sloppy paper and mis-shapen busts of going the usual paper mache route. This version of faux (!!) mini paper mache animal heads is going to take you no time and look SO cute.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
  • Plastic toy animals. You can choose whatever mixed bag of animals has the types of animals you want – dinosaurs, farm animals, jungle, sea life, etc.
  • A saw, sharp utility knife, or heat knife. You’re going to need something to cut your animals in half (the horror!)
  • Sandpaper. Just some medium grit sandpaper to sand your plaques and animals lightly before painting.
  • Wood plaques. You can get a variety of shapes, so just pick the one(s) that you like best. My faves ended up being circle and square ones (head to the blog to see which!)
  • Paint. Standard craft acrylic paint is all you need. I’m a big fan of the colours in a Martha Stewart collection.
  • Foam brushes.
  • Glue gun.
  • Hot glue sticks.
  • Velcro strips for mounting.
STEP 1: CHOP OFF ANIMAL HEADS

Yep, you gotta de-capitate those little guys. Because they are hard plastic, it can be a bit of a pain to actually chop these bad boys in half. Use a hand-held saw, a sharp utility knife, or a heat knife if you have one. Then just hack away at your animals, trying to cut as straight as you can.
Depending on the animal you choose, you may have to chop off part of the middle of the body too. This is only if you want to do the animal head plus butt — if there is too much midsection, the butt will stick out too far.
The cow in the photo above is a good example. Most of its mid-section was cut out, leaving the head and bum with the same general depth. Make sense?
STEP 2: SAND & PAINT
Once your toy animal pieces are ready, then it’s time to choose the plaque you want to use for it. Make sure you figure out placement before painting – the circle plaques tend to only fit one animal piece, whereas the square or rectangle plaques leave room for head and bum.
Give both the animal pieces and the wood plaques a quick sand. Nothing too extreme, but just to rough up the animals and smooth out the plaques.
Then paint all pieces with whatever colour of paint you choose. Regular craft acrylic paint is all that’s needed. Know that the animal pieces take a lot of paint for good coverage, so you’ll need to do probably 4 coats. We found that foam brushes were the easiest thing for applying the paint.
Ok...want to see the next step? Head over to the full tutorial on the blog and check out how to assemble these adorable mini faux heads!
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