I am in the throes of decorating our nursery. I know that our baby won’t care what the room looks like. Heck-as a baby-I removed the paint my father laboriously put on my nursery walls with a wet wipe.
However, since I will be spending an inordinate amount of time in this room, I wanted some pretties to look at. And, of course, I didn’t want to spend very much doing so-thus my DIY Plaster Animal Heads. If you have the patience of a cucumber and a few hours each day, you too can have very inexpensive animal heads custom made to your liking!
Newspaper, Packing Paper
Tissue Paper, Book Pages
Glitter, other accessories to decorate if desired
Plaque (I bought mine from a hobby store)
Brad Nails, Hammer
Cut out a piece of cardboard that will be the backer to the animal head. Make sure it’s smaller than the plaque that’s been chosen.
Make balls out of newspaper or packing paper that will be the animal head and neck. Tape the balls together individually.
Tape the entire head and neck together.
Add a final layer of newspaper to smooth out any valleys and build up any areas that are needed for the contour of the head. Use masking tape to attach the newspaper and the cardboard backer to each head.
Use 4 parts water to 1 part flour to make the “plaster”. Heat up on stove and slowly whisk in flour until the consistency is a thick and soupy. Let cool.
Cut paper towels into 3″ x 4″ rectangles, or somewhere close to that size. I cut my select-a-size in half. Dip into the soupy plaster and squeeze off the excess.
Using one paper towel at a time, add a single layer of the paper towels to the head and cardboard backer.
Cover the entire head and cardboard backer with the plaster paper towels.
Let the head(s) dry completely overnight or for several hours. It was very cold out, so I placed my heads in a small bathroom and used a space heater (safely) to speed up the process. Rotate the heads and make sure the cardboard backer is completely dry as well.
Use another round of plaster and paper towels to build up eye and nose formations. Cover the entire head once more, along with the cardboard backer and the ears with another layer of paper towels.
Let the head(s) dry completely overnight.
While you’re waiting on them to dry, paint your plaques!
Once the head(s) are completely dry, attach to the painted plaque by gently using brad nails and a hammer. (I went the extra mile and added a little hot glue to the cardboard backer before attaching it to the plaque. I don’t think this step was necessary, but it made me feel better.)
Step 13 Alternate (1):
Here comes the fun part-decorating the heads! There are many ways to do this. Here you can see that I used mod podge and the pages of a book to cover the entire head. After cutting out a stack of small pieces from a book, I brushed a thin layer of mod podge on the back side. I placed the piece on the head and brushed another thin layer over the top. I repeated this process until the whole head was covered.
I had five heads, so I covered two with book pages.
Now, it’s time to paint! Get creative and crazy. Add glitter, rhinestones, mirror pieces, wires for whiskers, feathers, or whatever you have on hand. (Let dry completely between coats of paint).
I figured that I saved about $700 making these myself. Not bad for a few days’ work. If you made an animal head, what would it be?