DIY White Deer Head (For 45 Bucks!)

By April 10, 2011Uncategorized

While I’m waiting for the bathroom paint to dry (yippee!) I thought I would do a quick post on my weekend project.

DIY Faux Taxidermy

Animal-friendly taxidermy has been quite the rage for awhile, and I’ve seen deer heads and rams on walls pop up everywhere in the design world. Here are a few that have caught my interest:

Emily Snuffer


Emily Snuffer


Emily Snuffer


(Quick aside – I love how they used the Cavern Home blackbird wallpaper there. I love it in my kitchen and have been mentally unstable enough several times to consider putting it in additional places but I think I am over it.)

Ok anyways, these deer heads aren’t cheap. They are going for $100+ on Etsy and $250+ on sites like ZGallerie and Unica Home. So given that I couldn’t justify spending lots of money on something so “nice-to-have” I had given up on the thought of having one in my home for awhile. That was until I saw a listing on eBay last week with a current bid of $29.99.

Deer Head on eBay To Paint White!


It was like a dream come true! It’s resin, large (about 24″ x 18″ when assembled) and already came ready to mount. I waited until the listing almost closed and bid last minute (sneaky) at $31.00. I won! Two days later, it arrived and I was so pumped to transform it into a nice fancy fake deer head (so strange to say that… who knew one day I would be wanting a deer head in my house?) Here it is partially unpacked:

Emily Snuffer

And here she is out of the box. I am naming her Nicki Minaj (because all of the animals in my house are named after rappers).

Emily Snuffer

And here are Nicki’s antlers (detachable, naturally):

Emily Snuffer

I’m sure you figured this out already (or hopefully, have ignored this part of the post because you’re busy bidding on your own Nicki) but all I planned on doing is coating this thing in high gloss spray paint. It only took about 5 coats. Here is the spray paint I used:

Emily Snuffer

Tip for spray painting your deer head: It is a very rough surface (for “fur” and texture on the antlers) which means there will be lots of dips and grooves. I painted Nicki at all angles several times over to make sure I was getting every nook and cranny.

And finally, here is Nicki in all her glory:

Emily Snuffer

And a profile shot:

Emily Snuffer

Talk about a transformation! She’s not on the wall yet (the above photo is her on the floor of the black room) but I can’t get over how fancy she looks. Very quick (about two days mostly due to dry time) and inexpensive. My total expenses were deer head ($31) with shipping ($10) and spray paint ($3.24). Even the smaller ZGallerie one is more expensive than that. If you’re interested in a Nicki of your own, check out the eBay seller, Houseof1000boxes. They just posted another one for sale.

P/S: I just noticed the fun, pun-not-intended use of the word “bucks” in the headline. So clever I am sometimes.

Happy Sunday!

– emily

Pssstt… It’s been almost two years since I’ve posted this entry and it seems this trend of DIY deer heads is catching on. This specific deer head is highly sought after on eBay and prices now are in the $60’s. Any “deer head” projects on Etsy are typically made from this exact deer, but sellers are charging $100+. It’s not a good of a deal now compared to two years ago, but you’ll still save yourself $40ish by DIYing!

Psssssssssttt…. Reader Nick (check it out in the comments) just passed along this great Amazon deal. $45 deer head ready for spray painting. It looks like the savings on this project just got a whole lot better!




Join the discussion 33 Comments

  • Katie Studer says:

    I love it! Although it did kind of make me laugh.

  • […] these babies around the corner but now I’m thinking it would be too much. And where would Nicki Minaj rest her pretty head? I think I am satisfied for now. I still need to mount the extensions […]

  • […] #5: DIY White Deer Head for $45 […]

  • sharon says:

    I absolutely love this and am thinking of doing this also! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • emily @ go haus go says:

      Please send me your deer head when you’re done!!! I want to see!

      • sharon says:

        Okay, won the deer head and I’m having a DEVIL of a time finding the 2x gloss white paint. Where did you find it? I’ve went to Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Michaels, and the closest was AC Moore carrying it in a semi-gloss and not in the 2x. Online, it’s around $12 total with shipping. Any suggestions on where to look? Thanks!

        • emily @ go haus go says:

          No need for the 2x – I think that refers to the coverage not the type of finish. Any semi gloss or high gloss white spray paint will work! Sorry it’s been such a pain. Ugh! I know how annoying that can be. Hope it helps, Emily

  • Jennifer says:

    Bidding on my own Nikki. Hope I win – the one you did looks so great, I can’t wait to get my own.
    I first got interested when I say an albino deer head on Oddities. Of course scoring an albino deer head is near impossible and cost prohibitive. So the next best thing is a fake deer head painted white. Love this one because of the texture and the price. Thanks for sharing and giving me the info oh how to get one of my very own. Jennifer

  • stephanie says:

    I used to have the same deer head, exact same one, also painted it white. see here One day last year we came home and it was shattered in a million pieces. It was not the wall hanger that failed, it was the bracket on the back of the deer head. It broke an entire chunk from the backside and fell. We were so happy it happened when we were not home or it would have fallen right on our heads! Be careful:)

    • emily @ go haus go says:

      Ack! Thanks for letting me know. That is scary. I love that your antlers are brown. I’ve lived with the all-white for awhile now and am wanting some more contrast like yours. Hmmm.

  • […] ceiling. Two of the walls are plaster and the other two (the wall with the door and the wall with Nicki Minaj) are […]

  • Kara says:

    I CANNOT find a resin deer head anywhere on the internet for less than $50+. What did you have to search in order to find a $30 one?
    Thank you!

  • Ashley says:

    Loves your project! I was looking at the same resin bust on eBay before I stumbled on to your site and your pics sealed the deal for me! I believe you have the same one as one of the faux taxidermy websites out there that sells them for over a hounded dollars! I can’t wait until I get mine in the mail. I wish that I could pin your pics to my DIY Pinterest board for quick reference when I get him painted. Thanks for sharing!

  • says:

    I just received my buck bust in the mail today!!! I wish it wasnt raining on Cape Cod Massachusetts so I could get started on this! Thanks so much for the great idea! My husband was just not on board to pay over $100 for a white deer head! ps the price on ebay has gone up to $59.00 plus free shipping.

    • emily @ go haus go says:

      Oo oo! So exciting! They have been hard to find recently and $59 is still somewhat decent! Send me a pic when you’re done! I would love to see! (I’ll also update the post to let people know of the price increase!)

  • Fantastic idea! I’m off to buy some of that paint…pronto. Think this would work with all sorts of wall critters. :)

  • Fantastic idea! I’m off to buy some of that paint…pronto. Think this would work with all sorts of wall critters. :)

  • Nick says:

    Just to give a heads up to anyone trying to save a couple bucks!

    I too was infatuated with the the solid color ‘faux’ deer mounts (just adds that something to a room) but as mentioned in this post was a tad bit overwhelmed with the price. After doing a little searching you can pick up this same mount on amazon for (currently 1/13) $44.99 + S&H, which is still saving you a few dollars compared to etsy / z.

    Link to product:

  • Sofia says:

    I just stumbled upon this post, I have been looking for one like this for my baby boy’s nursery but don’t want to pay over 100. The seller on ebay has gone up to $70! guess he became popular!
    I’m gonna try the one in amazon.
    Thanks for the tips. :)

    • emily @ go haus go says:

      Yay! I would love to see your version! Email it to me – I would love to feature it. :) emilysnufferatgmaildotcom

  • Tara says:

    I love this idea! I just ordered mine off ebay and can’t wait to start!

  • I managed to make mine for $10 in all, though it’s a little smaller.

  • autumn says:

    I’m glad that you showed people how to do this. I encourage and applaud you. I’m glad that people are willing to do it themselves. :) The shops that you’re talking about on Etsy, which would be us, prime their stuff too before painting. We don’t make a big profit at all since we have to pay for the paint, (we use high-quality paint that are $9 a can and coat awesomely), and we don’t have to put 5 coats of paint like Rustoleum. Our paint comes from Spain and Germany. We also have to buy boxes and peanuts, (which are $20 a bag for nothing). Everything from markers, (for labeling boxes), paper, tons of paint, a working paint booth, the cost of the primer, bubble wrap etc…it adds up. So, we make about $20 something bucks off of one when all said and done? For people who don’t want to paint it themselves, shops offer services and have a wide range/ array of colors to choose from, (and many different animals), sometimes people would like to go and buy it because they want it quick and not hassle with painting, especially if the weather does not permit. You did a great job, but on your profile picture of him, you can still see the dark lines underneath. My intension is not to criticize, please don’t mistake me. It’s not that easy to paint for it to look smooth and coated well. Again, I encourage and give praise that you are encouraging others to do this, awesome idea. But unless you have a shop on Etsy, and know exactly what goes on behind the scenes, please try not to put others down for trying to make a living. I realize that you only mentioned that people are charging over a $100 on Etsy, (it’s not anymore), but it kinda sounds like we’re a bunch of creeps who are trying to make a living so we can be with our kids. Keep up the great ideas and diy projects. :)

  • […] came across this blogpost, however, and decided that I could easily get the result I wanted for cheaper by doing it myself! […]

  • Molly says:

    i just ordered two more deer heads online, the realistically painted resin one from (like Nickie) and a pure shiny silver one from They are slightly different from each other, but both are really BIG. I will be painting the resin one pure white, just like you did. The silver one will stay silver, it’s going in my black, white, silver and crystal master suite. I have tons of deer and antelope heads on my walls. A cow or two, too. Most are faux, plastic or bronze, but I have some real antlers and horns too. I figure the animal is already dead, the least I can do is rescue it from the dusty shop and honor it on my wall. I love animals and I can’t tell you how pleased I am that this trend has caught on. People have thought I was “weird” for having them, all these years! And any, inexpensive glossy white spray paint works fine. Just watch for drips and use enough coats to get it in all the little fur crevices. Good luck to one and all on your deer head projects!

  • Kathleen says:

    I embraced the faux taxidermy trend very late. I just received the resin deer head that is the subject of this wonderful blog entry. The hole on the back of my deer is not centered. Do you think that makes it a risk to hang? Should I send it back? Or just work with it? Thanks for any help!

    • I’m so sorry Kathleen I’m just now seeing this! It’s absolutely still usable! As long as the deer head is centered on the wall, it doesn’t matter where the nail hole is. Does that make sense?

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