How to Make Paper Mache Antlers

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Make your own antlers out of paper mache.
Make your own antlers out of paper mache. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

The school play is coming up, and you suddenly realize that floppy construction paper antlers are not going to cut it on your little reindeer. Or maybe you're a fan of faux-taxidermy decor. Whatever the reason, you're in need of light, sturdy, aesthetically pleasing fake antlers, and paper mache fits the bill. Allow yourself about a week — no less than three days — to finish the project, as the paper mache and the paint require proper drying times.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-gague aluminum craft wire
  • Aluminum foil
  • Masking tape
  • Headband or 6-inch-by-6-inch corrugated cardboard square
  • Hot glue
  • White glue
  • Bowl
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Acrylic spray paint

Cut two 15-inch, two 7-inch and two 4-inch pieces of 12-gauge wire. Twist the end of a 6-inch wire around a 15-inch wire just above the midpoint, and tape it in place with masking tape. Twist the end of a 4-inch piece below it and tape it in place. Repeat with the other three wires.

Mold aluminum foil over the wires to give the antlers more shape and dimension, leaving 2 inches of wire bare at the bottom of each antler.

Wrap the foil-covered wire antlers with masking tape.

Place the bottom of the wires on the base — either a wide headband or a 6-inch-by-6-inch corrugated cardboard square. Twist the wire around the headband or bend the wires as necessary. Hot glue the wires in place, then tape over the glued areas.

Cover your work area with newspaper. Mix two parts white glue and one part water in a bowl. Tear additional newspaper into 2-inch strips.

Dip the newspaper strips, one at a time, into the glue mixture. Wipe off the excess glue between two fingers, then place the strip over the tape-covered antlers shape. Allow the strips to overlap, so you have a layer of paper with no tape showing through. Allow the paper mache to dry overnight; cover any leftover glue mixture with plastic wrap.

Apply a second layer of paper mache. Shape each tip of the antlers into a paper point and smooth the paper with your fingers. Allow the second coat to dry overnight.

Spray paint the antlers tan or brown. Allow them to dry for two hours, then apply a second coat of spray paint. Allow the antlers to dry for at least 24 hours before use.

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