A Faux Taxidermy DIY using a Foam Form, Magic Sculp & Paint
You may have noticed that Faux Taxidermy is all the rage right now. I’ve always had a weird thing for taxidermy (I have a taxidermy peacock, not faux, in my entry. Found it at a yard sale about 10 years ago…) I like the look, it’s a fun decorative element, but overall pretty pricey. (the larger ones at places like Anthropologie run about $200) I’ve been dying to play with the taxidermy forms they sell at places like www.vandykestaxidermy.com, but even those are out of my budget at the moment. As luck would have it, a friend who sold with me at my last yard sale had one to sell, and I grabbed it. (Just $10. Thanks Lauri!) It is a Reebok, and small African mammal with an elegant neck. Alas, I have no Reebok horns, but I did have a small set of deer antlers I acquired from Goodwill for $4. So what if the antlers are all wrong? I like things to be a little weird and funky, and the antlers do at least fit the top of the head. (I could have sculpted any sort of antlers or horns, but wanted to save some time, and to show another way to use found antlers.)
I started by screwing the antlers onto the form (There were holes already drilled in the head when I bought it) I used Magic Sculp (a two-part epoxy clay used by many taxidermists) to fill in and create the rest of the head, eyes and ears. OK, I know this part requires some sculpting skill, but it wasn’t difficult, and the clay has a couple hours working time before it dries so you have time to get it looking good. This was my first time using the Magic Sculpt, and I like it! It air dries with no shrinkage and was easy to use. It also sands well and takes paint beautifully. I’m going to try my hand making some jewelry with it, but we’ll save that for another post…
When the clay was completely dry, I sanded a bit to get it smooth, and then painted it with ultra cover gloss white spray paint. (I used the whole can, three coats) Note: I should have sanded the form itself better, and filled in the small holes and imperfections on the form as well. Next time…
When the head was dry, I was able to mount it to the wall with a single long screw, as it weighs very little, less than 2 pounds. I got a little kitschy I know, but I put one of necklaces I haven’t worn in years on it, now it’s a “she” ;-) I really liked it, but there was still something missing…
I decided to give the head a black background, as my laundry room is mainly black and white. I started by using an existing mirror as a template. It was the perfect size oval, so I traced it onto some heavy paper.
Then I cut it out, centered it, taped it up and traced it lightly onto the wall with a pencil. I filled in the oval with 2 coats of black gloss paint by hand ( luckily I already had some on hand.)
And voila! My fabulous new faux taxidermy head for the laundry room. Yes, it’s trendy as hell, but I love it. And it only cost me about $30 total.
You can see the DIY for the ceiling graphic here: Funky Cool Custom Ceiling Graphic
I hope to get the laundry finished this weekend. Just one project left to go!