A (Cheap) Fun Faux Taxidermy DIY for the Great Laundry Room Make-over of 2013, Part 3

A Faux Taxidermy DIY using a Foam Form, Magic Sculp & Paint

headdone3

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.)

headbefore

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…

headready  headsculpt  headsculpt2

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…

headreadytopaint  headpainted_edited-1

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…

headdonebeforebacking

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.

headtemplate

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.)

headtemplatetaped  headpaint1coat  headpaintdone

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.

headdone3  headdone4  headdone2  headdone

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!

6 thoughts on “A (Cheap) Fun Faux Taxidermy DIY for the Great Laundry Room Make-over of 2013, Part 3

  1. Pingback: the Great Laundry Room Make-over of 2013 Part 4, Done! Well, almost. Curtains & Work Surface, Nearly FREE of course… | the Year of Living Fabulously

    • Thanks Lauri! Actually no armature, they are small enough and thick enough not to need it. (any bigger and it would though) The Magic Sculp is pretty great stuff and hardens quickly, I just made sure to sit the head upright while it was setting up.

      • I use a similar product from avesstudio.com called apoxie sculpt..but I usually use wire underneath the bigger parts of my sculptures. If you want to see how I use it just do a google image search on my name, laurie hassold. You will see a bunch of weird bone like oceanic sculptures that I’ve been making for the last 9 years or so. I recently used a taxidermy rabbit form in a piece which I loved, but it sold and the money went to bills, and now I want to make another one! Happy sculpting!

      • I’ve been wanting to try the apoxie sculpt as well, next time! I am planning a couple more projects that will need armatures for sure…Your sculptures are wonderful! I’ve seen them somewhere online before, love them!

      • Thanks! I really like the apoxie sculpt…and their product fixit sculpt even better, but it is more expensive. One thing though…wish I’d worn gloves to mix it when I first started using it because I’ve developed an allergy. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it next!

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