{weekend diy | deer antlers}

October is officially the most creative month on my calendar. In addition to the excitement of Halloween season and party planning, I have this crazy problem where I just can't stop making things. Although my DIY-everything-all-the-time antics are quite strong throughout the entire year, there's something about the month of October that just kicks it up a notch. Bring out the craft supply box(es) and all-nighters. 

This year I felt inspired by some sort of mystical, fantasy, fairytale land that lives inside my brain. My head is a place of endless imagination and sometimes I just can't explain it. So, I'll just create it instead. 

Normally, I have my halloween costume planned, prepped and fully figured out weeks before Halloween. But this year, my plan is to simply not have a plan. I'm letting myself get inspired, and snowballing that into whatever it turns out to be. Adding details here and there that will eventually pull together a complete costume. Fingers crossed it doesn't end up an epic fail.

So far, I've created an antler headpiece that I'm extremely excited about. Check out my pictorial below to see how it came together. 

Materials used: 

- Wire (I recommend using 12 guage floral wire because its very easy to maneuver and also extremely light weight)

- Pliers & wire cutters

- Aluminum foil 

- Scotch tape

- Masking tape

Step 1 - Determine how large you want your antlers to be and cut two pieces of wire in that desired length (I made one a bit longer than the other on purpose). These will act as your base wires. Then, start attaching smaller pieces of wire creating the extensions of each antler. Use your pliers to wrap the wires tightly so they don't swivel around too much. 

Step 2 - Bend and shape the wires to create your set of antlers. I recommend making them slightly different to add interest and keep them from looking perfectly symmetrical. Also bend the wire about an inch or two at the bottom to create a small base. This will make it much easier to attach them to your headband later on. 

Step 3 - Rip small sections of aluminum foil and start wrapping them around your wire base. Take your time with this as it's actually pretty therapeutic. Who knew aluminum foil was such a great sculpting material? Keep the base part of the antlers slightly thicker than the rest and also taper off the points to keep them looking "natural." 

Step 4 - Once you finish sculpting the set of antlers, tweak them into the final shapes you want them to be. I used a bit of scotch tape in random places to hold the aluminum down for easy handling. Bend them slightly so they curve forward on profile. I used a mirror and randomly held them up to my head to kind of gauge how I liked them throughout the entire process.

Step 5 - Start covering your antlers in masking tape. Use small 3-4 inch pieces of tape and cover the antlers in sections instead of using one long piece of tape to wrap the entire thing all at once. This will take a little longer but its much easier to manage and keeps any awkward looking tape folds and crevices down to a minimum, creating a smoother surface for painting later on.

Step 6 - You're done! After your antlers are fully wrapping in masking tape, you are free to paint, embellish, and glorify them as you please. Use the wire extensions to attach them to a sturdy headband and add glue for extra security. 

Here's my final piece. I used acrylic paint to add some color and sealed with Mod Podge, then attached the antlers to not one but two headbands for extra sturdiness. I also used a mix of hot glue and E6000 to add an array of faux flowers and foliage around the base for a more whimsical feel.  

Using the same wire, foil, and masking tape method, I created the ears to add to the look... and because I just don't know when to stop. 

The most important thing to remember throughout this DIY is the final weight of your headpiece. Since it's quite tall, you don't want it to be too heavy to avoid it from constantly falling over. When decorating, keep your embellishments light, avoid heavy stones or materials, and try to use just the right amount of foil and masking tape to get your desired shape without adding too much extra weight. 


PS- If you recreate this DIY please tag me on instagram using #WeekendDIY so I can see your lovely works of art!