Make a life-size cardboard deer head to put on your wall! FREE Pattern.
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Most years I have several Christmas trees. The main event in the living room, my “fun” tree in the dining room and another in my bedroom that I can enjoy while I am reading in bed at night. But this year things have been hectic and I only had time to put up one tree. Now every year I change up my decor. Last year it was rustic homemade the year before that I think it was a pale teal and silver and the year before that was definitely brown and gold. Not wanting to spend a ton on ornaments I pulled my favorite ornaments out of the brown and gold and then got about $20 of glitzy gold ornaments from the Dollar Tree. Bam. Done.

But I normally totally neglect my fireplace/mantel area when I have a bazillion trees. It’s not that I don’t want a pretty mantel, it just falls by the wayside, I guess. So this year I decided to DIY it up good and proper. I’ll be sharing the finished tree and mantel area soon but for today, I’ll show you how I made my awesome focal point… my DIY cardboard deer head!

Now my deer head was inspired by one I had found on Pinterest. After some time I was able to track down the source here. The one that I had seen was really angular and pointy and while I liked the concept and the layout of the antlers I didn’t like the style of it. But I used the dimensions of the one sourced just above to help me design my own, curvier version.

For this project you will need:

Before you begin you’ll need to print out your free pattern and piece it together. Pages 1 and 2 overlap to form one large sheet that contains the antler shapes and the support piece. Pages 3 and 4 will piece together to provide the basic deer’s head shape. Trim each piece out to use as a pattern.

Make a life-size cardboard deer head to put on your wall!

Trash your pattern onto your cardboard and use your knife to cut out. You will need 2 of the heads, 6 of the vee shapes for the antlers and 1 of the other two pieces.

Make a life-size cardboard deer head to put on your wall!

If you double up your cardboard you can actually cut both pieces at once and save yourself from having two that aren’t quite the same shape!

FYI – I decided to purchase a new moving box to create mine. I have lots of cardboard but I didn’t want there to be any wrinkles or bends in my finished piece so I splurged and got a new one for  just over a buck!

Use your fingers to carefully run around the edges to remove any odd bits that hang on after being cut out. Be careful because you can get a paper cut with cardboard, too and it’s a whole lot bigger!

Make a life-size cardboard deer head to put on your wall!

Take your rectangular support piece and insert it to the slots on the backside of the deer’s neck.


Use hot glue to hold steady.


Place your vee shaped pieces into the six notches on your antler shape. Hot glue to secure.

Use hot glue to hold steady.

Last of all, attach your antlers to the notches in the top of your deer’s head.


Punch two holes in the backside near the top of the neck (by your support piece) and run ribbon through, tying to form a loop to hang on the wall from.

Use hot glue to hold steady.

Now it’s time for the fun part… decoration! I took my cardboard form and spray painted him gold (his name is Oliver, btw). Then I ran up to Dollar General and got some green pine type of garland for $2 and some white poinsettes for $3. Add that in with my $1 cardboard box and this humongous bit of Christmas kitsch cost me just SIX BUCKS!

Everything I added on I didn’t permanently secure just in case Oliver lives over my fireplace a bit longer than just for Christmas. And since I had skeletons painted on my window for two months it’s totally possible!


On the white brick of my fireplace, I think that he looks quite stunning! Check back soon to see the rest of my mantel decor and be sure to let me know if you make your own DIY cardboard deer head. I’d LOVE to see them!

Make a life-size cardboard deer head to put on your wall! Tutorial and Free Pattern.

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  1. Oh my goodness. I’m crazy for little Oliver! I had no idea you actually cut and built him yourself. Way to go, lady!