Picture of Jackalope Wall Mount
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Are you coveting the look of the taxidermy trend but don't want to fork up the cash for a real antique? Tired of the limited selection of real animals?
Why not make your own faux animal head from junk you have lying around the house and some cheap thrift store supplies?

When I was traveling through Wyoming recently, I loved seeing all the stuffed jackalopes available in gift shops. I wanted to bring one home but none were quite as big as I'd like them to be (being limited to the size of real rabbits) and I was worried I wouldn't be able to bring an animal product like that through customs.

So instead I decided to make my own from some stuff I had at home.

If you've always wanted to try Missmonster's werewolf head but you don't want to have to pay for taxidermy supplies, this instructable is for you!
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Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need
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Here is the full list of what I used. This instructable can easily be altered to make any creature so your supplies may vary depending on what you want to make

from a thrift store:
-wall "art" plaque (I paid $3 for mine but you might be able to get one for cheaper or find a real wood plaque from a craft or hobby store)
-stuffed animal eyes (I got Mr. Bunny 2 years ago and have since used pieces of him for everything from costumes to tribbles)
-fur (I found a disintegrating vintage fur coat for really cheap but you could just as easily use fake fur from the fabric store)

from your recycling bin:
-paper, lots and lots of paper
-thin cardboard

from a craft store:
-paint (I used chalkboard paint for the plaque and acrylic craft paints for the rest)
-air dry clay (I used some of the leftovers from making my Ludo mask)

from a hardware store or your garage:
-small block of wood
-wire mesh or chicken wire
-wire or a coat hanger
-masking tape
, lots and lots of glue

from your kitchen:

-paint brushes
-pliers or wire cutters
-X-acto knife
-glue gun

-hair dye
-real antlers (I ended up deciding real antlers were too expensive for this project, but if you have access to some antlers by all means use them)
Hi hi hi! Firstly, beautiful work! I was just wondering, about how much flour and salt should you use when making the mache pulp? Thank youuu!
osibisa4 years ago
for me, the thing that would improve this, is NO real animal fur, which slightly saddened me. Those look like new skins too, in the photo, rather than something old, reused. I wouldn't want to support the demand for more skins, y'know? If a person really wants fur, ( I am thinking real trophy hunter types are not likely "instructable" types, are they? ) how about getting an old coat from Goodwill? Also, the hair dye. How about something less toxic, like one of the henna powders that does not include chemicals. I used to colour my hair with a mix of indigo powder and henna powder, Makes a great dark borwn or black.

Nice work though. A little less actual-real-looking, and more overly fanciful or OTT would be my preference, insofar as this looks so real, I am left thinking "dead animal" rather than stupendous trompe-l'oeil.

I fell in love with papier mache in 1987. It IS great stuff, isn't it? A really good book with nice paper pulp work is Papier mache today. It's not the awful stuff most of us experienced in primary school anymore.

I then a set of dragons using papier mache, cloth mache and what I call silk mache. ( which are not really "mache", but strips and drapes) And some modelling clay for eyes and teeth, The thin scarf silk makes fabulous tusklike or antler-like stuff.

Like you, I use a lot of white glue in the work. White glue is fabulous, and combined with cotton or silk makes a very flexible "papier mache" which can really come in handy, depending on the project. Unfortunately, I don't have a scanner right now, and can't upload any pictures. ( I have some old photos )

I was just thinking today that white glue ought to come in big pails.

fun stuff! take care.
ModMischief (author)  osibisa4 years ago
The fur I used is from an old fur coat I bought at a thrift store. The original tags inside were from 1975. The fur was literally falling apart so it was no longer suitable for clothing. If I hadn't re-purposed the material it would likely have been thrown out.

I took apart all the seams before dyeing it which is why it's in the shape of skins at the dyeing stage.
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Ah, I'm so glad to hear that. The picture had the look of new skins... looked like antelope or something!

amazing job you did.

Ninzerbean4 years ago
Must you protect the paper clay pulp from hardening while you are waiting for successive layers to dry? If so then how?
ModMischief (author)  Ninzerbean4 years ago
Good question! Yes, you need to keep your extra pulp moist so you can use it later.

I kept mine in plastic wrap but any sealed container would work too.

I'll add that to the instructions now. Thanks!
osibisa4 years ago
absurd really, not having a scanner, or a digital camera, and being a member of instructables. Gotta remedy that. So far, have only looked, not lept.
Aeneas4 years ago
This is so cool. I've been planning to do a psychedelic painted papier mache animal head for a long time, but this looks really cool.
yamiyobi4 years ago
you have unlockt the expert hunter outfit :P
3366carlos4 years ago
Looks damn good!
Ah so you finished. I saw the developments on your blog but just been pretty busy my self to say any thing about it. Great stuff.
Don't know if I would have had it so dark though.

Oh and if you know some one with an airbrush you can put on some nice markings on it using the airbrush. Now that would look really cool. :D
ModMischief (author)  Treasure Tabby4 years ago
Thanks : )

It actually turned out a little lighter than I expected! I didn't like how orange the fur was so I wanted a dark dye that would cover it and even out the variations in colour. I went with "Natural Black" and it turned out brown (reminds me of a beaver).

An airbrush paint job could look really cool (I'm thinking of how awesome this lion looks).
this is awesome i really want to make this
This is totally cool!!
Wasagi4 years ago
Beautiful! This is something I've always wanted to have, but I never thought of building it before!
Pandy6274 years ago
You've done it again! This is a really detailed (read: helpful) instructable and the finished product looks awesome!