Chronicle Craft: Make Your Own Paper Deer Head

It is possible to transform a simple room into something special—with your own hands. Dorm Decor offers a wide range of simple projects to spiff up drab dorm rooms. Beyond your dorm days? This craft can invigorate any living space in a hurry.

There are tons of ideas to choose from—bedding, rugs, lampshades, pillows, desktop organizers, and more. Reversible projects maximize your design options, while hanging projects free up valuable floor and desk space. And of course, there are organizing projects to keep your room (and life!) clutter-free. Personally, I’m trying to come up with an excuse to make the Deer Head project below. Who doesn’t want a faux deer head on their wall?!

Paper Deer Head DIY

Oh Dear, Deer Head

Excerpted from Dorm Decor 

For the animal lover, activist, or simply anyone with a sense of humor, this faux buck will make any dorm-room dweller proud. Hang a scarf or hat on his antlers, keeping floors free and clear, or use him as witty wall art.

Paper Deer Head DIY

You’ll Need
Deer templates
1 20″ x 30″ piece (3/16″-thick) foam core
1 6″ x 7″ piece (1/2″-thick) foam core
60″ length (30″-wide) wrapping paper
1 6″ x 7″ piece of contrasting paper
Craft knife
Cutting board
Spray adhesive
Picture-frame hanging wire

1. Make the pieces

Using the deer templates:
From the 3/16″ thick foam core, cut:
2 deer heads
1 deer body
1 deer nose
1 deer antler
From the 1/2″ thick foam core, cut:
1 mounting board

2. Cover the pieces

Using spray adhesive, spray one side of the nose piece and adhere it to the wrong side of the wrapping paper. Use the craft knife and the cutting board and cut out the nose piece. Repeat for the other side of the nose.

Repeat to cover both sides of the two deer heads, the deer body, and the deer antler pieces.

Using spray adhesive, adhere the contrasting paper to one side of the mounting board. Cut it out using the craft knife and cutting board.

3. Hang the deer head

On each deer head piece, cut a hole 1″ below the top edge and 3/8″ inside the back edge with the awl.

Assemble the deer head as shown in the photograph.

Thread wire through both holes several times and end by wrapping the wire around itself for a hanger.

Click here to download the below images. They are formatted to 8x10in layouts. So, when printing on 8.5x11in paper, select (when printing through Windows Print Wizard) “8x10in cutout print” in the layout selection. It should print perfectly.




  • sarah February 20, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I’m past my dorm room days, but I keep my little apartment interesting by incorporating color and patterns. Since I can’t paint the stark, white walls, I create areas of interest: a giant silk scarf from a vacation covers my kitchen table and small gifts and a collection of wind-up toys look interesting and a little bit (perhaps a VERY little bit) more grown-up when all grouped together on top of an armoire.
    For me, a small space and plain walls creates the opportunity to make a big impact with little details.


  • Thom February 20, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Hardly original, but always effective. Choose a wall. Paint the shadow outline of a tree on the wall. Place hooks on branches. Hang items.


  • justin February 20, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Buy as many frames as you can. Spray paint them a bright color. Add your favorite pictures. And hang them on a wall.

    This adds a pop of color and personality to any blank room.


  • Cakespy February 20, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    This is awesome!

    I have found two things for brightening up a room that are quirky and easy. One is hanging cookie cutters (lots of them) on the wall. It’s space efficient and nice if you bake a lot because you can see them all lined up. Also I purchased some fake donuts from a fake-food company a while back and hung those up in an alternating pattern, and people love it.


  • mirabelle February 20, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Past my dorm room days but used to do something simple…flowers. I would buy one every Friday.


  • Megan February 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I’m in a super small house and people who visit are always surprised at just how tiny it is when I tell them. I think its partly because we take advantage of all the natural light we can and we try to bring the outdoors in, often in unexpected ways. Beyond houseplants, we have seeds, cut branches, and other found objects throughout the house.
    Thanks for the giveaway!


  • guinevere February 20, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Gorgeous bed linens will definitely liven up a tiny studio space. It was an investment, but my Denyse Schmidt quilt is a work of art.


  • Phaedra February 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I am ALL about Oil CLoth! Cut a large piece to fit your kitchen table for instance, staple it all around underneath the table and you have a bright and lively surface.
    Use it to make place-mats, or coasters, you can line a tray with oil cloth to spruce it up, you can skin a cork board with it and hang it on your wall, you can skin a three ring binder with it and use that to store papers- literally endless uses! All perfect for renters or short term living situations! I am so excited to read the book!


  • james February 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    for the ladies…

    brighten up your walls by getting old clothes patterns and wallpaper glue (or similiar paste) and start pasting them up on the wall. your girlfriends will think you design your own clothes and you will be the talk of the dorm!

    for the guys…

    same thing dudes but go to an architect firm and ask for any old architectural drawings (some firms have a spring clean every so often and they have digital backups now anyway). get the glue and cover your wall with whatever plans you got. when you invite the girls over to see your wall they will think you are more intelligent than you actually are and a good study partner (well, we can dream).

    (this comment is an idea. any promise of picking up girls or become the designer dorm girl is purely speculative. the writer will not be responsible for any inconsistencies in the above comments.)

    have fun…


  • Laura Stewart February 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    definitely some bright curtains


  • Lolly February 20, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I love my paper garlands! Brightly colored two-inch circles are sewn into simple chains. They make for a merry spot of color anywhere. Also, pillows, artwork, plants, and bells. My wee little apartment is cheery!


  • Debbie February 20, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I’m past dorm days but my children are not. One of them bought 12″ square canvases and had her roommates each paint one. They them made a collage on the wall with them. It looked great.


  • Jesselyn February 20, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Use liquid starch to put fabric up on your walls – any fabric will do, even the cheapest stuff from Wal-Mart works great for this. You’ll have a contrast wall in no time, and when you move out, just spray with water and the fabric peels right off!

    ~PS I did not come up with this idea, but I do use it myself and love it!


  • Katie February 20, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Two ideas to use fabric scraps on your walls:
    -Cut interesting shapes out of different pieces of fabric and put them on the wall using liquid fabric starch. Just place them on the wall where you want them and brush a coat of starch over the fabric, brushing out the bubbles as you go. It is quick, cheap, and most important (for a dorm room), not permanent!
    -Buy several cheap square canvas panels from your local craft store (I bought 20 of the 6×6 canvas panels from Dick Blick for less than $20) and wrap each one in a different fabric. Arrange them in a grid and use the Command velcro strips to attach them to the wall. That way, you can rearrange them whenever you want and when you move out, the strips pull off the wall without leaving any damage!


  • stacy February 20, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Since we had to keep the dorm room walls white, we added lots of color to the room by hanging fun pictures and lots and lots of pillows (with coordinating bedspreads, etc.)


  • Rhiannon February 21, 2009 at 5:51 am

    When my bed is the centerpiece of my room, I try to cover it in lots of quilts and pillows. It just makes everything bright and comfy.


  • andrea from the fishbowl February 21, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I love that deer head! It is amazing.

    I’m really into vintage toys. Vintage bowling pins, gumball machines filled with old marbles, wooden toys … most of these things were bought at garage sales and in secondhand shops. And I like to think that my personality really shows through.


  • anne February 21, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Repeated single color: group of picture frames, large floor pillow, swath of fabric tacked to the ceiling in an interesting way, colored paper (or fabric) on the front of your binders. When that color is dominant, add splashes of another color that looks good with it.


  • Anna February 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Back when I was living in the dorm, I used a rasterization program online (you can find several ones out there, and they’re free!) to make an enlargement of one of my favorite paintings (you just print the rasterized version out page by page on a printer) and framed each sheet separately in cheap IKEA frames. When hung up in a collage style, it was a great way to put a modern pop spin on a High Renaissance image!


  • Liz Ramsey February 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    The book looks awesome! I’m a big fan of papercuts so if I went back to college now, I’d probably get busy with some scissors and old newspapers (ones in other languages looks particularly good)and make my own papel picado to string up. And I can’t WAIT to try making the deer head!


  • anneli February 21, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    organize books by colour and add vintage quilts


  • Izzy February 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I like the idea of using contact paper to make wall decorations. Simply cut out the shape you want from the contact paper, peel off the backing and stick it to your wall. They’re really easy to remove too so you don’t have to worry about marking your walls. It gives you freedom to create any sort of design you want in any size and in any colour.


  • Joanna February 22, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    A real quick and relatively cheap fix to perk up any room is to add wall decals. You can find them in any color and lots of designs.


  • Dee February 22, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I really like this, I never lived in a dorm, but have lived in an apartment MANY yrs ago when I first got married, I didn’t put alot of things on the walls due to the whole renting thing, but I used color on our bed which could be seen through french doors from our tiny living room, and for christmas we just put up the bows from some of our wedding gifts from the month before as decorations… we were living on love at the time LOL

    Now I buy cheap pictures if I see a picture i like and it’s cheap i reframe it in a nicer frame… or make my own, saves money… and i get a great picture.. always look for sales in the oddest places in your local wallyworld, the corners of the building, or at odd endcap areas… i find great buys on linens to use on the walls, pillows, etc …

    as for the Deer head pictured, i love it because my husband hunts, and we are waiting on his antlers to come back from the taxidermist, he got a deer this year, meat is in the freezer and this is the first one he has antlers to brag about… maybe ill do this as a sort of.. homage to the whole thing !
    didn’t post for the book, but i always love anything crafty or sewing… so i hope i get one. 🙂


  • Little Miss S. February 23, 2009 at 2:49 am

    In my tiny flat everything has to be really tidy to have room for myself. As I am not allowed to change anything in the room, I try to hang personal tiny paintings everywhere and make sure that my bed is always covered with my big home quilted blanket – and then I have baskets hanging all over with crafting projects to let it shine through what I like to spend my time doing. It shows off my flat as creative and personal – or at least I hope it does…


  • Korie February 23, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this book. My nieces are going to college in the next couple years and they can’t believe how bland dorms are.

    When I lived in the dorms, lo those many years ago, we did a few things to spice up our room. My father sews, so we had him make some cute, colorful curtains for the one window we had. We had a couple plants to green up the room as well. We had a couple cute “art posters” that we hung as well.


  • Catalina February 23, 2009 at 9:18 am

    I added Vancouver city banners (Nick Bantock ones!) to all my appartment


    Great blog and thanks for the patterns! I will try that for sure


  • A. Robinson February 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Easy–make artwork out of some styrofoam board and scrapbooking paper.

    Buy some 1″ thick styrofoam board at your local craft store (these pieces are normally 12″ by 24″-36″, perfect for this project). Select some 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper that you like. I personally like using coordinating papers.

    Cut the styrofoam into 12″ x 12″ squares.

    Take some hodge podge glue (used for decoupaging) (or any glue, really, so long as it doesn’t bleed through paper) and apply it liberally on the styrofoam. Do not use aerosol adhesives, for it will melt the foam!

    Affix the paper onto the foam and let it dry.

    Pick out some coordinating fabric ribbon. Glue it around the edges of the foam to mask any icky edges or unclean cuts.

    Hang on wall! A project for a few bucks!


  • Joyce February 23, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I love adding fun pillows (ie skinnylaminx covers), pictures/art (ie etsy finds) and making sure things are organized in totes. Organization always makes tings look better/bigger, as there’s no clutter!


  • Jeanne Crockett February 24, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Love this! I can see it in a little boy’s room, or as a Christmas/winter decoration.


  • Stephanie February 24, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I like to frame sentimental objects, like my great grandma’s vintage handkerchiefs. Command Adhesive is awesome for hanging pictures without leaving marks or holes on the walls.


  • Stephanie Fillmore February 24, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Covered the cork board on the wall with fabric and ribbon to match the bedding. much prettier. Hung patterned paper stars from the ceiling too! Inexpensive decor for a student’s budget.


  • Annie February 24, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I love this idea, my bf is a hunter but I’m a total tree hugger. maybe this is a fun happy medium!


  • Crystal February 24, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    When I was in a dorm, I chose items with tons of highly saturate primary and secondary (mostly…I wasn’t very picky) colors. That way everything always matched! Everyone always commented on how fun and cheery my room was.


  • Nan February 24, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    I’m pretty sure I had the smallest dorm room on my campus. Since space was at such a premium I used removable 3M hooks to hang all of my handbags on the wall. This kept my nice bags from being smushed in the closet and made it a snap to change out my bag in a hurry.


  • jennifer ramos February 25, 2009 at 12:34 am

    And i just bought one already made.wooden one, but its not wrapped in wrapping paper. I may just do that…NICE!!

    Jen Ramos
    ‘Cards & Prints You’ll Love…’


  • Shawna February 25, 2009 at 7:45 am

    The deer would look good in our spare bedroom. Maybe I’ll find time to create it!


  • jennifer ramos February 25, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    HERE IS a great way to brighten up a dorm room. It’s a DO IT YOURSELF Inspiration board. Made from corkboard, frame and fabric.


  • chelsea a February 25, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I’m so glad I found your blog!

    I was lucky enough to have huge bulletin boards above my standard-issue dorm room bed. The rest of the room was painted brick – no nails or tacks allowed (not that they would work, though). Simple solution? Colored butcher paper. It was just a few dollars a yard and my craft/art supply store had about a dozen colors they carried. I could change the entire look of my half of the room for each month, season, or just when the mood hit for less than $5. I didn’t even have to tape the paper up. Because it was a bulletin board, I used your run-of-the-mill stapler and just did the edges, then used cardstock and other patterned paper to make adornments. That was back in fall of 2000…there are SO many paper options and cute fabric options available now. Were I to do it again, I’d invest in some fabric and sew myself a ton of differently sized throw pillows and probably still cover the bulletin board in butcher paper – it’s less expensive and gives the same dramatic effect!


  • hourto February 27, 2009 at 9:15 am

    My roommates and I would draw on the white walls with pencil to create a mural that we could wash off, and add colour with coloured paper taped on for leaves etc.


  • Julie H February 27, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Fabric covered canvases (or cheaply framed paper) hung with Command strips is a easy and fresh way to go.


  • Lisa C February 28, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    What a cool book! I could sure use it!


  • Cami March 1, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Fabric was the key to making a dorm room look more homey. I had tapestries, bright silks, and patterned calicos brightening up the neutral walls.


  • Crystal March 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve found hanging nice, bright pictures does pretty well – anything from a canvas you painted, a poster you love, to a calendar photo you’ve framed (these look remarkably expensive when in a frame, even if it’s just a dollar-store frame you spray painted) or a piece of cute fabric stretched over canvas or an embroidery hoop. Or make a photo collage of friends and events! Bright bedclothes help, too. Mix prints, solids, and patterns. Curtains are important in a dorm room – they can really add a homey feeling. I am a color person and tend to feel down when stuck in dull, drab rooms so I did a lot of this in my dorms (and indeed, still do now). You’d be surprised how much color you can get in a room without overdoing it.


  • Courtney Rippy June 1, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    A great way to brighten up a dorm room is with a colorful hanging paper lantern lamp. Cost Plus World Market has great ones on sale for $10- $15 dollars. So chic!


  • christian louboutin March 6, 2010 at 12:38 am

    it is interesting and informative article. This has been very helpful understanding a lot

    of things. I’m sure a lot of other people will agree with me.


  • agne nananai March 22, 2010 at 7:49 am

    WOW! Thanks a lot for this! It’s ver cool and so simple 🙂 I haven’t tried, but sure I will!


  • Shannon June 3, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    This deer has moose/caribou antlers :/ cute idea though.


  • blythe hill July 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I recently hung a string of paper cranes in my room, which added instant cheer! :]….


  • September 3, 2010 at 2:25 am

    neat man! I gave this to my wife to use in her kindergarten (I hope you don't mind?) It goes great in any decor setting I'm sure, but I think ids would especially love putting this thig together and hanging it up.


  • mari February 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    are those inches?
    what does 1 20″ means… im used to centimeters…im sorry


  • Aurana Books March 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Good idea and the color looks good.. The best place where to put this decor is in childrens room.


  • Meg July 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Please, oh Please! Can you make a template for an elephant? My friend is buying a house and since elephants are his Fav. animal I think a Faux Taxidermy elephant would be perfect for his man-cave; the problem is I can't find where to buy the elephants in the USA. I figure maybe I could make him one!


  • micaela November 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    what are the dimensions of the final deer?


  • aartyparty January 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Awesome!! I was going to buy one but thought making one would be more fun! I was right! I want to make more.

    See my DIY on


  • j Elsa January 12, 2012 at 1:14 am

    For anyone interested, I found a template of a different deer head: It seems a bit more complicated than I want though. Either way, thank you for sharing your idea and your template! I'll make both.. eventually..


  • aagdad February 13, 2012 at 2:53 am

    I've did it too, if you want to see a french version :
    Thanks !


  • Eric April 26, 2012 at 5:23 am

    I love this amazing deer head! It looks rather stylish and it doesn't seem like you're a hunter if you have one. Perfect solution for girls.


  • Lucille Gitto May 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Great information 🙂


  • Dianne November 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    did you know someone is selling these made? obviously using this free template


  • @blanc_oiseau December 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    hello, I really love this design, I wonder if you know of any place where find more, and I saw the links you mention but have no parts.


  • debbie December 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

    could you please send or repost the deer head templates. I tried to download and they are corrupt. Thanks!


  • Joyce Catoe March 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I am trying to make your paper deer head and am having trouble getting clean cuts on the foam core board. How did you do this?


  • Joyce Catoe March 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I am trying to make the paper deer head. I’ve cut out all the pieces, put adhesive and wrapping paper on both sides but am now struggling with the “Assemble the deer head as shown in the photograph” part. Could you be a littler clearer?


  • MoboMarket February 15, 2017 at 2:35 am

    When my bed is the centerpiece of my bedroom, I try to cover it in lots of quilts .
    It makes everything bright and comfy ^__^


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