I gave you guys a sneak peek at my mossy antler mount the other day, but didn’t have time to get all the info out right away, so I’m back today to share all the details with you! This little guy was fun to make! There was a little trial and error along the way, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. And since I got all of the error out of the way for you, now you’ll be able to make one of your own and get it right the first time!
We started out with these antlers from my father-in-law. I was talking to him about them this past weekend and it turns out they’re from a deer he shot a few years ago on their property. My in-laws’ home sits on about 10 acres and he usually tries to get out there at least once during hunting season. Helps to know a hunter, huh?!
When we got the antlers home, my husband boiled them for several minutes in a large pot. Then he used a small scrub brush to get any leftover gross-ness off of the antlers and skull. Once that was done and they were dried out, we moved on to the next step.
We watched this video which helped us a lot since I didn’t even know where to start when it came to this project. If you are really interested in doing this project, I would definitely suggest watching the video. It helped us a ton. I’ll give you a quick rundown of what we did here, but for more details, be sure to check it out.
Okay, so first we screwed the skull to a small, circular piece of scrap wood and then screwed that to a larger piece for stability. The video said to use a mixture of plaster of paris and concrete, but we were feeling lazy and tried modeling clay instead. I guess we just thought it would be easier. Well, we learned our lesson once we were all done and it dried and well, it cracked! Big time! So, learn from me. Don’t use modeling clay!
We ended up having to take the whole thing apart after that mishap and redo it. And this time, we did it the way they said to in the video. Because, you know, he’s the pro. Clearly I am NOT! We mixed up the concrete and plaster of paris, molded the shape we wanted, and let it dry. Then sanded it a bit to smooth it out and we were done. It’s not super duper perfectly shaped, but it works! I don’t have an after picture of it except for this one below…which is the next step.
Once the mold is to your liking, it’s time to cover it! I was originally planning to use a linen fabric, but I just wasn’t 100% sure, so I waited. Then one day the idea of moss popped into my head and I knew it was meant to be! The moss is so simple to work with, plus, it hides imperfections better than fabric would. Win win!
I just grabbed a piece of moss (I got this stuff from Hobby Lobby) put a bit of hot glue onto the concrete, and pressed the moss down onto it. Then I kept hot gluing and adding moss as I went. When I ran out of my big piece, I tore up smaller pieces to fill in the gaps. This whole step took me maybe 10 minutes.
Now on to the plaque…
Have I told you how easy it is to stain wood with milk paint? Oh, and the fact that there is no nasty smell to it?! Well, both statements are true and I’ll show you how below!
So, first step is to grab an unfinished plaque or other piece of raw wood (or furniture) and mix up your milk paint. I use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Curio with just a touch of Typewriter. You don’t need much. Your proportions should be about 1 part milk paint powder to 4 parts water. Mix the paint (I prefer a mini whisk for this) and you’re ready to paint…er stain!
Just paint the wood like you would anything else. The paint will soak into the wood rather than sitting on top of it – giving you a stained look. Gorgeous, right? And the best part is that it doesn’t stink at all! I did this project on the dining room table with my kids in the living room. I didn’t have to open any windows or vent in any way. We just went about our business. It was great!
I ended up applying 2 coats of paint for this project. Once the paint dries, it looks like this. Don’t freak out. We’ll make it pretty again!
When the paint has totally dried, apply MMSMP hemp oil to the whole piece (or area you painted if it’s a piece of furniture). You can use a brush or rag to apply the oil, but I didn’t feel like running back downstairs, so I just used my fingers! You don’t even need gloves since hemp oil is all natural! (I did wash my hands when I was done, though!)
I love how the hemp oil brings out the wood grain. It gives it so much depth!
You want the hemp oil to sit on top of the surface a bit, so if it starts soaking in too much before you’re ready to sand, just add a little more to those areas. Next, grab a piece of fine sand paper and sand the piece while the hemp oil is still wet. This is called wet sanding and gives the piece a buttery soft finish.
Once you’re done sanding, wipe the piece with a rag (preferably lint free) to remove any excess oil. Give the oil a while to dry and then you’re done! If you want a little extra durability, apply a second coat of hemp oil, let it soak in for a few minutes, and then wipe off the excess. (I just did one coat since this plaque won’t really get “used”.
After the plaque was finished, my husband screwed the antlers to it, added a saw tooth hanger on the back, and we hung it on the wall. I really love the rustic touch this little guy adds to our living room! It’s such a fun addition to the plank wall!
Now, if I can only find more antlers, I could make more of these cuties! Hmmm, where to find antlers?!
Linking to : Lil’ Luna