If you're short on time to create a costume for Halloween or another special occasion, making a headpiece is typically much easier than an entire ensemble. When paired with the right face paint, these DIY deer antlers make for an adorable costume. And they're quick and easy to craft. If you’re short on time, you can even substitute the pipe cleaners for pretty branches or skip making the ears entirely if you have to. But, for the full effect, take the time to make the headpiece with all of its components.
Equipment / Tools
- Decoupage glue or masking tape
- Craft paint and paintbrush
- Hot glue
- 1 Plain, sturdy headband
- Light brown pipe cleaners (at least a package of 50)
- Brown paper bag or newspaper strips
- Felt (1 sheet of tan and 1 sheet of pink)
Form the Antlers
First, twist pipe cleaners together to form the shape of two antlers. If you’re at a loss for what they should look like, think about a tree branch.
They don’t have to be symmetrical—in fact, a deer’s antlers are far from perfect—so you can twist and cut the pipe cleaners down to size as needed. If you want to thicken the lines, double up the pipe cleaners, twisting a second around the initial shape.
To attach the antlers to the headband, twist the very bottom around the headband where you want them placed. The ends of the pipe cleaners should be looped around the entire headband, and then the pipe cleaners should be twisted around themselves to securely hold the antlers in place.
Fill in the Antlers
Depending on what you have on hand, you can use a brown paper bag or strips of newspaper to twist around the pipe cleaners. This helps to create some dimension and body to the antlers, as opposed to just sticking with the skinny pipe cleaner shapes.
There are two ways you can attach these paper strips. One is by coating the strips with decoupage glue, sticking them to the pipe cleaners, and then letting the strips dry completely. The other is by crinkling and twisting the newspaper around the pipe cleaners and then smoothing and wrapping the paper with masking tape. Taper the ends, so they’re thicker at the base and thinner at the top—the way they look on real deer.
Paint the Antlers
Paint the paper-covered antlers to look more like the real thing. You can either paint them off-white, a light tan, or a combination of colors to make the antlers look authentic. It can be helpful to look at photos of real deer if you really want to match their antler coloring. You also can go abstract and paint your antlers any color.
Assemble the Ears
To form the ears, cut a piece of tan felt into an elongated oval that comes to a point. Then, cut around the shape you just made to form a second ear from the tan felt.
Next, cut a smaller oval shape that mimics the tan ones you just made out of the pink felt. Cut around it to form a second pink oval.
Hot glue a pink oval to the inside of each tan oval. Then, to give the ears a three-dimensional rounded look, pinch and hot glue each bottom side together (as seen in the photo below). Finally, hot glue each ear to the headband on the outside of the antlers.
To hide the headband, wrap your brown pipe cleaners around it until it’s completely covered. Your headpiece is now ready to wear.