Make a DIY Deer Antlers Headband

Getting Started

diy deer ears headband
Caylin Harris

When you’re little, Halloween seems to take forever to arrive. You count the days and start planning your costume months in advance. Unfortunately, adulthood often means scrambling at the last minute to figure out what to wear to your BFF's Halloween costume party and then going as a baked potato because all you could find was tin foil.

Don’t do that to yourself this year! Thankfully, a headpiece feels decidedly easier than an entire costume. When paired with the right face paint, these DIY deer antlers make for an adorable and easy Halloween look

Gather Your Materials

materials for deer ears headband
Caylin Harris

There are a lot of ways to make these antlers. If you’re light on time, you can sub in the pipe cleaner antlers with pretty branches or skip the ears entirely if you have to. But, for the full effect, take the time to do all of it. It yields the best results. Great news: It can be worked on while you’re watching TV after work.

  • A plain, sturdy headband
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Decoupage glue (such as Mod Podge, depending on method)
  • Brown paper bag or newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue

Form Your Antlers

Brown pipe cleaner antler
Caylin Harris

Twist the pipe cleaners together to form the shape of antlers. If you’re at a loss for what they should look like, think tree branches (or Google it). 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 up the lines, double up and twist another pipe cleaner around that first initial shape. The wire within each pipe cleaner is going to make forming these shapes so much easier than you’d think.

To attach them to the headband, twist the very bottom around the headband where you want them placed and twist the wire to secure, so it’s looping around the entire headband.

Fill Antlers In

filling antlers with newspaper strips
Caylin Harris

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’s two ways you can attach these paper strips: One is by coating the strips with Mod Podge, sticking them to the pipe cleaners, and then letting the strips dry completely. The other is crinkling and twisting the newspaper around the pipe cleaners and then smoothing and wrapping the paper with masking tape. You’ll want to taper the ends, so that they’re thicker at the base and thinner at the top, the way they look on real deer.

Paint Antlers

Painting DIY antlers
Caylin Harris

This step is optional, but because you’ve come this far, you might as well finish it off right! 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 it look authentic. Again, you might want to consult Google and check out some antler pictures to see what colors to use.

Assemble Your Ears

Finishing touch to DIY antlers
Caylin Harris

It’s time to finish these beauties off! So they don’t look too sparse, you’ll want to add some ears on the outside of each antler.

Cut a piece of the tan felt into an ear-like shape, but more exaggerated—think cartoon deer, more than actual deer. Draw a smaller oval shape out of pink felt and cut it out. Glue it to the inside of the tan ear shapes using two dots of hot glue.

To have the ears sort of curl, fold the bottom and glue, so the felted ears look slightly rounded. Glue each ear to the headband until it’s secure. To hide the headband, wrap light tan (the same color as the ear felt) pipe cleaners around the headband until it’s completely covered.  

Here’s the beauty of this costume—you’ve created a headpiece and you’re done. You can dress in all neutral clothing for the outfit and do some cool make-up techniques to complete the look. Consider a pair of Bambi-esque fake lashes to really give yourself that doe-eyed effect.