stained deer head diy project

If you only knew all the projects that I thought up in my head….

….that never work out.


Does that ever happen to anyone else?  Am I the only one?

I think I have a 95% almost-make-it-but-not-quite-because-what-was-I-thinking rate.

But sometimes all the stars align and the cherubs sing and tiny bluebirds fly by in a crystal blue sky and a project jumps perfectly from my brain into fruition.

And sometimes it turns out even better than I imagined.

Here’s one that did.

make a stained deer head

Stained Deer Head DIY


old barn door (or just some old wood)


stain paint pen

hand to pat yourself on the back with

Barn door

1:  Start with a barn door

Easy for me to say….right?  I live in the country.

If you don’t live next to a barn….you can find old barn doors at junk stores or flea markets.

Or you could simply use a piece of wood from the home improvement store.

rustic barn door

Here’s a close up of the barn door wood.

It was a little challenging to stain on because it has these ridges.

Which makes it even more wonderful looking when you are finished.

Deer Head Project

2:  Trace a chalk outline of a deer head

I kind of invented this one from some other deer projects I had around the house.

You can google deer head silhouettes online and there are so many different sizes and shapes.

Stained Deer Head Project

Here’s another picture so you can get the idea of how I added a few antlers here and there.

Stand back once you’ve traced it and adjust as necessary.

You can always use a little water to erase the chalk and start again.

stained deer head diy

3.  Fill in with a stain paint pen

Here’s the part where I wasn’t sure it was going to work out.

My original idea had been to tape off the outline and use a can of stain to fill in.

But the challenge?

The wood is so old and so porous that I was worried the stain would bleed through and look more like a rhinocerous.

deer head diy

Then I found these stain paint pens at the home improvement store.

They worked like a charm.

I traced the outline with the stain paint pen and then used the pen to color in the center.

It only took me one pen for this project.

Deer Head

4.  Erase chalk

Use a little water and erase the chalk outlines.

You can use the stain paint pen to touch up any places you missed.

deer head diy project

And here it is.

In all its wonderful-finished-rustic-stained-paint-pen glory.

The one that worked out. 🙂

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  1. Image for Peg Peg

    Second best line ever... "the stars align and the cherubs sing and tiny bluebirds fly by in a crystal blue sky" [dolphin clapping] Where are you going to put it? : )

  2. Image for Dagmar ~ Dagmar's Home Dagmar ~ Dagmar's Home

    It's so funny that you mention projects you thought up -- I recently had a dream where I made a DIY deck out of all the plywood and pallets we have in our yard. Great idea -- I actually made it with my son, in 10 minutes! It's not the prettiest thing, but we've used up some of that material we need to get rid of.

  3. Image for Shelley Shelley

    Love this project Kari Anne! Another piece of fabulous you're so generous to share with us! Question...did you allow the stain to dry before erasing the chalk, or is it best to do it before it dries? Thank you!

  4. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    That is fantastic!! As I'm reading your post I'm nodding in agreement because I have thought to have a fantastic recipe and it turns out "edible". So I guess it's a matter of never giving up and just keep plugging along!! I think the stained deer a genius project. Congratulations!

  5. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I like this process and am interested in trying out these stain pens on the rustic wood - perhaps a botanical design or another rustic design. I hope I don't hurt your feelings, but I will be glad when the deer head trend goes away. I'm pretty good at appreciating, even if I don't like them, all types of styles and other people's design tastes, but this dead animal bones trend is just yuck.

  6. Image for Patricia Patricia

    You deserve the back patting. Stuff I don't know but NEED to could fill a trunk. That I now know I can touch up with a stain pen while inventing a WHOLE NEW CATEGORY for Pinterest; "Things I can create with a stain pen".

  7. Image for kathy kathy

    That stain pen! So many doors and windows are now open! "That lady who lives in my head" gives me ideas of projects to do. I know I couldn't think them up on my own. LOL! Good job, gf!

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