Steampunk Stag – Part 1

Whew!  What a great Fall and Winter season I had in my Etsy shop (Old Raven) this year (2017-2018).  And due to the fact that the shop was keeping me hopping I had no new projects to post here on my blog since the Spirit House. Traditionally, towards the end of January and pretty much through February is a slow time for me so I thought I’d indulge in a big project.

Last Fall as I was rushing through Hobby Lobby I saw this paper mache deer head and as all the paper mache products were 50% I thought ‘what the heck, I wonder if I can Steampunk this?’  I’m sure going to give it a try.  AND WE’RE OFF…

This deer is approximately 20″ tall x 16″ wide x 9″ deep so it’s fairly large and should make quite a statement when I’m done.  What I didn’t like about it as I started looking at it for Steampunk potential was the tips of the antlers were wrong, way to blunt.


I wanted to ‘sharpen’ them up a bit so I got out a pack of paper clay.  Unfortunately, my paper clay had gotten pretty dry.  Not to worry though, you can reconstitute your paper clay pretty easily and there’s a number of videos on YouTube to give you detailed instructions, but this is how in a nutshell:  put your unpackaged clay in a baggie, add enough water so the clay is slick with it and a bit puddles in the bottom of the baggie and let it sit overnight.  By the next day the clay should have absorbed the water and be pliable again, if not, add more water and try again.

You can see I’ve got three out of six of the antler tips done here.


I didn’t try to get real fancy with it, just smoothed it down onto the paper so the dimensions looked right.  See how much better the clay tip looks compared to the one that isn’t done yet?


That’s much better.  The paper clay dries nice and hard (usually overnight) but doesn’t weigh very much so it doesn’t feel like it’s over-balancing the rest of the deer head.  Now, let the “punking” begin.


These are some of the embossing folders I’ve chosen to work with, so far.  I’ll be using three of these four:  on the left, both of these folders which are the Diamond Plate and the Riveted Metal.  On the right, I’m only using the Gears folder.  Of course, all of these are from the Tim Holtz Alterations line.


As I’ve discussed in previous blog posts here when featuring my Steampunk work, there’s a number of products you can use for your “metal”.  I’ve settle on large rolls of (vinyl) foil that have an adhesive back.  They’re around 2 feet wide and a couple of yards long (depending on brand).  But these are much more cost effective for me since my projects are usually quite large and working with the smaller craft sheets of the foil would just be too cost prohibitive to use.  There are large poster board-size foil papers out there, too, but I’ve found that the paper-backed foil is harder/stiffer to work with and the foil can come off the paper backing (not good) so it’s the vinyl rolls for me.

In the picture above, I’ve run a set of all three embossing folders that I (so far) am planning to use on this project.  It’s a nice variety and depending on where I choose to put them they should give a really nice visual and textural diversity to this stag.


The Gears folder has lots of gear pieces to play with but there’s also a couple larger groupings in there that can be cut out like the one above.  You can also see another, smaller version of this one still in the main piece and that smaller one has two different ways you can cut it so I’ve got some thing in mind for those, as well.

Part 2 coming (real) soon.  Craft On.




3 thoughts on “Steampunk Stag – Part 1

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