When I was little, I remember going to the restaurant Claim Jumper in San Diego with my family. They had a giant taxidermy buffalo in their entrance and I loved it!
Flash forward 15+ years and I have a toddler who LOVES cows, and pretty much all animals actually! Guess it’s in our blood. When I was designing her room, the one element I knew I had to incorporate was a stuffed animal buffalo head. All the other aspects of the room just evolved from this buffalo, and June ended up with an adorable rustic “Prairie Room.” To see all the details, check out my post HERE.
To make your own buffalo, you will need to download the below pattern for the two sides of the face. Attach them as illustrated above. The pattern can be found at the bottom of this post.
This is the only pattern that I have done that isn’t entirely “complete” in printable format. But I am giving you guys the most important part: the Profile of the Face.
Please forgive me for not documenting the pattern better (I don’t feel like taking him apart & dissecting him to get exact measurements, lol!) So you will just have to base the rest of the pattern pieces off of my pictures. But it won’t be hard to wing those parts, believe me. This fluffy Buffalo Face is very forgiving!
First, we will start off with the plaque. This plywood hexagon baby is about 20″ wide in circumference. Next, cut out a breast plate type piece of fabric from burlap.
Staple, as illustrated, and fill with poly fill.
Remember that pattern one piece you printed out? Cut out two of them for the head.
Next, you need to cut out a strip of burlap that is approximately 36″ long and 4.5″ wide. This will be sewn all the way from the top of the head, down to the neck in-between the two face pattern pieces.
Here is the strip sewn onto one of the face pattern pieces.
And here it is sewn onto both pieces.
Turn it inside out so that the messy seams are hidden from view.
Now fill it up with stuffing, tuck in the un-hemmed seams, and sew it onto the breastplate.
Here’s what it looks like all together. I stapled the two sides onto the board for added stability.
Now for the super tedious part. Make a billion pom-pom type things out of yarn. I used a total of three yarns; 2 in “Cafe Latte” from walmart, and one in a darker color (I lost the label)
After winding bunches of pom poms until your hands are literally throbbing, separate as many of the individual strings as possible from each other. This creates a realistic curly hair look, and it’s so worth it in the end!
Now you can start hot glue gunning the yarn hair onto the buffalo. I tried putting the super poofy parts on the top of the head. Look up pictures of real buffalos if you need a visual. (THIS ONE was super helpful to me)
You don’t have to totally cover it 100% with yarn, just don’t leave any awkward looking bald-spots. Use longer yard for under the chin.
Make sure to leave room for the nose and eyes! I used black electrical tape for all the animal heads in June’s room.
A nice large oval of dark brown felt was perfect for the nose. I just glued it on with the glue gun. Super easy.
To add nostrils, glue a felt strip onto the muzzle in a rainbow shape.
For the ears, I just made some large lamb ear shapes out of felt, and glued a smaller burlap version on top of that. Play around with the placement, and do research on where real buffalo’s ears are if you need a helpful visual.
For the horns we used sawed off tips form some deer antlers my husband found shed in the woods many years ago. Real buffalo horns are thicker and somewhat dark, but I worked with what I had.
Once all the yarn is covering the buffalo head, trim it down and adjust the lengths as needed. For example, I did short hair around the eyes and nose, and long hair in the back and chest. Buffalo’s have long manes on their chest, and a hump on their back. so you want to accentuate those parts as much as possible.
Like I said earlier, I ended up using two colors of yarn to give it a more realistic hair variation. I almost exclusively used the dark color in long lengths on the lower neck.
And there you have it! You made your own DIY Buffalo Head! June called it a cow at first, but now she says “Ubbalo!”
I have to say, even though the deer and fox are adorable, this guy is my favorite out of all three taxidermy stuffed animal heads in June’s room. He just ties the whole room together, and he is massively huge! His size actually made it really hard for me to photograph a good frontal view with both of his eyes showing. Haha! Seriously, the photos don’t do this stuffed animal buffalo head justice!
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