DIY Dowel Stick Deer

Have you seen metal stick deer decor in stores?  Do they make your heart sing?

I mentioned in my Oh, Deer!  A Tablescape of Reality post that I’ve kept my eyes open for some large wooden deer to be used at Christmas – and winter in general.

It’s not a “got to have it” kind of search, because they certainly aren’t a need.  It’s more of a casual “waiting for the thing that makes my heart (and purse) sing” kind of search.  It may never happen, and that’s OK with me.

Meanwhile, I refuse to buy something that isn’t the thing.  And, stick deer are so easy to DIY!

Since I’m not a welder (surprised?), hot-gluing dowels is the nearest thing to the metal look.  And, so so cheap!

DIY Dowel Stick Deer @

I found a square dowel and several round ones in the project studio.  I cut the 1/2″ square dowel pieces for the back, neck, and head.  I used 3/16″ -1/4″ round dowels for the legs, tail, and antlers.

It would be fine to use all round dowels.  I used the square because I already had it.

Here are the lengths I cut:

Smaller Deer                                                     Larger Deer

7″ back  and legs                                            8″ back and legs

3-1/2″ neck                                                        4″ neck

1-3/4″ head                                                    1-3/4″ head

1″ tail                                                                1″ tail

Cut various sizes for antlers – one 3-4″ long per antler and lots of  3/4″ to 1-1/2″.

Dowel Cuts for Antlers

Here’s the layout I did before gluing.

Dowel Pieces Pre-Placed

While gluing, I realized they needed a tail, so an antler piece worked for that.

Start by hot gluing the legs first.

Two Legs Glued

After gluing the first two legs, mark the angle on paper to use as a template for the opposite set of legs.

Marking Angle

You want the angles to match so the deer stand squarely.

Gluing Opposite Legs

For the neck, angle the dowel piece to your liking.  Dob a larger glob of hot glue and hold it in place until it sets.  You want enough glue to fill the gap in the angle.

Deer Neck

Angle the head, too, again with more glue than the usual amount.

Deer Heads

Glue the antler sections together before attaching to the deer heads.  Randomly place the pieces to look more natural.

Antler Pieces

All put together and ready for paint!  Wasn’t that quick?

Deer Ready for Paint

No gold spray-paint in The Land of Making Do, so I brush-painted mine with gold craft paint.

DIY Dowel Stick Deer @

I needed gold deer for the Oh, Deer! tablescape, but they would look more like metal in silver or blackish brown.  The hand-hammered bronze type of spray paint would look really nice.  What do you think?

Thanks for joining me today for making these faux metal stick deer.  Do you think you might like to make some?


Signature Christmas C







These dowel deer are leaping over to Metamorphosis Monday for the party.






  1. says

    Beautiful tablescape, Kim! Love your cute little deer. And good for you making your own. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I really hope you enjoy the cookie recipe.