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Stag Head

Extract from Makery • By Kate Smith • Published by Octopus Books


$ $ $ $ $
• • • • •

I made a huge one of these for our
Christmas window display one year at
The Makery, and months later he was still
up there! We have so many comments and
requests for the pattern, I thought it was
high time I shared him with you all.
This stag is somewhat smaller than my
original, but equally charming, I think.

Posted by Octopus Publishing Published See Octopus Publishing's 53 projects »
© 2024 Kate Smith / Octopus Books · Reproduced with permission. · Makery by Kate Smith, published by Mitchell Beazley, £14.99 (
  • Step 1

    Make the antlers and ears
    Begin by cutting out all your felt and fabric
    pieces: 4 x antlers from the felt; 4 x ears, 2 x
    side heads, 1 x top head and 1 x back head from
    the fabric. Use pins to mark the ear positions
    and also points A and B on the side head pieces.
    Snip the notches on the side head and top head
    pieces. Use pins to mark the dots and the loop
    hanging position on the back head piece.

  • Step 2

    To make the antlers, first place one of the felt
    antler pieces on top of another and pin them
    together. Machine top-stitch all the way around
    the antler, leaving the bottom (straight) edge
    open – you need a very small seam allowance
    here, no more than 0.5cm ( in). Repeat with the
    other two felt antler pieces.

  • Step 3

    Now stuff the antlers. Gently push the stuffing
    in, a little at a time. You’ll find it very hard to
    poke the stuffing all the way into the ends with
    your fingers, so use a knitting needle. The antlers
    need to be rigid enough to stand up. No one likes
    a floppy antler.

  • How to make a taxidermy mount. Stag Head - Step 4
    Step 4

    For the ears, place one pair of fabric ear
    pieces right sides together and machine stitch
    round the curved sides with a 1cm (¼in) seam
    allowance, leaving the straight edge open.
    Clip the corners to reduce some bulk, then turn
    ear the right way out. Again, you might need
    your knitting needle to help you. Pinch the ear
    in half at the open seam and tack together at
    the bottom with a couple of hand stitches.
    Repeat for the other ear.

  • Step 5

    SEW AND STUFF the head

    Take one finished ear and tack it to one of
    the side head pieces, as noted on the pattern,
    on the right side of the fabric with raw edges
    aligned. You need to ensure that the open side
    of the ear is facing towards the nose of the
    head piece. Repeat with the other ear and
    second side head piece.

  • How to make a taxidermy mount. Stag Head - Step 6
    Step 6

    Take the top head piece and pin it to one
    side head piece, right sides together, matching
    the notches and point A. Machine stitch in
    place with a 1cm (¼in) seam allowance.
    Match the top head piece to
    the other side head piece, and again machine
    stitch in place, matching the notches.

  • Step 7

    Now machine stitch the two side head pieces
    together from the nose point around to the
    bottom of the neck, between the pins (points
    A to B on your pattern), leaving a 1cm (¼in)
    seam allowance.

  • Step 8

    Then machine stitch the two side head pieces
    together at the top, between points C and D.
    Pin and machine stitch in place with a 1cm (¼in)
    seam allowance.

  • Step 9

    Take the back head piece and pin it to the rest
    of the head, right sides together, all the way
    around the opening you’ve left at the back of the
    neck. Machine stitch in place with a 1cm (¼in)
    seam allowance, leaving a 10cm (4in) opening
    at the bottom. Clip all curves.

  • Step 10

    Turn the head right-side out and stuff it with
    polyester stuffing so that it’s rigid enough to
    stay upright.

  • Step 11

    Finish your stag

    Decide where you would like your stag’s eyes
    to be. I position them about 7.5cm (3in) apart and
    6.5cm (2¾in) down from the antlers. Mark with
    tailor’s chalk or an erasable fabric marker.

  • How to make a taxidermy mount. Stag Head - Step 12
    Step 12

    To make the eye dimples, I have a nifty method
    that means you don’t end up with knots or ends.
    First cut a piece of thread about 80cm (32in) and
    fold it in half. Thread the two cut ends through
    the eye of the long needle, to make a big loop.
    Push the needle into one eye position and bring
    it out of the other eye – but don’t pull it all the
    way; you want to leave a loop on the first side.

  • How to make a taxidermy mount. Stag Head - Step 13
    Step 13

    Push the needle back in at the second eye,
    0.2cm ( in) away from where it just came out,
    through to the first eye and through the loop.
    Now pull the needle all the way,
    making the thread taut so that it dimples the
    eyes and gives the face some shape. When
    you’re happy with the appearance, make a
    couple more stitches on each side, then finish
    by bringing the needle up some distance from
    the eye and snipping the thread neatly, so it
    disappears inside the the fabric and stuffing.

  • Step 14

    Now make a loop with the embroidery thread
    and stitch it to the marked position (given on the
    pattern) on the back head piece, so that you can
    hang your stag up for all to admire.7. Hand stitch the opening in the bottom of
    the head with ladder stitch.
    Position the antlers on the top of the stag’s
    head, as noted on the pattern. Hand stitch
    in place using ladder stitch.



Emily R.
Emily R.
I couldn't even get it to download anything! Could someone please sort it out?
bluedilly · Katikati, Bay Of Plenty, NZ
Same, only the ears. annoying!
bluedilly · Katikati, Bay Of Plenty, NZ
Same, only the ears. annoying!
lacedwithK · Red Deer, Alberta, CA
same here
tara.michael.948 · White Marsh, Maryland, US
I downloaded the pattern attachment at the top but it only includes the pattern for the ears, not the pattern for the head or the antlers?? Am I missing something??

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