Antlers, bones, and dead things as decor

By on Mar 21st

See my raccoon skull? It was in two pieces — easy to paint yellow and orange.

I love dead animals. I mean, I like LIVING animals more, but bones and teeth and taxidermied things are my favorite type of decorative detritus.

So let's look at bones in the home. I understand if this icks you out. There's only a little shame in that.

If you're GOING to keep bones in the house, make sure they're clean — any gristle can attract bugs and cause a stink. If you're going to keep bones in the house and want to use them more subtly, they take well to spray paint! My method is this:

  • Find bones on forest floor. Bring home.
  • Soak in warm soapy water for a few minutes, then scrub with an old tooth brush.
  • When dry, prime with one even coat of primer. I like all things Rustoleum.
  • Let dry (less than one hour OR more than 24) and apply thin coats of a brightly colored paint, turning the bones as needed.

You can also clean, then allow to bleach in the sun for picture-perfect white bones.

Source: apartmenttherapy.com via Offbeat Home on Pinterest

Take care, though, if you do this: older bones may already be decalcified, and laying them in the sun will make them more brittle. I'd recommend using a flat white or even beige to preserve structural integrity in weathered bones.

Get enough bones, and you can make geometric patterns.

Source: flickr.com via Rachelle on Pinterest

And these are the perfect things to fill up odds-and-ends cabinets and printer's drawers.

You might also just look for the weirder bones, and let them stand on their own. This is my prized whale vertebrae, bought by accident at an auction 25 years ago.

Sucka is HUGE!

Still icked? Get the look another way, like these candles:

100% wax, no bones about it (HA!)

Favorite bone-related decor? Is this just too gross? Why? Do tell!

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About Cat Rocketship

I was the Managing Editor of Offbeat Home for a year and a half. I have a rich Internet life and also a pretty good real life. Hobbies include D&D, Twitter, and working on making our household more self-reliant. I also draw things.