Decorating the Man Cave

When we first moved into this house C.J. made me promise not to touch the down stairs living room. That was HIS man cave and HE got to decorate it how he wanted it. At the time I agreed and helped him pick his paint color and what he wanted on the walls but after a while I got really tired of the Texas burnt orange and started dropping hints that I thought we could make it look better. At first he shot back with our agreement that it was HIS room and HIS wall and I was not to touch it so I backed off for a while. However, I am a girl who knows how to get what she wants. Here is a before picture.

After a while I realized I had to speak his language and started to feed him little tid bits about a plan for the wall that we both would like. “Wouldn’t it be cool to put the antlers from your archery deer on the wall too?” or “I bet the deer I get in the rifle hunt would look pretty cool next to yours!” Slowly, I brainwashed him and finally when the time was just right I said “I know that if you would let me touch that wall, I could get more dead animals on it than you could” I thought I saw stars and hearts and little twitterpated birds flying around his head as his eyes glazed over with the thought of all his trophies on the wall. I am pretty sure he fell even deeper in love with me at that moment. Soon I was unraveling all of the secrets I had for his wall. With his approval of course here is what we came up with. I even got to put a few more feminine touches in there too!

First, I started with the paint. We are from Texas so C.J. loved his Texas pride burnt orange. My mouth dropped when he told me I could paint the wall if I kept it manly. I started looking around for some masculine wallpapers but they were all to expensive so I improvised and decided to go with an idea to texture the wall with a straw broom. (I will explain) We painted the wall white. I found some white paint that I had in the garage that I bought from a yard sale and coated the wall in it.


Finally, the burnt orange was gone!!!! Then I mixed up some grey glaze. You must have a glaze to give your wall this look! Believe me I tried to use regular paint. I used some grey glaze I already had. To apply the glaze we used a foam edger (D.I. $1) You will want to apply your glaze in sections to make sure it isn’t drying at all. It’s a lot harder to work with if its not freshly wet.

Then to give the wall the textured lines we used a straw broom we bought at Ace Hardware for a couple of dollars.

Start at the top and drag your broom straight down to the floor without picking it up. Try to stay as straight as you can so that your lines are straight. Ours were not perfectly straight in some places but I actually liked it that way because it gave the wall more character. Here is our finished wall.

And of course the deer went right back up when it was dry. This is the deer Mountain Man killed 4 years ago and his first Utah deer so it is special to him.

Originally, most of the decor that made it’s way into my man cave wall collage was from a collage I was tired of in the kitchen. 
That post is HERE. I have been trying to incorporate more feminine and neutral decor into the main level of my home so naturally this wall had to go. However, what I loved most about this wall was the price! Everything came from thrift stores or garage sales. The case is the same with our man cave collage except for the deer heads. Here is the break down of how much everything cost…
This is the deer I harvested last year on the rifle hunt. 
I found this frame at Goodwill in Arizona. I paid $10 for it, which, for me, is a little pricey but I knew I wouldn’t find another like it for a cheaper price, so I splurged
This statue was given to me by my mom. She bought it at a garage sale for a couple bucks.  I found the old Bible it is sitting on at a garage sale. When I asked the lady how much she wanted for it she said, “Oh, I don’t sell the word of God. Just take it.”Woot Woot! FREE! It dates back to 1891! The metal bracket it is sitting on we found in an old junk pile a with lots of old rusty metal. We had permission to take whatever we wanted! FREE!
I found this old wheel in the same junk pile- also FREE!
This frame was bought at a garage sale for $20 (another splurge) and my mom bought the cow head at a garage sale for $10 and gave it to me.
I bought this frame at a garage sale for .50 cents.

This sconce came in a set and I bought the two of them for $7.
I paid $2 for this also from a garage sale.


Now this is a deer C.J. harvested in last year on his archery hunt. It’s in full velvet and his first archery deer so it is one of his prized possessions. We made the fabric mount for the antlers, which only cost about $5 dollars and I will have a tutorial on how to make them soon!
I bought four of these small frames from a garage sale for .25 cents a piece. I also used these on the sign in table for my brother’s reception. Check that out HERE
This was actually two separate pieces. I had them separate in the first collage that was in my kitchen but for this collage I wired them together. They fit perfectly above the deer head. I paid a total of $3 for these.
The old yoke I bought at a garage sale for $15.
For the final touches we outlined the wall with a wood frame and stained it.
Since all the decor on the wall was found at garage sales, the total cost of my wall was really inexpensive. I used paint and glaze I already had so the paint job didn’t cost anything. We also had the wood on hand that was left over from a previous project. The total cost of everything on the wall was $64 dollars. (not including what it cost to taxidermy the deer in the middle) $30 of that came from the two frames I splurged on. The other deer skull that is not listed is a dead head C.J. found while out shed hunting (looking for the antlers deer shed every year). It was F.R.E.E! I love that word.
Garage sales are the best way I know of to create an inexpensive wall collage. It also allows you to use unique items that no one else will have. For other tips for decorating on a budget check out my Budget Decorating and Updating post Here

2 comments on “Decorating the Man Cave

  1. June 6, 2014 11:02 pm

    Wow! The finished wall is amazing. Seriously. It went from drab to stunning! It’s not easy to make a deer head look like it fits into the room, but you knocked it out of the park!

  2. J Shrewsbury-ThreeDogFarmhouse June 11, 2014 4:36 pm

    I love this room! And that wall treatment is perfect…
    my hubby has a collection of dead animals & I’m always trying to figure out a way to make his man cave “prettier”!!!
    Can’t wait to show this to him! Great job!

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