tutorial :: before & after :: antlers

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 9:00


i’m excited to share this project with you today! it’s something that i’ve been working on for quite some time. 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there….and finally, it’s finished! my antler wall….


follow along as i attempt to show you how i created this project. (i apologize for the following dark photos taken in my basement!) 


1. i started off with three sets of antlers. i happen to come from a family who hunts, so finding them meant picking up the phone and calling my dad. i made sure that when i asked for them that he was ok with me doing anything and everything to them! since he had hoards just sitting in the garage, i got the ok to do with them what i pleased. so i started off by getting some glossy white spray paint and let them have it. several coats later, they were a nice, glossy white.


2. once dry, i took some heavy cardboard and drew an oval shape roughly the same size as the “head” area. i used hot glue to adhere the cardboard to the antlers. it’s VERY important that the cardboard is super secure to the antlers as it will be the means of attaching the antlers to the mounting board. if i were to do it again i may use some sort of epoxy instead.


3. once the glue is dry, take some regular old poly stuffing and stuff it between the cardboard and the “head” and also make a mound that’s the approximate size that you want the “mount” to be. don’t worry about getting it perfect, the next step will smooth everything out.


4. next, cut a square of poly batting that is large enough to wrap around to the back of the cardboard. lay it flat over the antlers and the loose stuffing. cut two slits at a slight angle from both edges of the batting, stopping at the inside of the antlers as shown above.


5. tuck the batting under the base of the antlers and tack the top of the batting to the back of the cardboard with some hot glue as shown above.


6. stretch the bottom edge of the batting over the base of the cardboard and tack to the back of the cardboard with hot glue as shown.


7. pull the sides over the edges and tack to the back with hot glue, smoothing the edges as much as possible along the way. above is what the back of the antlers should look like at this point. not necessarily the prettiest.


8. above is what it should look like from the front at this point.
9. once this is done, repeat steps 4-7 using the fabric of your choice.


10. now that your antlers are covered with fabric, we can move onto the wood mount. i purchased super inexpensive wood plaques from my local craft shop. i spray painted them with a champagne colored metallic.


11. find the center of your plaque and mark with whatever you fancy as this will be completely covered in the end.


12. you will need two different sized drill bits. one, which is the size of your toggle bolt (discussed in the next step), and one that’s the size of the head of the screw on your toggle bolt. drill a hole the size of your toggle bolt through the center of your plaque.


13. next, use the larger drill bit and drill approximately 1/4 inch into the back of the plaque in the same hole as the smaller drill bit. this will help your plaque lay flat on the wall so that the screw’s head doesn’t protrude out the back as shown above.


14. place your toggle bolt through the back of the plaque and then screw the toggle onto the end of the bolt. (you can buy toggle bolts at any hardware store. i recommend getting some that are approximately 2 – 2 1/2 inches long for this project.

the next steps are all text only as it was impossible for me to actually do them and take a photo at the same time. sorry. hope you can follow along.

15. take your antlers with completed fabric and cut a hole in the center of the cardboard  just large enough for the toggle to fit through (when the toggle is pinched shut). i used an x-acto knife for this. the hole doesn’t have to be “pretty” as it will all be pressed against the plaque when finished.

16. once your hole is cut, place the toggle through the hole. the goal is to get the toggle bolt trough the hole to a point where the toggle opens up on the inside and catches on the cardboard, thus not allowing it to come out. this step can be a little frustrating because of all the batting on the inside. stick with it. you’ll get it eventually. (this is the reason you want to make sure your cardboard is really secure. during this step, there can be a lot of pushing and maneuvering to try to get the toggle in the right spot)

17. once the toggle is through the cardboard you want to take your drill (or a screwdriver) and tighten the screw head in the back of the plaque. this will draw the antlers closer to the plaque until eventually they’re stable.

18. i hung my plaques using 3M hang strips because i wanted the plaques to sit flat on the wall and not protrude with a hanger.

here’s my final wall:


(i also added some vintage trim to the edges of the mount which is not necessary, but if you’d like to do the same, i just used hot glue to attach that as well.)


i also put little name plaques under each which, again, is not necessary. if you’d like to name your antlers, you can find little metal plaques like this at any craft store in the scrapbooking section.

the frame was something i picked up last year at a garage sale. i very lightly dusted it with the same spray paint that i used on the plaques so that you could still see the true color of the frame underneath.

and that about finishes it! i hope you were able to follow-along. if you have any questions don’t hesitate to put them in the comment section and i will reply there so everyone can see in case they have the same questions.

oh, and i’d also like to mention that everything i used in this project was recycled from my craft closet except for the antlers (obviously) and the wood plaques. all of the fabric, batting, paint, bolts, etc., were all things needing to find a home on a special project!

go craft : be happy!

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7 Responses to “tutorial :: before & after :: antlers”

  1. Fiona Richards says:

    July 14th, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Well – aren’t these adorable? You could sell these! I love the middle one!
    Great tutorial – very clear and easy to follow.
    Good job Lori!

  2. noelle says:

    July 14th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    ha! what a great idea, my dad is a huge hunter (archery) so i’ll have to show him this. PS i love your wall color!

  3. tammy says:

    July 14th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    great idea lori! love how they look on the wall. the middle one is my favorite. i think we might actually have some antlers lying around our garage, otherwise my in-laws are HUGE hunters and i could probably get some from them. i might have to try this, very cute. thanks for the idea.

  4. kelli jo says:

    July 15th, 2010 at 7:38 am

    lovely miss lori !!! who knew antlers could actually be cool!!!! what is the name & brand of that wall color……….i might be having a few walls to paint! 🙂 love you!

  5. Inspire Me Heather says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Your antlers are super cool! Every room needs a touch of whimsy, doesn’t it? I have this linked to my animal art post as well today, thanks!

  6. TracyMB says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    You are WAY too brilliant! These are fabulous — love the little names below too. I have recovered some of Dad’s pile of anters too, but have a few that were ‘mountless’. Now I know how to remedy that!! Thanks so much for the tut’!!

  7. Antlers…again. | The Farmer's Trophy Wife says:

    August 31st, 2012 at 3:23 am

    […] Done! *image from here* Loving the dark and different mounts. And on a chalkboard wall. Nice. *image from here* THIS is cute. and if you click on the link above this in the pink, it shows her DIY steps! *image […]

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