It is shed hunting season, which means that many hunters are out scouring the fields and hills in search of antlers dropped by bucks and bulls. We all know that shed antlers can make incredible decorations, but if you find an extra particular set that you want to feature in your home or office, then check out my tutorial for building a do-it-yourself barn wood antler mount!
Today we will look at a cheap, easy way to mount deer antlers. There are several popular mounting kits on the market, but I chose to come up with my own method. Unfortunately, I didn’t start this project with the intention of writing a step-by-step “how to” manual to build such a mount, but I think you will see that what I put together is quite simple. And I do have some pointers to share!
This mount turned out so well that even my wife likes it, which means that I got to hang it in the living room! That, my friends, is a win!
- You are going to need some basic tools: a drill, drill bits, a level, a tape measure, etc. There are no special tools required.
- You are going to need some antlers. I used a matching set of antlers cut off at the bases. You can even use shed antlers for this mount!
- If you are using detached antlers, then you are going to use a “shed spreader.” This is a replica portion of a skull, which represents an anatomical way to mount antlers. I used the Mountain Mike’s Reproductions Shed Spreader, which I would highly recommend.
- You are going to need a board to mount the antlers and shed spreader to. I used barn wood to get a country, vintage look.
- If you want to cover up the white shed spreader, as I have done, you will need some material. I chose to use jute twine to further accent the country look.
- You are going to need some miscellaneous hardware to mount the entire piece to your wall.
Getting Started with the mount assembly
This mount needs to be assembled in proper order.
- Start by selecting, cutting, and preparing the main board.
- Next, you want to add mounting hardware to the rear of the main board. I used standard photo frame hangers.
- Because the barn wood I used was fragile and somewhat warped, I used a mounting board/block for the mounting hardware. One advantage of this method is that it creates a gap between the wall and the main board, making it look like the whole assembly is “floating” on the wall.
- Now that you have the main board assembled, you can move on to the antler assembly.
- Mount the antlers to Mike’s Shed Spreader using the instructions in the package. (This is really easy.)
- Now you are going to wrap the shed spreader with the jute material. I used a hot glue gun to secure the start and end points of the strands. You want to wrap the jute close to the shed spreader but not too tight.
- You are now ready to mount the antler assembly to the board. Once again, this can be done with the help of the instruction included in Mike’s Shed Spreader. If you wrapped the shed spreader in jute, then just spread the jute material to insert and fasten the mounting screws.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few things to consider if you use old barn wood for the main board.
- Old barn wood is fragile! The wood I used was ~100 years old, and I had to use caution when working with it. I would NOT attempt to use mounting hardware directly on old barn wood.
- Part of the appeal of the old barn wood is the rough edges, but if you have to cut your wood, you will lose that look. However, here are a few ways to re-create that look…
- Cut the barn wood at a 45-degree angled bevel, so that the edge tapers into the rear of the board.
- Use the claw of a hammer to chip away at the cut and beveled edges to recreate the natural, rough look of aged barn wood.
Obviously, this isn’t a detailed step-by-step instructional, but I hope it gave you a good idea to mount some of your antlers uniquely.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions!