Beautifying with Antlers

Matt has been hunting as long as he can remember. Even before he was actually doing the hunting, he would tag along side of his dad for fun. Over the years he has collected antlers from the woods. Sometimes from the deer he hunted and sometimes he just finds them on a hike. Over the years, I have not given his collection of antlers much attention. But lately, antlers are making their way into wall décor. Years ago it seemed like only hunters hung antlers on their walls, and what use to be décor in the outdoorsmen man cave, is now becoming chic décor in the everyday home.

Something I recently learned was that deer shed their antlers every year? This bit of knowledge gave me the idea that maybe I could start using antlers in my own home, without having to wait for hunting season.

I know that many of you, may not have access to lots of free deer sheds, but I have a couple of options if you are interested in doing this little DIY project for yourself.

  • 1. Look up the phone number to a local deer processing place near you. They may have discarded antlers or know someone who could find sheds for you.
  • 2. Search Craigslist. I actually came across a seller who had hundreds of sheds they were trying to sell.
  • 3. Check out a nature center close to you. If you live in the Atlanta area, the Yellow River Game Ranch sells sheds in the gift shop.

Here is the collection I had Matt and his dad find me on some of their outings. Not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen, but after a little soap and water and a little sand paper on a few spots these little guys were ready for their make over.

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When I began, I didn’t really have a set plan on what I was going to do. I dug around in my spray paint collection and pulled out my favorites. I picked a few of the larger antlers and spray painted them black and gold for a good base.

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I then used acrylic paint and started mixing a handful of colors. If you are not wise on mixing your own colors, the craft store has hundreds of colors to choose from. Once I  started mixing colors, I found it much easier to just have about five colors that I thought went together and stuck with those. I used the same five colors and made different patterns on different antlers.

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A few of the antlers got a full paint treatment, but on others, I only painted sections. I liked having a few of the larger ones left with their natural color.

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Another thing that made this project a  little easier; and more fun, is that I invited my super creative friend over. She loves this kind of stuff and her creative spirit is different than mine. I knew her input would be just what I needed.

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A couple of hours later, we put on some pretty unique antlers. They are way prettier than when we started. If you haven’t noticed already, I kinda love changing out my centerpieces. I took the concept from my spring centerpiece idea and added to it.

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The antlers add a great texture to the plain vase and flower look.

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This guy was my favorite. It was my only full skull, so I decided to use all the colors from the other antlers on him.

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