Did you have a successful shed hunt? (Click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Play guitar or know someone who does? If you have an antler with the right point positioning (or are willing to buy one), you might be able to make a super easy and fantastic looking wall mount for a guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, etc. The method might be self explanatory just by looking at the photo below, but I’ve included some detailed instructions.
For my mount, I just used a scrap piece of 1×6 eastern white pine stock cut down to around 4 inches long, then sanded and smoothed the edges. You can use any wood or other medium you want that you’ll be able to secure to a wall and can firmly hold a screw. The stain is homemade, as is the beeswax finish.
DIY Deer Antler Guitar Wall Mount
estimated cost: $0-$5
estimated time: 15-30 minutes (add about a day to account for the stain drying if you want to stain it)
Please use safety glasses, gloves, dust masks, GFCI outlets, and any other safety measures you can to protect yourself. Any instructions on this site should give you strong, quality results, however it is your responsibility to make sure the end result is strong enough for your needs. The best way to add strength is to follow my suggestions and to use wood glue whenever logical, and please carefully test the strength of load-bearing projects before fully trusting their reliability.
- deer antler with points suitably oriented to hold your instrument securely
- scrap piece of wood, around 3″ x 3″ or larger
- 2 inch #12 wood screw (or a size close to that)
- 3 inch finish nail to hang on wall (or other method to hang to wall as desired)
- wood glue (optional)
- stain and finish (optional)
- drill bit, size would ideally be 9/64″ for soft wood (pine) or 5/32″ for hardwood (oak, maple), or as close as you can get to these with what you have on hand as long as it is smaller than 3/16″
- Sander or sandpaper (optional)
- First you need to decide if you want to trim the base of the antler to be flat or if you want to create a pocket in the wood for this slightly rounded piece to rest inside.
- To trim the base of the antler flat (probably easiest and strongest method): Use a hacksaw or similar to cut the rounded end of the antler off so it is flat and will rest tight against the wood.
- To create pocket in wood for antler base to fit into (keep antler in minimally altered state): Carefully drill 1/3 of the way into the wood on the side that will be the front, centered on the wood. You’ll need to use a bit that is wide enough to match the rounded part of the base, but not any wider, so the flanged bit of the antler can rest on the main surface securely.
- To predrill the screw holes in the wood and antler, hold the antler firmly in place on the base and very carefully drill through both at the same time. A clamp or helper will be beneficial here.
- On the backside of the mount, centered near the top, drill a hole at an upward angle partway through the wood, about a half inch. This will be for the mounting nail.
- Sand down and stain/seal the wood as desired. You can certainly leave as is. Make sure any stain/finish are fully dry per their instructions before handling the mount for assembly. See below instructions for the homemade stain and beeswax finish I used.
- If you are using glue, squeeze some into the holes and onto the wood screw, wiping up any excess and drips after you have tightened it down.
- Before fully tightening the screw, make sure the antler is set in an orientation that holds the guitar firmly and level. Before those final turns of the screwdriver, carefully test it out to make sure the guitar rests in the points nicely.
- Wipe any excess glue and let glue dry per the instructions.
- Find a stud on a wall where you want to hang it, and hammer that finish nail in, oriented so the head is at an upward angle to match the hole you made in the back of the mount. Make sure to leave about a half inch of nail sticking out of the wall.
- Hang the mount on the wall and carefully test to make sure it will hold your instrument securely. If it doesn’t feel secure you may have to use a bigger screw or more glue. Do not assume the mount is 100% secure for your prized vintage instrument without testing it first!
DIY Dark Wood Stain made with Vinegar, Steel Wool, and Black Tea
For the stain, I followed these simple instructions on Keeping it Cozy for a nice, cheap, and likely very safe dark stain. Here are quick instructions:
- Take a pad of very fine steel wool and let it sit in vinegar for a week or so.
- Before using, strain out the steel wool.
- Brew some strong black tea. Two bags for one mug’s worth should be fine.
- Clean and sand the wood as you would normally.
- Apply tea with a brush or cloth or whatever, and let it completely dry.
- Apply steel wool vinegar solution and watch it darken before your eyes.
- Let completely dry for ~24 hours. It will smell strange, but this will dissipate over time.
- Sand out dark spots or blotches as desired, and finish with whatever you want (polyurethane, beeswax, etc.)
DIY Beeswax & Olive Oil Wood Finish
To make beeswax finish, I followed these instructions on DIY Driftwood. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Chop up solid natural beeswax into small pieces.
- In double boiler over medium heat, melt beeswax down to liquid and bring to 144-148 degrees.
- Completely mix in olive oil.
- Pour into heat tolerant container (canning jars are great) and let harden.
- Wipe onto your project with a cloth.