I’ve been pondering a way to mount a pair of deer antlers I found while shed hunting, having had great success with the DIY Deer Antler Guitar Wall Mount project. It wasn’t until I was splitting some firewood that I found an idea that I loved. I was working through a few birch trees I’d cut in the fall , and realized how much I really enjoy that tree.
I love white birch, and have used it for many projects, and realized that a narrow log would actually be just right for mounting antlers. It has a great distinction among other common trees in that its bark is lovely to look at without being too “woodsy” in home decor. It stands apart from the drearier grey & brown pines, maples, and oaks, the pure white knight of the forest. I actually made Amy’s engagement ring out of some birch bark by folding a strip just so (click here for instructions that I found on touchwoodrings.com).
I have found white birch, even the younger ones that litter our land like giant weeds, can be transformed into many great projects around the house. I’ve made railings and candle holders from them as fun projects that took a matter of minutes to complete. And the same goes for this deer antler mount, which took me approximately 20 minutes from start to finish.
DIY DEER ANTLER MOUNT INSTRUCTIONS
- Matched pair of antlers (ideally… you can mount a single antler if you want too!)
- Small birch log, about 3-4 inches diameter, 3+ inches long (other trees will work too)
- 2x 2 1/2″ wood screws (exterior/deck screws work too)
- Nail for mounting on the wall
- wood glue (optional)
- Saw (to cut the log)
- 3/8″ drill bit
- 1/8″ drill bit (make sure this is only slightly thinner than your screw’s thread diameter, if it is too thin it will be hard to work with the antlers)
- screwdriver for your screws
- straight edge
- tape measure
1. Cut the birch log to length
2. Mark the placement of your antlers. Without being precise, I drew lines to find two points 120 degrees apart (i.e., I divided it into thirds). I eyeballed the points where I wanted to drill, about halfway down the length of the log, and it worked out fine.
3. You will need to drill more than halfway through your log with the 3/8″ bit to give the screws a starting point within the log (instead of needing screws that go all the way through the log). Make sure you drill deep enough so that the screw will stick out by at least 1″ so the antler has something to grab onto. And make sure you drill past the halfway point, or else your screws will interfere with each other! You’ll see in the picture below that I marked my drill bit with some tape to ensure I didn’t drill too deep.
4. With the thinner drill bit, drill the rest of the way through the log for each hole so you have predrilled holes for your screws. Not entirely necessary with soft, fresh cut wood, but it will make it easier to get the screws in place.
5. Screw in the screws so they stick out on the other sides of the log. It will look like a medieval weapon.
6. Now predrill the screw holes in the base of each antler. You’ll want to drill in the direction of the antler shaft to ensure optimal strength and appearance, right into the middle of the base. Take your time when drilling the antlers–they are bone, and won’t behave exactly like wood. I drilled about half an inch at time and backed the bit out to clean out the fragments and keep the friction low.
7. Install the antlers onto the screw by turning them onto the screws. Make sure you have the antlers in a matched orientation!
8. To mount on a wall, use the 3/8″ bit to drill an upward angled hole in the backside of the log that a nail head can fit into. Go about an inch deep. Find a stud, bang that nail in so it’s head is angled upward and extending from the wall by about an inch. DONE!