I reject that thesis. Step out of the virtual and enter the world of the real, where men hunt, animals bleed, and one death gives rise to another's life. Antlers are beautiful and venison is tasty; here is a way to update the old-school velvet-and-walnut, smoky cigar-lounge look of your typical mount. Dropping the antlers onto a simple, graphic skull shape elevates them to an appropriate level of badassery, creating a new human-animal hybrid that defies the cliches. Use them for decoration or to hang your favorite camo baseball cap.
I got these antlers out of my parent's garage, where they had been sitting for years. The provenance is unknown; if not in the practice of shooting one's own buck, antlers can be found in attics, garages, basements, and thrift stores everywhere.
You will need these materials:
Antlers (deer, moose, pronghorn antelope, etc.)
3/4" x 18" x 24" piece of plywood
1 can white spray paint
1 can gray/black spray paint
1 can gloss spray lacquer
2 2" black drywall screws
2 2-1/2"-3" galvanized deck screws
2 steel drywall anchors
4 #10 washers
80-100 grit sandpaper
You will need these tools:
Bandsaw (optional but helpful)
Step 1: Antlerin'
Wash thoroughly with dish soap, hot water, and a mildly abrasive sponge. Make sure to get at all the grit and dirt in the crevices and cracks.
Paint with two coats of high-gloss white paint, again making sure to get into all the cracks and crevices. Once dry, hit with a coat of high-gloss clear lacquer to add depth, shine, and protection.
Step 2: Skullin'
Cut out the silhouette with a bandsaw and/or jigsaw. Drill 3/8" holes in the eyes and nose and use them to get a start with the jigsaw. Sand the surface thoroughly with an orbital sander. Fold up some sandpaper and get in the nose, eyes, and the cracks between the teeth. "Break" the edges by hitting them at a 45o angle, rounding them off some to prevent splinters.
Step 3: Paintin'
Step 4: Mountin'
Lay the antlers in position. Pre-drill two holes with an 1/8" drill bit. Screw the antlers on, using galvanized deck screws and #10 washers.
To mount to the wall, load an 1/8" bit in your drill. Hold the mount to the wall and have a partner check if they're straight. Poke the drill through both mounting holes, marking the position on the wall. Pop two drywall anchors in the wall; I use the cone-shaped metal ones (Cobra is one brand name) that are rated to hold 50 lbs. Put your screws through your mounting holes partway, so just the tips poke out the back of the mount. Hold up until you feel the tips click into the anchors and tighten down the screws.