I wanted to make something with the shed elk antlers we found this year and I was also getting a little sick of using every doorknob in the house as a coat hanger(since winter refuses to end and we still can't put the coats away yet), so this is what I came up with.
Step 1: Materials
For this one you will need:
-Antlers (duh); how many and what kind will depend on availability and personal preference, but I used 3 elk antlers.
-Wood for the base and center; I used leftover scraps from a pallet project.
-Screws; the size you use will depend on the size of antlers and the dimensions of the wood(I used 2" construction screws).
-Wood stain; I used Minwax Golden Oak.
-Rawhide ($5 in the pet isle at Walmart) pre-soaked for about 2-3 hours.
-Twine (for wrapping the rawhide)
Step 2: Build the Base
I started with a pallet rib, it was 4' long which was just right. Since the type of pallet I had used 2x4's with arches cut into them I cut it down to a 2x2 so that it would be uniform on all sides. After that it was just a matter of cutting two planks in half so that I had 4 planks measuring 4" by 12" and attaching them as pictured with the old nail gun. Easy peasy.
Then I stained it, but you don't have to if you don't want to. If you do want to, simply follow the directions of whatever kind of stain you choose. Be sure to let it dry well before moving on to the next step because you will be handling it quite a bit and don't want to get stain everywhere.
Step 3: Mock It Up
Now comes the hard part, but also the fun part. Inspect each antler for defects you would like to hide or interesting features you would like to show off. Begin planning or how you would like the antlers to attach to the pole, keeping in mind how balanced your design will be (you don't want all the prongs pointed the same way so that it tips over when you use it).
When you find a good spot for an antler temporarily attach it to the pole with either some twine or duct tape (I prefer the tape even though it's harder to remove later). When you have all the antlers in place inspect it to make sure you like it from all angles and test it for stability.
Step 4: Make It Permanent
Some people prefer to use only glue so you don't have to hide screws, but I found conflicting information on what glues work and don't so I used screws.
With evening still taped in place I began attaching them to the pole, making sure each antler had at least 3 screws (I don't want this coming apart). I peeled away the tape a little at a time so I could get to everything without it all crashing down. At this point it all looked like a total mess, but it gets better I promise.
When everything is firmly attached you can pull the tape all the way off and test it again for stability, anchoring more screws if needed.
Step 5: Wrap It With Rawhide
If you are happy with how it looks at this point you can be done, but I wanted to have a really western look so I took it a little further.
Cut the rawhide so that it's in long strips (I did this on a cookie sheet that I use for non-cooking projects because rawhide is stinky and kinda gross)and wrap it around the antlers and pole so that it hides the screw heads. When it's in place and looks good wrap or with twine until it dries (this will take a while, about 8 hours).
When it's nice and hard again you can remove the twine, or leave it if you like how it looks. I removed it because my twine was kind of coming apart, but if I find some better quality stuff I might put it on.
And that's all there is to it, a functional decoration with a western touch. Thanks for reading, I hope enjoyed it!