Intro: Faux Bamboo Trophy Antlers
Why bamboo antlers?
I really don't have an answer beyond 'Why not?'
It's just one of those weird ideas that I had to make real. If I have to explain it, you probably wouldn't understand.
so... bamboo antlers-
Step 1: Building the Antlers
This project has it's origins in my previous project, Making Faux PVC Bamboo.I recommend you look it over to understand what I'm doing here. I used three diameters of PVC pipe- 1", 3/4" and 1/2".
I made both sides of the antlers simultaneously to insure symmetry. These steps will refer to one side, but the reader should understand that this is for one side of the antlers. I started with an 8" piece of 1" diameter PVC pipe for the base of the antlers. This ended up being too long and if I was doing it again I'd use a 3" piece. I cut a 10" piece of the 3/4" pipe and a 7" piece of the 1/2". See the photos above for a better idea of how the antlers went together.
I cut the 3/4" ans 1/2" pieces at an angle so they would join like a wedge, I cut the other end of the 1/2" piece into a sharp angle and used the heat gun to shape it into a point. I wrapped it with wire in two places and used the heat gun to create bamboo nodes. See the faux bamboo instructable for the details. I gave this piece a slight curve as I formed the nodes. I gave the 3/4" piece a couple of nodes also. I heated and pressed the mating edges together for a better fit. when they cooled I cemented them together. I heated the open end of the 1" pipe to soften and flare it a bit and then I shoved the glued pieces into it to create a joint. When it cooled I glued the 1/2" and 3/4" pieces into the 1" piece of pipe and taped it while it set.
I created another branch with two pieces of 1/2" pipe- one 7" and one 3". I cut and heated them both to points, added nodes and cut angled mating surfaces to create another wedge. I heated, shaped and cemented the two pieces together and then used them to shape the flare in the open end of the antler. I cemented the pieces together and taped them until they set taking care to create a mirrored symmetry between the two antlers.
When all the cement was set I filled the cracks in the points with acrylic latex caulk. When it dried I shaved it smooth with a razor knife and lightly sanded it.
Step 2: Connecting the Antlers
I had better pics of this step but my camera started dying and I lost them. I flared the bases of the antlers and shoved them onto a 4" piece of 1" pipe. I cemented them on paying attention to the symmetry. When it was set I heated the connecting pipe to flatten it a bit and shape the antler angle.
Step 3: Painting the Antlers
Here again I had better step by step pics, but I lost them in my camera troubles. For a better idea of how I paint the faux bamboo, see the original instructable that I linked previously. I used a cotton swab to add green streaks to the antlers. I went over that with a light coat of pale yellow followed by a light coat of khaki. I used several progressively darker shades of brown to darken the nodes. I added some black splatter and then repainted a few of the green highlights. I came back with a misting of khaki and a few pale yellow highlights. I highlighted the tips of the points with very faint yellow.
Step 4: Making the Shield
I made the shield from scrap plywood. I traced the shape onto a folded piece of paper and cut it out with a hobby knife. I traced it onto the plywood and cut it out with a jigsaw. I sanded it on the bench sander to smooth the edges and round the corners. I hand sanded it with fine sandpaper to finish it off.
I rubbed the shield with stain, let it dry and sealed it with clear glaze.
Step 5: Connecting the Antlers to the Shield
I used a single screw to connect the antlers to the shield. KISS.
Step 6: Adding Some Leaves and Fur
To finish off the antler connector I decided to wrap it with a scrap bit of fur. I cut a square and then folded in the sides to create a rectangle. I taped the sides down and tucked on end of the rectangle between the antlers and the shield with an old credit card. I wrapped the fur over the antler connector and tucked it into the other side with the card.
I wanted to add some leaves to reinforce the bamboo look. I went to the craft store but I was appalled by the prices of the silk. I checked other places, but I just couldn't find what I was looking for at a price I was willing to pay. I went away to the beach with my parents for a weekend and I found the solution in our rental condo- a silk plant hanging in the kitchen donated a few leaves to my project.
I drilled holes in the branching nodes of the bamboo and then I stuck the leaves tightly into the holes. I added leaves to the front and back of each branching node. I tucked some blooms under the fur where the antlers were mounted.
Step 7: Hanging the Antlers
I put two screws in the back of the shield and wrapped a loop of wire around them to make a hanger. I hung the antlers on a screw above the door in my kitchen. It looks really cool.
Why bamboo antlers?
BTW- This is my 50th instructable! Thanks to the people who read these posts and take the time to comment or vote and thanks to the great folks at Instructables for providing this platform. Here's to 50 more!