Intro: Maine Style Mortar Board
Show your "Up North" heritage at graduation with an authentic Whitetail Deer antler mortar board.
Step 1: Materials
Materials you may need will be:
-your mortar board
-a set of antlers
-a power drill
-2 bolts w/ corresponding washers and nuts
Step 2: Step 1: Antler Placement
This step, although the first, is the most important. The antlers weight must be centered on the mortar board. This will result in the antlers being placed more toward the front of the cap sense the antler are positioned at the rear of the skull plate.
Another important part of this step is choosing the set of antlers you are going to use. You will need to use a small enough set to stay balanced on your head, but you also want to have an impressive rack. A small 8 point is probably the best way to go.
Finally, you will have to drill holes in both the skull plate and the mortar board. Drill into the skull first, it will be easier to mark through the holes in the skull to the cap than vice versa. Once you have the holes marked on the cap, drill into the cap, having an extra set of hands here will help to hold the fabric tight. An awl might also be useful here to widen the hole a little more.
Step 3: Step 2: Securing the Antlers
Now that you have holes drilled in both the mortar board and the skull plate, put the washers onto the bolts and push them up through the holes of the board. (I used 2 washers for each bolt, this is not needed but the inside diameter of the larger washer wash bigger than the diameter of the bolt head.) Once you have the bolts through, put the loop of your tassel on the front bolt. Then slide on the antlers, lining up the bolts with the holes in the skull plate. This is another time when it is useful to have a second pair of hands to hold the antlers upright while you screw the nut onto the bolt. You shouldn't need a screwdriver or wrench for this, finger tight will be good enough.
Step 4: Step 3: Final Touches
Sitting through the graduation ceremony can be a long ordeal, uncomfortable ordeal, and the last thing you need is to have bolt heads pressing down on your head through the entire thing. So this step is to make the cap more comfortable.
First, cut a cotton ball in half, place one half over each bolt head, one cotton ball can be used, but it was more tippy for me. Cross 2 half pieces of duct tape over the cotton to keep it in place. Another trick to make the cap more comfortable and to fit better is to wear a baseball hat backwards under you mortar board.
One last word of advise, DO NOT THROW YOUR CAP IN THE AIR!!!!