Crafting With Nature: DIY Antler Wall Hanging

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So I don’t know about you, but recycling nature is sort of my jam. God made everything perfect, and when things die or are discarded it just seems like such a waste to let them disappear into the ether. That’s why I use twigs from my backyard for hanging wall flags and autumn leaves for gift tags and dried flowers for center pieces (and etc. etc.).

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In Wyoming, the deer are plentiful and I’ve been dying for an antler ever since we moved here. The possibilities for the things are endless. Just for your peace of mind, acquiring antlers does not require the death of the deer. Every season the male deer sheds his antlers and grows new ones (hence the rack size), so finding antler sheds is merely a part of the natural occurrence of things. The other day I was happy to finally find one in a friend’s yard, so I took it home with great dreams of craftiness. We’ll be moving into our new house soon and I can’t wait to hang it on the wall.

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This antler wall hanging is SUPER EASY. The hardest part about it is actually finding the antler, so good luck and I hope it goes well. Other than that, all you will need is acrylic paint, some masking tape, varnish, and string for hanging it.

First step is to put masking tape around where you want your first color block to be. You can also simply freehand it if you’re more comfortable with that.

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If you are using masking tape to paint, let each color block dry before painting the next color block. Don’t worry – acrylic paint doesn’t take too long to dry. If you are doing freehand, you can do them all at the same time. Paint a few different layers for a nice, opaque look. Let it dry completely.

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After the paint has dried, paint it over with varnish. I used glossy varnish because I like the shiny look. You can also use matte varnish. After the varnish has dried (a couple hours), tie some twine around the ends of your antler and VOILA! easy wall hanging that looks super cute on your wall.

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Believe it or not, you can drop up to a hundred bucks on painted antlers on Etsy. So that’s always an option if you love this decor idea, but I would suggest (if you are able) to find your own antler. It’s at essentially no cost to you and makes a really fun and relaxing craft after a busy day at work.

Shed hunting is huge in this part of Wyoming, but there are certain times when it’s best to go. In the early spring right when the wildlife refuges open up again for the season (near us, Amsden and Kerns) people will skip work and school so they can hunt all day for sheds. Most of these people are looking for more valuable sheds like elk and big whitetail antlers (if found in a set, these can be worth hundreds without alteration), but I’m sure the little ones are plentiful as well.

Before Grant and I move away, if we ever do, I want to learn how to be an expert shed hunter. It takes a bit of knowledge about the behavior of the animals – what types of landscape they like to frequent, etc. – and it can takes years to become really profitable at it. But it seems like a fun little hobby, especially if I can paint the end results!

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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and if you’re lucky I hope you’ll find your own antler to paint someday!

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