Antler Craft Ideas: Tables, Pencil Holders, Bookends and More

Learn about how, n the hands of an imaginative person, deer, moose and elk horns can become beautiful household items.

| March/April 1982

Whether you have a supply of antlers left over from hunting or have collected winter-shed racks during hiking and camping trips, the horns can be turned into numerous craft items either for your own use or for sale.

Even if you don't already have a collection of antlers to work with, you can probably locate some at auctions, garage sales or secondhand stores. Of course, it's much more fun (and less expensive) to gather them in the great outdoors. Regardless of how you come by your raw material, though, I'm sure you'll agree that antler craft objects can be both unique and lovely — and can also provide constant reminders of the miraculous cycles of nature.

Antler Craft Ideas

Antler-supported tables: These can be unstable, so it's best to build them low.

Elk- and moose-horn chairs: These types of chairs require plenty of antler material, a few well placed bolts, and more than the average person's share of perseverance and ingenuity.

Deer-horn salt and pepper shakers: These can be made with an electric drill using a rotary rasp attachment, which slowly hollows out the inside of antler butts. The bony domes on can be smoothed with the rasp ... then holes were drilled for seasonings to sift through. Cork stoppers plug the bottoms and white enamel paint adds identifying letters.

Pencil holders: Pencil holders can be carved from a piece of elk antler (a large caribou or moose horn would also serve this purpose). To make one, use a hacksaw to sever a section of the main beam, and hollow out the softer center with a rotary rasp. Glue a piece of felt on the holder's underside to prevent it from marring the desk top.

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