How to make antlers for a fancy dress

Written by angela neal | 13/05/2017
How to make antlers for a fancy dress
Make your own deer antlers with tree branches. (Getty Thinkstock)

If you are dressing up as a deer or you just want a pair of fake antlers to wear, try making your own. Instead of buying an expensive, realistic-looking pair of antlers or settling for a pair that look cheesy, you can make a pair that look realistic without spending any money. Use things from around the house or your backyard to make a pair of custom deer antlers.

Find two tree branches that are similar in size and have an even number of smaller branches on them. The branches should be no wider at the base than 2.5 cm (1 inch). Cut off the smaller offshoots and leave the three or four main smaller branches, which will make up the antlers. Cut them down with a handsaw so that they are no longer than 20 cm (8 inches). Look at a picture of a buck to use as a reference as you work.

Remove the bark from the branches with a sharp knife, in strokes pointing away from you. Wash the bare branches with dish soap and water to remove the leftover sticky resin and dirt. Wipe them down with a paper towel and let them air dry completely.

Whittle the ends of the main smaller offshoots into rounded points with the knife. Make sure the branches go to the point at the end gradually and do not go from being straight to a sudden point. Keep referring to the picture of the buck to get them right. Carve the bases of the branches so that they are slightly rounded to fit the shape of your head.

Sand the whittled ends down with a piece of sandpaper to smooth them out and get rid of the sharp edges left behind from the knife.

Apply hot glue to the bases of the antlers and hold them to the top of a brown headband or a headband that matches the colour of your hair. Hold the branches to the headband for two minutes to keep them in place while the glue begins to harden. Set the headband with the antlers aside for 30 minutes to let the glue harden completely before wearing the antlers.

Things you need

  • Tree branches
  • Handsaw
  • Knife
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels
  • Sandpaper
  • Hot glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Headband

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