Finding sheds can definitely be fun, but what do you do with the collection you've amassed? The answer is quite a bit. From decorating your home to interesting crafts and gifts, here are some of the best ways to make use of your antlers -- and even a few ideas that a wife or girlfriend may enjoy.
Antler Bottle Openers
Antler is actually pretty easy to work with if you have the right tools. Want to have the coolest bottle opener on the block, or even give the most unique gift to your friends this season? Try making your own antler bottle openers
. The easiest way is to buy a DIY bottle opener kit for making a bottle opener out of wood. You won't need all the pieces -- just the opener, connector, and barrel tube. Use a hand drill to hollow out a space large enough for the barrel tube. Apply CA glue to the tube, insert it all the way into the hole, and let it set. Use a sander if necessary to trim down the antler material down to the tube so the bottle opener connector and opener will fit. If you want a rounded contour on the antler, you can use a Dremel tool or a belt sander. Antler Gun Rack
Want something more manly that doubles as decor? Try this rustic antler gun rack
. Mount pieces of antler to reclaimed barn wood (stained or untreated) for attractive, easy storage for your favorite hunting rifles. This project can be as simple or as complex as you like, but the most difficult part will be orienting the antlers so the guns will sit in the notches between the tines. To safely secure the antlers to the wood, use 1/4" all-thread rods that can be bent. Drill a couple of inches then use a 1/4" tap and thread the hole in the antler about half an inch to get the rod started into the antler. The rod will cut its own thread.Antler Coat Rack
The same principle behind the gun rack can also be used to make a rustic coat rack
in no time. Use reclaimed barn wood, pine, or your choice of wood then attach four or five sections of antlers to serve as hooks. Sand or miter cut the sheds if necessary for them to sit flush against the wood. Drill a hole in the wood, put a bolt through and epoxy it with 1/2" of thread sticking out. When the epoxy sets, use a Dremel to cut off the bolt of the head then put it through the hole, put on a nut, and tighten it. Another option is drilling the shed and filling it with glue and a wood dowel. Antler Candle Holder
Need a quick but thoughtful gift for the woman in your life? Or more feminine decor she won't try to toss? Turn a shed into a tabletop antler candle holder
. All you need is the shed antler, a screw driver, a drill, screws, candles, and copper caps. You can leave the shed as-is or you can paint it with whatever you have on hand. Start by drilling a hole into the copper cap then set it over the antler and mark the spot. Drill a hole in the shed for the screw, then attach the copper cap to the shed. Use a lighter to drop wax from the base of the candle into the cap then insert the candle. Add anywhere from one to five candles, depending on the size of the antler, for an impressive candelabra that takes no time at all. Custom Hunting Decal
This idea is a great choice if you want to cut down the size of your collection, have used up the rest of these ideas, or you simply want a more unique and interesting way to show off your shed antlers. Your significant other may even have a greater appreciation for an artistic whitetail decal
over a pile of shed antlers in the basement. Order an exact replica of your favorite trophies to decorate your man cave, garage, fireplace mantle, and more without taking up space. Whether you want a mule deer decal
or a moose decal, your decal is sure to get attention and bring back all of your favorite hunting memories.