How to Make Deer Antlers Out of Sticks

Antlers are unique to each deer and grow new every year. There is no other animal in North America with antlers like this. While traditional antlers are made of bone, there is a way to make them out of sticks. If you want to make them yourself, there are some steps you can take! This blog post will teach you how to make deer antlers out of sticks with some simple steps!

We’ll need some thin but sturdy sticks from the ground or trees in your backyard. You can also use twigs if they’re not too thick and have a good curve at one end. Next, we’ll need some string; the fishing line works best, but any thin thread will also work. We’ll be using the string for tying knots, so try to find something with a bit more give than nylon rope or cotton thread. Finally, we’ll need scissors and glue (optional). Now that we’ve got everything together, it’s time for the fun part!

How to Make Deer Antlers Out of Sticks

What are Deer Antlers?

The antlers on a deer’s head are not horns but bone growths from the pedicle. They begin growing in late May or early June and reach their full size by August or September. The antler cycle happens every year for all white-tailed bucks, while it only happens every few years for other species.

What is the Antler Made of?

The antlers are composed of a bone-like tissue called “bone marrow.” Bone marrow produces blood cells and can be found in the hollow center of most bones. Antlers grow each year rapidly and contain a wealthy blood supply to nourish them while they’re growing.

Blood flows into the antler through a network of arteries and veins. Nutrients are carried in the blood to maintain growth. Once the antler reaches maturity, all the blood vessels leading into it are sealed off so no more nutrients can reach it.

As blood is shed from the antlers each year, new bone and skin cells grow to take their place. This is how the antler’s size increases year after year; an increase in length of one inch per day during peak growing season has been observed! The vascular system inside the antler that supplies nutrients to help it grow is similar to that found in plants. Leaves on trees get their nutrients through a network of veins, just like antlers.

Supplies and Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Sticks from the ground or your backyard
  2. Rocks for carving
  3. A saw to remove any branches sticking out of the antlers
  4. A knife or scissors to shape the antlers
  5. Acrylic paint
  6. Hot glue

Directions: How to Make Deer Antlers Out of Sticks

Step 1: Preparing the Sticks

First, we’ll need to find some sticks. Ask an adult before you pick up any sticks from the ground so you don’t get in trouble for removing them. Once you have your sticks, sweep off any dirt or bugs that might be on top of them. Then gently bend the sticks to test how strong they are. The ones that have a nice curve are ideal for this project! These are the antlers you will form.

Step 2: Measure and Cut Your Strings

Now we’ll need to measure the sticks. Take two of your sticks and lay them on top of each other. A right angle, a square, or maybe a straight line? Whatever it is will determine how many strings you’ll need to use! One string for a right angle, two for a square, and three for a line. Cut your strings to the right lengths with scissors. Be careful not to cut yourself accidentally!

Measuring deer antlers

Step 3: Knots and Glue (Optional)

Once your pre-measured strings are ready to go, you can tie knots at one end of each string. You can glue the knots or tie them to stay in place. You can also spiral your string around the sticks to get a spiral effect, making the antlers look more realistic! This step is optional, and it will take some trial and error to determine if you like how that looks.

Step 4: Tying the Sticks Together

Tie one of your pieces of string 10-15 inches away from the pointy ends of the sticks. Make sure to tie them tight enough that nothing moves! Then take your next string and bring it around the sticks to connect to the first string without crossing over. Do this until you have four strings tying your antlers together with one knot on each side of the antler.

Step 5: Trimming

Once all of your strings are knotted to both sticks, it’s time to trim off the excess string. Now you have officially created your deer antlers out of sticks! Make another set if you wish for a matching set, or just leave them as-is. Deer antlers don’t need to be symmetrical, after all!

Some Tips and Suggestions:

1. If you like the idea of making deer antlers but aren’t up for trying it yourself, there’s always the option of buying some at a craft store! Just make sure they’re made out of foam.

2. Not having enough string? If you have some tape, you can use that instead of a string. Just be careful when picking it up so you don’t accidentally rip or tear the antler.

3. If your string isn’t smooth enough for a nice curve in your antlers, try using cotton thread instead of fishing line/nylon thread.

4. If all else fails, pick up some objects with points, stick them in the ground and call it good!

5. Have fun! It’s okay if your antlers don’t turn out perfect! However, if you like what you made, consider making another set to give to a friend or keep for yourself. Deer antlers are a great gift for kids and adults alike!

6. It’s okay to use thicker sticks if you can’t find ones with a nice curve. But you should probably start this project at home, so you don’t have to keep going outdoors for more materials!

How Many Deer Have Antlers?

Deer are ruminant mammals belonging to the family Cervidae. This family also includes elk, moose, mountain goats, and sheep. All male deer have antlers except for the Chinese water deer, considered a close relative of the deer family. The only female deer that have antlers are the reindeer (caribou).

Renewal Growth Cycle of a Buck’s Antlers

For the first two or three weeks, antler growth is called velvet, a layer of skin and fur that supplies blood flow to growing bone and antler. Then, in early June, all male deer begin growing a new set of antlers for the upcoming fall mating season. Next, bucks rub their antlers on trees to get rid of the old velvet, which causes hair loss.

Papilla Formation

Within a week after velvet shedding, the antler begins to grow rapidly. Blood vessels nourish the inner growing bone and antler until late summer or early fall. Bone growth stops around December, but the antler grows for about six weeks under the influence of testosterone from developing male sex organs.

Bucks usually have their best antlers in mid-January, right before mating season. After the breeding season, their testosterone levels begin to decline, and by springtime, they are growing a new set of velvet-covered antlers for next fall’s rut. The cycle then begins all over again.

How to Attach Deer Antlers to a Headband?

Deer antlers are a trendy accessory for girls who have reached the age of thirteen. Girls can wear these as faux deer antlers or as part of a costume. Here is how to attach deer antlers to a headband:

1. To attach real deer antlers as a headband, cut five inches off each end using wire snips. This is because many people use fake ones that are five inches in length. If the antlers are actual, there is no need to cut them because they will be the correct size.

2. The next step is to drill holes into each end of the deer antler using a 1/16″ drill bit. Again, use gloves because they can be very sharp and painful if your hands are not protected.

drilling holes to Attach Deer Antlers

3. After drilling holes, use a crimp bead to attach 550 cord to each hole using needle-nose pliers. Pull the ends of the cord through tightly so that it will hold up better.

4. Next, take one cord end and put it through an eye screw. Use needle-nose pliers to secure this in place after it’s through the eye.

5. Repeat this step with the other end of the cord and another eye screw. One antler should have two eyes screws while the other will only have one. When putting on an actual headband, place it on first before adding any embellishment or accessory.

6. Thread the cords from the antlers through the headband, separating each cord to come out of different sides. Tie an overhand knot to hold them in place on the backside. Set this aside, and make sure to check for loose threads or knots before wearing it.


Antlers are a great way to make an animal costume. They can be used for any animal and are easy to create with some craft supplies you might already have on hand! If you want more information about this project or know how to make deer antlers out of sticks, let us show you step by step. We hope this post has been informative and appreciate your time reading it!

Check out our article How to Make a Longhouse Out of Popsicle Sticks

Jennifer Branett
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