Branch Antlers

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List
  • Scrap wood for base (approx 1” x 5” x 6”, or whatever dimensions you choose)
  • Found branch “antlers” (search for branches with a similar diameter to the pocket jig you have)
  • Printed instructions (use diagram to trace or draw your baseplate shape)
  • Glue stick (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Paint
Tool list
  • Bandsaw or coping saw
  • Router with any fancy edge bit (ogee, cove, roundovers )
  • Clamps
  • Hand drill (bit size determined by branch diameter)
  1. Resize and print the diagram in Step 4, fold in half to cut out (to ensure it is symmetrical), then glue it using the glue stick to your scrap wood. (Alternately, design your own base plate shape – then fold the paper in half, choose the “best” half and cut it out, then use the glue stick to fix it to the wood.)
  2. Cut around your shape on the bandsaw or with a coping saw.
  3. Clamp down your base plate, then using the router, make a fancy edge on the front side of your base plate.
  4. With a pencil, mark two “x”s on the front of the base plate where you want your holes to go. Using the pocket jig, check the depth of the hole you will make by putting the drill bit through (without hitting the trigger) and placing it on the side of your base plate to gauge the depth. Mark the drill bit with a piece of masking tape to show the maximum depth you can drill to without going all the way through (leave at least ¼" of wood intact).
  5. Drill out your two holes, angling downward.
  6. Flip your base plate over and mark an “x” on the back as shown in the diagram. This will be for hanging your base plate on a nail or screw on the wall. Use the pocket jig again. This time, drill a hole that angles upward (if your original holes broke through the back of the base plate, make sure to drill even shallower this time, otherwise you will drill through the front of your base plate).
  7. Sand your base plate, and apply your chosen finish.
  8. Whittle down your “antlers” if you need to, then put some wood glue into the drilled holes and fit the branches in. Allow to dry.
  9. Find the perfect spot to hang your “antler rack”, hammer in an angled nail, and put up your creation!
Extension Challenges
  1. Go on a beach walk and look for driftwood “antlers” that have been bleached by the sun.
  2. Using more scrap wood, design an animal head profile to screw to the base plate, and drill the antler holes in the sides of the head instead.
  3. Make the base plate look old by researching and experimenting with different wood finishing and antiquing techniques.
  4. Make a collection of “racks” and decorate a whole wall with them.
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