Don’t toss it — button it up

Even if they’re not going on the wall, antlers have many uses

Deer hunters are often guilty of discarding items that are useful, and could be used to create reminders of a special hunt.

So rather than discarding antlers from a buck that might not be worthy of mounting, consider making buttons for a coat, jacket or shirt.

And these buttons are as functional as they are decorative.

Pick out an antler of appropriate size, then saw the antler into thin sections.(You have the option for a glossy finish by applying epoxy or a polyurethane finish.)
Pick out an antler of appropriate size, then saw the antler into thin sections.(You have the option for a glossy finish by applying epoxy or a polyurethane finish.)

Follow these easy steps to make your own:

  • Just saw an antler to your desired button thickness, making them as symmetrical as possible. (A band saw is the easiest way to accomplish this.)
  • If you want a glossy button, coat it with epoxy, polyurethane or some other coating. This will also increase the buttons’ durability. Epoxy may be mixed 50/50 with denatured alcohol to make it easier to apply.
  • Drill two small holes in each button.
    Drill two holes in each button and use thread to secure them to a piece of material.
    Drill two holes in each button and use thread to secure them to a piece of material.
  • Measure and mark button spacing and button-hole spacing; 3 1/2 inches is a good starting point for a shirt.
  • Use an appropriate-sized needle and strong thread to attach the buttons to the garment.

Antlers can also be sawed into toggle button sizes with appropriate holes if you want to use them as secure attachments.

In this case, a piece of buckskin that may become a jacket.
In this case, a piece of buckskin that may become a jacket.

Of course, they can also be cut into sections of the appropriate length and used as knife handles.

Thicker sections of antler or cannon bones from whitetails can be turned into knife handles.
Thicker sections of antler or cannon bones from whitetails can be turned into knife handles.

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