View Full Version : Antler and Skull Cap Mount Questions

11-28-2007, 01:12 PM
I have a few sets of antlers out in the shed where I simply cut off the area around the skull with the antlers attached. I'd like to clean them up and maybe wrap the skull portion in dark leather for hanging on the wall.

What's a good way to clean? I'm thinking about boiling but not sure how long or what to boil them in. If water and something else, what proportions?

What about the leather? Anyone know of any kits out there? (Not interested in the felt kits)



11-28-2007, 01:46 PM
Boil them using some Borax (can find it by the washing detergent in most grocery stores...). I wouldn't boil more than 15-20 minutes as the skull will become soft and break, that should loosen up anything and it can be scrapped or cut off.

Vandykes has some antler kits with leather at


Most any taxidermy supplier will have a leather kit....try a search online for taxidermy supply and you will get several.

11-28-2007, 02:02 PM
Thanks DSW. How many parts water and how many parts borax?


Bill in San Jose
11-28-2007, 07:45 PM
What I did for a couple mounts I did for my son and I was clean the skull plate well, then used good, old-fashioned bondo to build it up to where the "angle of the dangle" of the antlers on a plate were what I wanted. In the bondo I pushed a couple of bolts, so I could put in screws from the rear (plus some epoxy).

After searching around, I finally used a new chamois cloth from AutoZone, and sprayed the skull with contact cement. Working carefully with a razor blade, I got it to fit.

Picture says August and the blacktail is in velvet since our (crazy) deer season opens in July, and this was my son's first deer with a bow.

I also did one which I spray painted with the 'flecked' Krylon paint for decorations, sculptures, etc. It's different, but looks good too.

If the antlers are older/ dried out I did some sheds using Tung Oil which I brushed on and wiped off, it gave the antlers a little more gloss than natural, but looked good enough to display at home.


11-28-2007, 11:18 PM
Bill, I like that chamois look. I think that's what I need. Nice Job.

11-28-2007, 11:39 PM
we use to make out own with leather kinda like Bills but we added furniture tacks around the outer edge for a little more decoration.

11-29-2007, 01:00 PM
I use a propane boiler with probably 3-4 gallon pot and a cup or two of borax. Since you are talking a skull cap, probably can do that with a pot on the stove and probably a half cup of borax.

Good luck!

Bill in San Jose
11-29-2007, 04:48 PM
I started looking for leather originally, and when I found the chamois cloth, I figured it would be a lot easier to work since it was so thin. You need to have the skull plate pretty smooth, or else you'll see it- that's what bondo did also. When I was stretching it over the contact cement, I got one side perfect, and wound up with a wrinkle I could not get out on the other. I cut it with a razor blade to make it lay flat, then cut strips of the material and made the 2 diagnonal stripes you see- they look like a decoration in the end.

I bought plaques at a trophy shop instead of making them myself, if i had it to do over again I'd to them out of old barnwood or something more interesting.

In the end, cheap DIY and my son still says "my old man did the taxidermy and mount". Doing the velvet antlers was a whole other story.

Knight in Mossy Oak
11-30-2007, 10:08 AM
My wife, mossyoakprincess on here, does this stuff everyday...she uses denim camo cloth...(mostly mossy oak) and then braids some small diameter rope or cord around the base of the antlers. It looks really cool.

She uses sal-soda and water to "cook" them in.

Give her a shout...mossyoakprincess@cmaaccess.com
I am sure she would be glad to help.

Bill's Unlimited
11-30-2007, 10:16 AM
A possible alternative to the bondo job would be some "batting" (the fluffy stuff) from a sewing store. That would give you a barrier between the skull plate and leather.

11-30-2007, 12:49 PM

I use these kits from Wasco then go to Walmart and get whatever color cloth I want to use. They are easy to follow instructions and have come out great! I did three in one night.


Bill in San Jose
11-30-2007, 03:31 PM
I never thought of using camo cloth, what a great idea.

Knight in Mossy Oak
12-02-2007, 12:07 PM
I never thought of using camo cloth, what a great idea.

Here is one my wife did for a friend...

Knight in Mossy Oak
12-02-2007, 12:25 PM
Here are some more that she has done. Even if you just have sheds, you can get a reproduction skull for the horns and do a European mount...The first pic was a european mount she did for Dr. Death's nephew. The second pic was her first buck (hangs above our bed)...the third pic was for a friend and customer.

12-02-2007, 03:06 PM
If you make it into a coat hanger, than your wife will have no problem with you putting it on the wall! Here's mine from last year. :D


Bill in San Jose
12-02-2007, 08:44 PM
All, really nice work to be proud of.