Deer Antler/Gourd Wall Hanging

by Cara Rivera

1. Start with artificial antlers. Take a Minwax stain pen, Early American shade and stain the antler. Rub soft cloth over the antlers to buff the stain. Let this dry for a couple of days.
2. Wash and dry a round gourd that will sit well on the antlers. Draw a line to divide the gourd. I use a rubber band stretched around to get a good line. Mark with pencil.

3. Take a knife to start a slit where the line has been drawn. This will be the start for the jigsaw to cut the gourd in half. If you do not have a jigsaw, just follow the line with a knife. Clean out the inside of the gourd.

4. Now, measure 1/2" down from rim. Start marking around rim1/2" down and across. This will be for the holes to be drilled for the pine needle stitching. When marks are made, take the drill bit of the Dremel tool and drill holes. You can also use an awl if you don't have other tools. Wash off the pencil marks when finished drilling.

5. Now, cut about 6' of twine to stitch the pine needles with. If you have a needle big enough for the twine, use that. If you do not have a needle, which I never do, put a piece of tape twisted on the end of twine to keep it from fraying and it is easy to put through holes. Take two pine needles and place them against the gourd where the first hole to be stitched is. Wrap the twine through hole and around the set of pine needles. Tie a knot on the inside of the gourd to tighten the pine needles in place. Get two more pine needles and do the same thing, wrapping the twine around the rim and the pine needles. Keep adding all the way around. Stop adding pine needles when you get to the last hole, but continue looping the twine with the leftover pine needles ends. When the last of pine needles is wrapped, just bury the last couple of inches of twine into the pine needles.

6. Spray with a clear enamel and it is ready to hang on the wall to hold potpourri, change, doo dad stuff, washclothes, etc.