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Picture of Easy, Lightweight Antlers or Horns
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I've recently seen tons of burlesque performers, hipsters, and photography models all over the internet wearing awesome elaborate antler head dresses. I thought one of those would be the perfect addition to my Lorax costume this Halloween, but I didn't have any real antlers handy and all the ones I saw in costume stores or online looked flimsy and fake. So...to the craft cave I went!

Unfortunately, I didn't take enough pictures to make a complete Instructable for the antler head dress, but I *did* also make a pair of horns for my housemate's devil mask using the same method! This method is cheap, quick, and fairly easy, and results in very lightweight horns/ antlers. The best part is you can adapt it to make horns or antlers of almost any shape or size. As an added bonus, several people thought the antlers on my head were real!

Basic Materials

  • Wire hanger
  • Masking tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • Hot glue
  • Acrylic paint (in whichever colors you need for your completed vision)

Optional Materials

  • Latex mask (for devil)
  • Wire headband (for antlers)
  • Fabric or felt (for antlers)
  • Faux leaves, or other decorations (for antlers)

Tools

  • High-temp glue gun
  • Leatherman, or other pliers with wire cutting capabilities
  • Paintbrushes

Step 1: Form the Horns

Picture of Form the Horns
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  • Decide what shape and size you want your final horns to be. It may be helpful to draw out your basic shapes before cutting the wire.
  • **Careful. Hangers are very springy. You may want to wear eye protection for this step so you don't poke an eye out.** Straighten out an old wire hanger, and cut pieces to the appropriate lengths for your project. For the devil horns, I used 2 12-inch pieces.
  • Bend a 1-inch segment of wire at a 90-degree angle to give the finished horns a way to attach to the mask or headband, then bend the remaining length of the pieces to match the final desired shape of the horns.
  • Cover the wire frame in aluminum foil, sculpting the basic shape of the horn. This will be the same shape and size as your final product, so make sure there are no unwanted lumps or bumps.
  • Wrap the foil structure from top to bottom with masking tape. This serves three purposes: (1) to smooth out the crinkles of the aluminum foil, (2) reinforce the aluminum foil and to hold together any pieces you may attach to the wire base, and (3) it allows paint to stick later on.
Rachelma made it!7 months ago
Such a great tutorial! I made Them and they came out great! Unfortunately I was Working with an old antlers headset from the dollar store so I was Stuck with a stick that was straight up and down and I wasnt able to bend them into deer antlers like I wanted. So I guesS it’s a Christmas antelope. Came out great either way! Thanks for the tutorial!
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LindseyW231 year ago
I’m confused on this part. Are you using one piece of wire for each horn? If so, how did you make it circular?? Is that where the foil comes in?
Awkward_Bug (author)  LindseyW2311 months ago

Yes, it's one piece of wire for the core (with optional branches), then that gets wrapped in foil to make it cylindrical.

Dr Will 30411 months ago
How would you make something like this waterproof? Doing "Nightmare before Christmas" theme for my outdoor Halloween decorations.

I need to make antlers for the goat skeletons I have, to make them into skeleton reindeer. Post a photo when I'm done
Awkward_Bug (author)  Dr Will 30411 months ago

I'd recommend using some sort of waterproof spray sealant? Waterproofing wasn't something I'd considered in my original design.

KDS4444 made it!1 year ago

I made it! I was making a plaster mask for Mardi Gras, began with ram's horns, then decided to go antler.... But how to make them thin and light enough and strong? My own first attempt (shown in photo) was bulky and unstable (wire wrapped around cotton cord, wrapped in fiberglass tape and plaster). Your antlers, however, did the trick! Coathangers, covered in crushed aluminum foil and wrapped in fiberglass tape and plaster (not masking tape, in my case), and then hotglued onto the mask proper (also pictured). For authenticity, I covered the antlers in strands of yarn that I adhered with spray adhesive and then spray painted black. Thank you for the idea! It made this mask possible!

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Awkward_Bug (author)  KDS44441 year ago

Nice! Glad my Instructable helped you out :) That finished mask looks awesome.

Yeah, it turned out pretty well! It still weighs to much (all that plaster) but the antlers are much more believable now than they were before. So again, I thank you for the guidance on how to do that!

("...weighs TOO much..." I know the difference. Sticky O on my keyboard, I swear.)

the makeup reminds me a bit of a snapchat filter...

jessbug2 years ago

Nice way of doing it... simpler than my way :) I am going to do this

babybayrs2 years ago

Great job!

Awkward_Bug (author)  babybayrs2 years ago

Thank you!

seamster2 years ago

This is a great technique! The hot glue ridges really make all the difference. Nicely done :)

Awkward_Bug (author)  seamster2 years ago

Thanks so much! I appreciate the feedback ^.^