How to Use Deer Antlers for Handles

Penny Porter

Many homes built with an exterior cabin style include the same pattern on the interior. Interior cabin decorating includes many natural elements in objects as small as drawer handles and knobs. Keeping with the cabin theme, many handles used in cabins are made from natural pieces like twigs and antlers.

Create attractive drawer and cabinet handles from deer antlers.

Making drawer knobs and cabinet handles from deer antlers offers hunters and antler shed collectors a way to display more antlers and put the antlers to use instead of storing the antlers away in boxes or leaving the antlers exposed to nibbling mice.


You can also make handle pulls from the end caps of antlers using the same steps described above.

  1. Choose a section of antler to use as a cabinet or drawer handle. Lay the ruler across the antler so that the ruler intersects with the antler twice. Use a marker to draw lines across the antlers at the edge of the ruler. This helps you to produce cuts in the antlers that will lie flat against the drawer or cabinet face when installed. Cut the antler with a bone saw or handsaw you commonly use for cutting the antlers off the deer head.

  2. Drill holes into the flat, cut ends of the deer antlers. Hold the antlers in your hand and use a drill on low speed to drill into the ends of the antler cut. Working carefully, you can keep the drill close to straight and prevent the drill from going straight through the antler. Use any size of drill bit you feel comfortable using that measures smaller than the thickness of the antlers.

  3. Coat the insides of the drilled hole with epoxy. Place threaded rods, slightly smaller than the drilled holes, down into the epoxy filled holes and hold firmly into place for a minute or two while the epoxy sets. Use threaded rods long enough to go into the antlers, through the cabinet or drawer face and have at least ¼ inch left over to secure the antler to the drawer or cabinet.

  4. Paint all sides of the antlers with a clear coat of polyurethane. This protects the antlers from damage and preserves the natural colors on the antlers. Allow the polyurethane to dry for a couple of hours before proceeding.

  5. Set the antler against the drawer or cabinet in the chosen spot. Place the ends of the threaded rods against the wood and trace the ends of the rods with a pencil. This marks where you need to drill holes to attach the handles.

  6. Drill holes into the cabinet or drawers using the marks you made in the previous step. Use a drill bit measuring only slightly larger in diameter than the threaded rods.

  7. Push the threaded rods of the antler handles into the drilled holes in cabinet or drawer faces. Fasten the handles to the drawer or cabinet using a bolt nut sized to match the threaded rod. Tighten the nuts until the antler handles do not move when you attempt to wiggle the handles up and down.