DIY Deer Antlers for Costume

To make deer antlers for your costume, you’ll need a few simple materials that you probably already have at home. I’ll guide you through the process of creating the base structure for the antlers using wire and then adding the finishing touches with paper mache. Don’t worry if you’ve never worked with these materials before – I’ll explain everything in detail so that you can follow along easily.

Here is a step-by-step guide to making DIY deer antlers for a costume:

Materials Needed:

  • Brown pipe cleaners
  • Headband
  • Hot glue
  • Brown felt or fabric (optional)
  • Form the Antlers:
    • Twist two pipe cleaners together to form the shape of one antler4.
    • Repeat this step to create the second antler4.
    • If desired, wrap brown felt or fabric around the pipe cleaners to create a more realistic look4.
  • Attach the Antlers to the Headband:
    • Apply hot glue to the base of one antler35.
    • Attach the antler to the headband35.
    • Repeat this step to attach the second antler to the headband35.
    • Allow the glue to dry completely before wearing the antlers35.
  • Complete the Costume:
    • Put on the completed deer antlers and adjust as needed for the perfect fit35.
    • Pair the antlers with a brown outfit or other deer-inspired accessories to complete the look124.
DIY Deer Antlers for Costume

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Why use deer antlers for a costume?

Deer antlers are a popular choice for costumes for several reasons. Firstly, they add a sense of wild beauty and uniqueness to a costume. Whether you are going for a mystical forest creature look or a regal reindeer, deer antlers can help you achieve the desired effect. Secondly, they can be easily customized to fit different characters or themes. By adding colors, textures, or accessories, you can transform your antlers into something completely original. Finally, using deer antlers for a costume is a great way to bring a touch of nature into your ensemble, connecting you to earthy and natural elements.

DIY Deer Antlers for Costume

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Materials and tools needed

Before you begin crafting your deer antlers, gather the necessary materials and tools. Here’s a list of what you will need:

  • Craft wire or pipe cleaners
  • Brown or tan colored stockings or tights
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Lightweight foam or cardboard
  • Craft paint in desired colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Optional: accessories such as flowers, leaves, ribbons, or decorative elements

With these materials on hand, you are ready to start creating your DIY deer antlers.

Preparing the Base

Choosing a suitable base for your antlers is crucial. It should be sturdy enough to support the weight of the antlers and comfortable to wear. One option is to use craft wire or pipe cleaners as the base. These materials are flexible and easy to shape. Another option is to use brown or tan colored stockings or tights. The fabric can be stretched over a lightweight foam or cardboard base, providing a smooth surface to work with. Whichever option you choose, make sure it fits securely on your head and allows for easy attachment of the antlers.

Shaping the base is the next step. If you’re using craft wire or pipe cleaners, you can shape them into a rough antler shape. Bend and twist the wire until you achieve the desired form. If you’re using stockings or tights, cut the legs and sew or glue them together to create a tube that fits snugly on your head. Use additional foam or cardboard pieces to shape and reinforce the antler structure. Remember to leave room for the attachment of the antlers later on.

DIY Deer Antlers for Costume

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Creating the Antler Shape

To create the antler shape, start by adding branches and curves to the base. If you’re using craft wire or pipe cleaners, attach additional pieces by wrapping and twisting them around the main structure. Gradually build up the shape, taking inspiration from real deer antlers or your imagination. If you’re using stockings or tights, you can shape the antlers by stuffing them with lightweight foam or cardboard pieces. Secure the foam or cardboard with hot glue or stitching, ensuring it stays in place.

Once you have the basic shape, refine it by smoothing out any rough edges or inconsistencies. Use scissors or wire cutters to trim any excess material and create clean lines. Take your time to check the symmetry of the antlers and make any necessary adjustments. Remember, the more attention you pay to detail during this step, the more realistic and impressive your finished antlers will be.

Texturing and Detailing

To create the texture of the antlers, there are several techniques you can use. If you’re using craft wire or pipe cleaners, you can twist and bend them to create a textured effect. Alternatively, you can wrap fabric or yarn around the base to give it a more organic appearance. Secure the fabric or yarn with hot glue, making sure it is evenly distributed and covers any exposed areas.

Adding realistic details to the antlers can take your costume to the next level. Use lightweight foam or cardboard to create bumps, ridges, or points along the antler surface. Attach these details with hot glue or stitching, ensuring they are securely in place. You can also paint or add glitter to highlight certain areas and create a more visually appealing effect. Think about the specific species of deer you want to mimic and do some research on their antler characteristics for inspiration.

DIY Deer Antlers for Costume

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Painting and Coloring

Choosing appropriate colors for your antlers is key to achieving the desired effect. Consider the character or theme of your costume and select colors that complement it. For a realistic look, brown tones are often the best choice. However, if you’re going for a more whimsical or fantasy-inspired costume, feel free to get creative with colors like gold, silver, or even bold hues.

Apply the paint in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry before adding another. This will help prevent clumping and ensure a smooth finish. Use a variety of brushes to achieve different effects, such as a dry brush technique for a more textured look. Remember to paint both the front and back of the antlers, as they will be visible from various angles.

Once the paint is dry, you can add finishing touches such as shading, highlighting, or adding additional colors. This step is where you can really let your creativity shine and make the antlers unique to your costume.

Attaching the Antlers

There are various options for attaching the antlers securely to your chosen base. If you’re using craft wire or pipe cleaners, you can simply twist the ends around the base or sew them into the fabric. Make sure they are tightly secured and do a quick test to ensure the antlers stay in place when moved. If you’re using stockings or tights, you can sew or glue the base directly onto the headpiece or attach it with elastic straps for extra support.

It is essential to ensure that the antlers are attached securely to prevent any accidents while wearing the costume. Give them a gentle tug to test their stability and make any necessary adjustments before moving on to the next step.

DIY Deer Antlers for Costume

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Accessorizing the Antlers

To add an extra touch of whimsy or personalization to your antlers, consider accessorizing them with flowers, leaves, ribbons, or other decorative elements. Using hot glue or stitching, attach these accessories to strategic points on the antlers. Flowers or leaves can create a natural and ethereal look, while ribbons or bows can add a touch of elegance or playfulness. Experiment with different combinations and placements until you achieve the desired effect.

Keep in mind that the accessories should not weigh down the antlers or hinder their stability. Choose lightweight materials and attach them securely to prevent them from falling off during wear.

Wearing and Maintaining

Securing the antlers to your head is an essential step for comfortable wear. If you’re using a headband or hair clip, make sure it fits comfortably and securely. Test it by moving your head and ensuring the antlers stay in place. If you’re using elastic straps, make sure they are adjustable and snug, but not too tight to cause discomfort. Take the time to find the best fit for your head shape and size.

During wear, it’s helpful to adjust the antlers occasionally to ensure they are still in the desired position. If you feel any discomfort or notice the antlers shifting, make adjustments as needed.

Cleaning and storing the antlers properly will ensure their longevity. If the antlers are detachable, remove them before cleaning. Use a mild soap and water solution to gently clean any dirt or debris. Allow the antlers to dry completely before storing them in a cool, dry place. If the antlers are not detachable, use a damp cloth to wipe them clean and then allow them to air dry.

Safety Considerations

When creating DIY costume accessories, it’s important to consider safety. Choose non-toxic materials that won’t cause harm if accidentally ingested. Avoid using sharp or dangerous edges that could cause injury. Make sure the antlers are securely attached to prevent any accidents while wearing them. Lastly, exercise caution when wearing the antlers, especially in crowded or tight spaces. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid any situations where the antlers may become a hindrance.


By following this DIY guide, you can create beautiful and realistic deer antlers for your costume. Whether you’re dressing up as a mystical forest creature or embodying the spirit of a regal reindeer, these antlers will elevate your costume to the next level. Remember to stay safe, get creative, and have fun during the crafting process. Enjoy your DIY deer antlers and make a lasting impression at your next costume event!

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