DIY Staghorn Deer Wall Plaque

I am so very fortunate to have deer visit at my place! I also enjoy all the trees and greenery. Why not bring some of that joy inside in a unique way?! Easy to grow Staghorn fern will continuously thank you as the antlers of this DIY Staghorn Deer Wall Plaque.

Can this be easier?:

I have always admired the lovely shapes that this Staghorn fern has. It is a very hardy plant that naturally grows on other trees. It has 2 types of leaves; one that covers and protects the attachment area and then the other ‘antler’ shaped ones.

Since my search for some shedded real deer antlers came up with nothing this year I am happy with these ‘antlers’. How perfect is a deer head as a plaque to mount this on?!

You will need:

  • a piece of wood 9.25″ x 12.25″(pattern provided)
  • jigsaw, hammer, pencil
  • Sandpaper (100, 220grit)
  • Small staghorn fern
  • Sphagnum Moss
  • Flat bark piece(s)
  • Small finishing nails
  • Picture hanger wall hook
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Fishing line or beading wire

Cut the Pattern:

I have done the hard part for you; making the shape. Download the pattern here:

Trace & duplicate the half or print the 2 pages and tape together. Mark all the x’s and reference lines.

You will need a 9.25″ x 12.25″ piece of board (or scale it smaller when printing for a smaller plaque).

Cut the shape  with a jigsaw or bandsaw. Be careful when turning the tight curves. Slowly progress to make a path wide enough to turn the blade slowly or it will break.

It’s quite a modern simple shape  Don’t worry about fussy finishing, keeping it rustic is quite acceptable these days. Multiple (attached) boards from palettes would also look great.

Do take off the rough edges with a quick sanding. I have kept it unfinished natural wood to mimic the way it grows on trees.

Don’t forget:

Hanging this on the wall is great so attach a picture hanger hook before you get too far along into the project.

The Bark vessel:

The small rectangle will help make a nook for the roots to sit in. Nail it on at the marked place.

Castoff bark is quite easily found in the woods. A flat section is easiest but you may be able to attach smaller pieces together. Cut it according to the pattern but it can be somewhat natural edged as well. A large xacto knife will help shape it.

A nose? Really?:

Well, I did think it needed a nose… you decide. It is just a bit of black acrylic paint. Maybe a smile?

Stick it:

Using the hot glue gun attach the bark from above the nose to past the attached rectangle piece. It will make a void for the plant roots to nestle into. Fill in any side with pieces as desired.

Note the locations to add the small finishing nails that should be angled outward and not completely embedded.

Carefully take the plant out of the pot. They are usually grown in a moss or bark mix. There may be a shield-like shape that is closest to the roots, do not damage it.

Wrap on!:

Adding some Sphagnum moss will keep the ‘bits’ from falling out and will cover the mass of roots. Gently push the root ball into the top of the bark void. Using the fishing line or beading wire wrap criss-cross from nail to nail back and forth until it is secure from falling out.

Voila! That was super easy! Absolutely no need to shoot your own to hang on the wall (how dare you!) This will grace your place with growing antlers… beautifully.

Water once a week by wetting thoroughly and draining or soaking in water. In the winter water every 10 days. Fertilize in the summer months. The Staghorn fern needs about 4-6 hours of sunlight a day. Mine sits in a ledge in the kitchen with my other deer friends.

Such personality for a piece of wood and cast off bark! I can’t wait until the antlers are massive! Take a walk, get some bark and look out for deer… (happiness)

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  1. Can you possibly give some direction as to where to find the staghorn ferns? Have not been able to locate them. Thank you.

    1. Well, that might be specific to your area. I suppose a good nursery that has tropicals indoors. I found mine at a nursery that has quite the arrangements and also classes. I’d call around. Good luck!