I’ve been collecting all my deer pins since I started hunting in 1985. Up till this year, I just put them in an old candy jar. I always wanted to put them into a plaque, the ones made from oak veneer plywood shaped like the outline of Illinois. Never wanted to spend the $150 for one. So I came up with my own idea that is affordable and looks pretty good.
1. I bought a bass wood plaque made by Walnut Hollow for around $10 off amazon. I bought a 9” x 13” size.
2. I created a grid template using Google Docs in order to determine where to drill my countersink holes that will hold the deer pins. I decided that 4 pins across by 7 rows looked good for the plaque size.
3. Using a 1.25” Forstner style bit I set my drill press to drill the holes about 1/8” deep. Deer pin size changed about 5 years ago. Older pins are a little smaller than the new pins. New pins fit tight in the 1.25” holes. I tried 1 1/8” forstener bit for the older pins but it was too small. My forster bit set increments by 1/8” so I ended up drilling all the hole sizes the same. If you have a set that increments by a 16th you could probably go to a smaller bit size for the older pins.
4. Lightly sanded the plaque and gave the plaque 2 coats of polyurethane.
5. Removed the clasps from the back of the deer pins and hot glued into place.
I already had glue and the forstner bits so only cost me $10 for each plaque and about $8 for the poly spray. Turned out pretty decent and was pretty easy to assemble.