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Adding Color to Teton Simulated Elk Ivories

Written by Craig Jones


Teton Trade Cloth has developed a new line of simulated elk ivories that allows one to have an "achievable" look when real elk ivories or the Teton Premium Elk Ivory Replicas are not in the budget. Our simulated line offers 4 shapes of bull ivories with a precast hole for attachment. All products made in a mold have what is called a "part line". In our Premium Elk Ivory Replicas, this part line is hand scraped and polished before they are hand painted. With a little creativity and work you can achieve similar results for that fantastic elk tooth dress or elk tooth decoration for your outfit. To learn more about ivories, I would recommend that you read our FAQ article found on our website HERE.


First start by assembling your materials.

Paint brushes, some water to thin your paint, good artist acrylics (not the cheap paint that comes in the plastic bottles for $.99, it won't stick to the tooth) and some cosmetic wedges can be handy for creating different paint effects and and emory board (I like the 7 sided ones that have different grits) and an exacto knife.

Use an exacto knife and emory board to clean up the part lines and injection points.

Close up on some of the supplies I used for this project.

Trimming the sponge to create a textured edge.

Time lapse video of the painting process. A few tips. Use the tip of your finger, dipped in paint and swirl it around the crown (bottom) of the ivory to achieve the circles of color on the bottom of some teeth. Some people call this the "moccasin" as it looks like the sole of a moccasin. See the photos below of real teeth for an example of this. Remember when you are painting, elk ivories are natural, no two ivories are alike. In order to achieve the best possible look, you should strive for maximum variation. Some real ivories have essentially no color at all and are just white. For even further protection of the color that you have applied you can seal the ivories using Minwax Polycrylic in a spray can. For this purpose, I would suggest using the high gloss finish. Lay them on a piece of cardboard and spray them generously. The crown of real ivories usually have a high polish to them from the elk grinding the ivories and polishing them. The high gloss finish will replicate that appearance.

Images 1-4, Teton Simulated Ivories (Left) and Real Elk Ivories (Right). Image 5, Teton Simulated Ivories laid out to show variation. Image 6, Teton Simulated Ivories (unpainted) mixed in with real ivories to show the comparison of the base color. If your inspired to make an elk tooth dress, read the article by Scott Thompson in our blog about how to construct an elk tooth dress.




Teton Simulated Ivories made into a necklace and earrings with Teton Trade Beads.












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