Guess what popped up in my Pinterest feed the other day? Arrow bookends from Pottery Barn. Yup, and I fell head over heels. But Pottery Barn doesn’t ship to South Africa. In fact, I can’t even get onto their website. Its restricted here. Hmmph!! Not fair guys. Well if I can’t buy one, I’ll just have to make my own.
Did you know that arrows originated in South Africa? Yup, the oldest arrows dating back almost 70 000 years ago were found right here. Take that Pottery Barn 😉 Fortunately there are some companies who are willing to work with and sponsor us. Like the lovely people at Sizzix. They kindly sent us a Big Shot, a whole bunch of fun dies and made us part of their Creative Team. Isn’t that just awesome? So imagine my surprise when I found this in the package.
A feather Bigz™ die. OMW, how did they guess? Aren’t those just perfect for an arrow bookends? We had some thin bamboo sticks in the garage, which would work for the shaft of the arrow. All I had to do was figure out how to make a realistic tip.
The Art Of Knapping
Fortunately YouTube and found tons of video on how to knap. That’s the technical term for chipping away at piece of stone or glass to form it into some kind of shape. After gathering up my pre-historic tool 😀 I started knapping a piece of slate that was left over from making our heart serving boards.
Those videos made it look so easy, HA!! Not. Next time I’ll try remember to wear some gloves to protect my hands. I think I hit them more often than the slate 😀 If you’re not keen to try knapping, then you could probably make an arrow head out of clay.
Anyways, once I had a decent arrowish shape, I cut a notch into the bamboo using a craft knife and slipped the arrowhead inside. To hold it in place I just wound some leather tightly around the bamboo.
Adding Some Feathers
Making the feathers was a breeze, sore knuckles and all. I just took the feather Bigz™ die, placed a piece of thin metal on top and sandwiched the whole lot in between two cutting pads, before cranking the handle on the Big Shot.
Pretty cool hey 😉 The feathers were added onto the back end of another bamboo piece, with a dab of glue and some more leather.
Okay Let’s Make The Arrow Bookends
To make sure that the books wouldn’t be too heavy and topple the side supports, I picked a pallet bit that was really solid and dense. Pallets come in all shapes and sizes, but you can usually feel the density. Pine feels very different to oak. We cut the pallet into two pieces measuring 15 cm x 10 cm (5 7/8″ x 4″) and another two pieces 6 cm x 10 cm (2 3/4″ x 4″).
After a light sanding the shorter pieces was glued and screwed onto the longer pieces, before drilling a small hole, just a teeny bit bigger than the bamboo, in the front of each bookend. The bamboo was squished inside with a little bit of wood glue. Then we added some silver and turquoise beads for pops of color.
I’m pretty happy with how our arrow bookends turned out. What do you think?
The metal feathers on the back add just the right touch.
And I’m loving the rustic simplicity of the silver and turquoise beads against the slate arrow head.
I don’t think I’ll win any archery awards with our home made arrow, but I did learn a new skill. Even if my knuckles look like they lost a fight against a wall 😉
I think I’m going to head over to my friend Katrin’s blog to get some of her beautiful Arrow Printables to add to the decor. They would be just perfect. Do you like using arrows in your home decor? I’d love to hear about it. Wishing you a blessed week and may you always stay true to your path.
Oh before I forget, if you’d like to make something similar or prefer to buy rather than DIY, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more crafty ideas to share with you 😉