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. Nope. 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 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 arrow bookends? If you don’t have a Sizzix you can download these beautiful feather templates from the Graphics Fairy and use them instead 😉 For the shaft of the arrow, we used some thin bamboo sticks we had lying around. All I had to do was figure out how to make a realistic tip.
The Art Of Knapping
Fortunately, there’s always YouTube and I found tons of video on how to knap. Pssst…..That’s the technical term for chipping away at a piece of stone or glass to form it into some kind of shape 😀 After gathering up my pre-historic tool, aka big garden pebble, 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 to 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 can make an arrowhead out of clay.
Anyways, once I had a decent arrowish shape, I cut a notch into the bamboo using a craft knife, added a dollop of glue 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 right 😉 If you’re using the arrow template from the Graphics Fairy, just place the template on top of the metal and trace around the feather before cutting it out. The feathers were glued
onto into the back end of another piece of bamboo.
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 were 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 super happy with how our arrow bookends turned out. Not only did I learn a new skill but they fit right into our boho, slightly crazy decor style. 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 arrowhead.
I don’t think I’ll win any archery awards with our homemade arrow, but I learned how to knap. Even if my knuckles look like they lost a fight against a wall 😉
The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice. Brian Herbert
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.
If you like the idea, don’t forget to pin it for later
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 😉