A Crafty Mix


The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

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.

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

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.

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

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.

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

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 an empty soda can too.

When life gets tough, put on your boxing glovesClick to Tweet

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.

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

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.

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

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 from 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″).

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

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.

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

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 Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

The metal feathers on the back add just the right touch.

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

And I’m loving the rustic simplicity of the silver and turquoise beads against the slate arrowhead.

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends

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 HerbertClick to Tweet

The Lost Art of Knapping and Easy DIY Arrow Bookends #DIYHomeDecor #mymakingstory #Bookends

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

How to make your own DIY arrow bookends with a real arrowhead #DIYHomeDecor #mymakingstory #Bookends #EasyDIYBookends

Do you like using arrows in your home decor? I’d love to hear about it. And if you’re not keen to try your hand at knapping, then you can make this easy arrowhead by repurposing soda tins.

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 😉

AuldHome Farmhouse Wall Art Arrows (Set of 3); Decorative Wall Ornament Set of Wooden Arrows
CH Designs Cast Metal Arrow Bookends
Sizzix 660237 Bigz Die with Texture Fades Feather Duo by Tim Holtz

Wishing you a blessed week and may you always stay true to your path. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

Categories:   Craft Tutorials, Home Decor Crafts

Tags:  , , ,


  • Posted: August 15, 2017 19:37


    Very cool bookends! If it's any consolation, Pottery Barn doesn't ship where I live either. Weirdly enough, my husband has really wanted to try knapping and I'm sure he'd love to follow your tutorial!
    • Posted: August 16, 2017 12:47


      Tell him to where gloves Natasha unless his aim is better than mine ;-)
  • Posted: July 17, 2017 16:53


    What an amazing idea! I never thought that an arrow can be a beautiful piece of art as a book end. Creative!
    • Posted: July 18, 2017 05:51


      Thank you so much :D
  • Posted: June 22, 2017 06:24

    Elizabeth O

    You did a fantastic job of it. I'm impressed by how professional your new bookends look, and the arrow adds a nice touch to it. I love your tongue in cheek sense of humor too. :)
    • Posted: June 22, 2017 07:33


      :D Thank you so much Elizabeth :D
  • Posted: June 22, 2017 02:40


    This is a really cool project, and I'm cracking up over the part where you admitted it wasn't as easy as it looks. I've been working on embracing my crafty side.
    • Posted: June 22, 2017 07:35


      LOL Missy, silly me and here I was thinking all I needed to do was smack a stone against another stone :D I'm so impressed with how skilled our ancestors were
  • Posted: June 21, 2017 16:22

    Katerina Konstantinou

    I saw these on instagram and loved them (as every wooden arrow craft that there is in the world). Great job!
    • Posted: June 22, 2017 07:38


      Thanks so much Katerina. There's just something about arrows that are so special
  • Posted: June 21, 2017 00:50

    Jia Shin Lee

    Such a great project, I'll love to try this out over the weekend.
    • Posted: June 21, 2017 06:24


      You'll have lots of fun if you do Jia. Let me know how it goes
  • Posted: June 21, 2017 00:23

    Lisa Rios

    Ughhhh sooo adorable! I wish I were crafty and artsy! Tutorials like this one make appear that I am, at least. ;) Thank you for sharing such a cute creation! Muah!
    • Posted: June 21, 2017 06:24


      Mwah, right back at you Lisa. Thank you :D
  • Posted: June 20, 2017 20:18


    So so cool, as always you never dissapoint with your creations Michelle! I'd love to have these, they look amazing and you are such a creative team you two! Thanks so much for mentioning my printable arrows, I appreciate it!!! Hugs!
    • Posted: June 21, 2017 06:25


      Always a pleasure Katrin. Those printables of yours are gorgeous
  • Posted: June 19, 2017 21:23

    Courtney Andrews

    That is so cool! I love that you were able to recreate these that you saw from Pottery Barn. I'm sure these will be extra special to you since they are homemade :)
    • Posted: June 20, 2017 05:55


      Thanks so much Courtney, homemade is always more fun :D
  • Posted: June 19, 2017 13:36

    Candy Rachelle

    This is really awesome. I doubt I would ever try making this (not much of a DIYer), I think it's incredible that you've made this! Always wished I was able to build things made out of wood.
    • Posted: June 19, 2017 13:53


      Thank you so much Candy. We love working with wood. Each piece tells a different story
  • Posted: June 19, 2017 01:16

    Carmi Joice

    This is the first time I'm learning about knapping and gahhh, you did it soooo well! Now I'm curious with your other works...I'm now browsing your other creations! Just brilliant!
    • Posted: June 19, 2017 06:02


      Thanks so much Carmi. I must admit it was fun chipping away at the slate, sore hands and all. I'd probably try it again, but with gloves next time.
  • Posted: June 19, 2017 00:24


    These are so cute! If crafting was a little more cooperative, I'd have to make a pair.
    • Posted: June 19, 2017 06:07


      Thank you Emily. Once you get the hang of it, it's not so difficult.
  • Posted: June 18, 2017 16:15

    Nikki Jo Frank-Hamilton

    Michelle, is there anything that you won't try? I love that about you. I never know what I'm going to learn when I stop by. These are so cool, so fun and unique. So impressed and inspired by your skills!
    • Posted: June 19, 2017 06:09


      :D Thank you so much Nikki. Trying new things is always fun. Now if only I could master the art of cooking, I'd be set for life :D
  • Posted: June 17, 2017 01:20

    Jas @All that's Jas

    Gah, where was I when God was handing out creativity? Just when I think you've done it all, you come up with another brilliant piece. You should be selling those on Etsy or Ebay! Absolutely gorgeous. Pinned!
    • Posted: June 17, 2017 07:33


      LOL Jas, I think you were standing in the cooking queue :D Thanks so much my friend
  • Posted: June 16, 2017 19:30


    I can`t believe how amazing this looks! You always have such creative ideas!
    • Posted: June 17, 2017 07:33


      Thank you so much Cristina <3
  • Posted: June 16, 2017 17:47

    Nikki Gwin

    I am so impressed. I thought you had just cut an arrow in half for your bookends. This is awesome. And who can afford Pottery Barn anyway??? :) gwingal
    • Posted: June 17, 2017 07:34


      I know right ;-) Thank you Nikki
  • Posted: June 16, 2017 15:20

    jodie filogomo

    Well, of course, you just made your own!! You are quite brilliant! I would just think that I couldn't have them. It's like my mom (the 70+ model on my blog), she'll just make the piece of clothing she wants!! Jodie www.jtouchofstyle.com
    • Posted: June 17, 2017 07:36


      :D You're Mom is an amazing person Jodie. I love her outfits and how she always stays true to her style
  • Posted: June 16, 2017 15:18


    This is such an original idea Michelle! A stunning one for the lovers of tribal art and décor!
    • Posted: June 17, 2017 07:36


      Thank you Maya, that means a lot <3
  • Posted: June 16, 2017 09:10

    Sarah - Craft Invaders

    I adore this Michelle - the arrow looks amazing and you could use it in so many ways. As soon as I find some slate I'm copying this!
    • Posted: June 16, 2017 13:17


      Yay, I'm so glad you like it Sarah, thank you so much. I'd love to try doing the same thing with other types of stones, but slate seemed like the best fit and we have loads of scrap pieces. :D
  • Posted: June 14, 2017 17:51

    Keri Roberts

    Michelle, this is an amazing bookend! Love the effects your knapping created, the arrow is awesome, sorry about your hands though. The feathers are beautiful too, they look so real. It's a great set to hold books.
    • Posted: June 15, 2017 08:11


      Thank you Keri, I'm glad you like them. I suppose I really need to learn to wear gloves though :D
  • Posted: June 14, 2017 09:29

    Linda at Mixed Kreations

    Your bookends turned our lovely Michelle! I love the arrow with the blue and silver dangling off it, and that feather is so cool! Im sure your bookend is much pretty and better made then any pottery barn sells. I bet if you put your mind to it you could win an archery award. 😊
    • Posted: June 14, 2017 11:46


      LOL Linda, I'm not so sure about that, my aim has always been horrible ;-)
  • Posted: June 13, 2017 23:59


    They turned out so well! What a great tutorial too!
    • Posted: June 14, 2017 05:44


      Thank you so much Carlee :D
  • Posted: June 13, 2017 23:45

    FLORENCE @ VintageSouthernPicks

    Wow, Michelle...now you're making like an Indian with those arrowheads. I betcha that's exactly how they fashioned one! I love that picture backdrop you used too.
    • Posted: June 14, 2017 05:50


      Thank you Florence. I kinda felt like Pocahontas when I was banging away at the slate ;-)
  • Posted: June 13, 2017 17:55

    Sadhna Grover

    Hi Michelle, I have never heard about knapping, I googled it to find out what is it? LOL. Chipping the stone is a too tough job, feathers look cool Great DIY project dear.
    • Posted: June 14, 2017 05:51


      Thank you so much Sadhna. Before making the arrow I must admit I had no idea about knapping. Just goes to show we learn something new everyday
  • Posted: June 13, 2017 12:35


    Oh my gosh, Michelle! I just love these bookends. I was shocked to read that you can't even get on their site. Why would they block Pottery Barn? You are so talented GF! I would love to try and make them someday xo.
    • Posted: June 13, 2017 14:24


      I think it's an African thing. I spoke to some friends in Nigeria and they can't get in either. Maybe Pottery Barn thinks we'll hack there site or something ;-)
  • Posted: June 13, 2017 02:30

    Angie ~ ambient wares

    I've never heard of knapping and you do it like a pro, Michelle. The feathers couldn't be more perfect. What a great, beautiful project!
    • Posted: June 13, 2017 07:49


      I think my knuckles would disagree with you about the pro knapping Angie ;-) Thank you so much
  • Posted: June 12, 2017 13:56


    Love love love what you did here Michelle. Pottery Barn is so overpriced. You created this beauty with your own to hands and the help of that wonderful machine. Now you'll be able to add this to your bookcases. Actually it is so striking you can probably let it stand alone. Like you have in the photo. A conversation piece for sure. Would you be mad at me if I told you that when I read the title I thought you were talking about napping as in sleeping. Lol!! I've learned a new word!
    • Posted: June 12, 2017 14:04


      LOL, how could I ever be mad at you Mary. Your one of my most favoritist people ever!!

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