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 😉

Metal feathers made from a soda can

Fortunately, some companies are willing to work with us. Like the lovely people at Sizzix. They kindly sent us a Big Shot, a 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 perfect for cutting arrow bookends from an empty soda can? If you don’t have a Sizzix 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.

Hand chipped or knapped slate arrow head

Okay, before I get to the tutorial, please do me a favor and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

The Art Of Knapping

I have never tried napping before. Fortunately, there’s always YouTube, and I found tons of videos 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 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.

Use a pebble to chip away at the slate

Those videos made it look so easy, HA!! Not!!!!

Use a pebble to chip away at the slate

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 😀

Use a pebble to chip away at the slate

If you’re not keen to try knapping, you can make an arrowhead out of an empty soda can too.

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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.

Cut a notch in a bamboo stick

To hold it in place, I just wound some leather tightly around the bamboo.

Slip the arrow inside the notch and secure with leather cord

Adding Some Feathers

Making the feathers was a breeze, sore knuckles and all. I just took the feather Bigz™ die, placed a flattened soda can 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 empty soda can and trace around the feather before cutting it out. The feathers were glued onto into the back end of another piece of bamboo.

Putting the Arrow Bookends Together

To make sure that the books wouldn’t be too heavy and topple the side supports, I picked a pallet bit that was 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″).

Cut blocks of pallets to make the arrow bookends

After a light sanding, the shorter pieces were glued and screwed onto the longer pieces at a 90-degree angle. Drill a small hole, just a teeny bit bigger than the bamboo, in the front of each bookend.  

Glue the short piece to the longer piece at a 90 degree angle

Add a little bit of glue inside the hole and squish the bamboo pieces inside. 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 soda can 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 Herbert Click to Tweet

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

If you like the idea of making your own arrow bookends, 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