DIY Arrows Tutorial. Sort of. - Pretty Real

DIY Arrows Tutorial. Sort of.

1:35 PM

I only did a few DIYs for Dax's nursery but these lovely arrows are my favorite.  This isn't a real tutorial because I didn't take "process" photos (unfortunately).  But I'd like to share the finished product and a step by step of how I did it.
(I purchased items from Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby but linked via amazon for your reference/convenience.  affiliate links included).

dowels in the circumference of your choice
acrylic paint and brushes (I used my girls' crayola brushes so they don't have to be fancy)
stain (optional)
an arrow tip (more on this in a bit)
metallic trim (or any color)

1. Take your dowels and cut them to your preferred size. I used a kitchen knife to do this but now that I have this handy craft knife set, I'd use that. 

2. Paint and stain the dowels in your preferred colors. Stain can be intimidating. I used it for a rustic vibe, but mostly because I had some on hand from projects for Dax's nursery. 
Helpful hints:
-place your dowel ends on objects to keep them elevated while you paint.

-don't get stuck on perfection. This is a perfect "wing it" project.  The lines don't have to be perfect. If that's not good enough for you, try taping them off.

 -the stain (if you choose to stain) does run a bit so consider that when staining.  Start with small sections so that if it runs it doesn't end up covering too much of the arrow.

3. Let dry.  It doesn't take long because it soaks into the wood.

4. Cut your feathers.  Again- perfection isn't necessary.  There are a few ways you could do this:              -freehand them right onto the felt (my preferred method).
     -draw them out on card stock until they meet your expectations, cut, and use as a template.
     -find a feather shape or image online, print it and use as a template or even enlarge, and place your       paper over your monitor and trace (I've done this before- works great and saves paper.)

5. Decide which side is the "front" of your arrow, arrange your feathers how you like them, and glue them to the back.  I used several colors and only did half feathers in each color.

6. (optional) Embellish with your 'real' feathers and glue.

7. (optional) Wrap the base of the feathers with twine/trim/etc. and glue.

8. Adhere arrow tip. I used a rock for mine and love the natural look.  But if you don't have a disintegrating front porch to steal a flat rock from (true story), you could use these awesome arrowheads, card stock, felt, or cloth cut in a triangle (as seen here).

This is a really fun and easy project with lots of room for error (so basically, perfect for me. ha!). And I love that you can get creative with it. Choose your colors, choose your textiles, choose your stain (I'd love to use gray stain), etc.  

Lastly, a helpful hint for hanging them: I tried sticky tac (fail), command strips (fail), and finally double sided adhesive.  Which may or may not rip the paint off the wall if I ever decide to move them. You've been warned.  Then again, why would you ever move them when they're so dang cute?
Thanks to Thompson Family-Life for the inspiration.  If you're looking for even MORE creative options and awesome step by step photos, take a look at her tutorial.

To see them in action on Dax's gallery wall in full, view this post.  

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