Thursday, October 9, 2014

fall diy: natural arrows

can i just confess something real quick? i don't like fall decorating. i'm not a huge fan of jewel tones or autumn hues, and as charming as the season can be, it is a harbinger of winter so it automatically has a black mark in my book. plus, i always feel like just when i hit my summer house stride, that pottery barn catalog covered in pumpkins arrives at my door. well, i rebel. i usually just keep my sunny kitchen towels until it's time to pull out the christmas bins. or at least set the thanksgiving table.

this year though, i read this article about fall decorating that was really refreshing. not a jewel tone or a glitter bombed chevron pumpkin in sight, and it actually inspired me to bring a little of that changing outdoor landscape indoors.

it just so happens that the ferns in my garden are all turning brown and laying down their fronds to form what looks like a decaying forest floor in the front of my house. (see? fall = yuk). but to my surprise and delight the other day, in the middle of each fern stood a handful of really cool blackish, dried feather looking things. while the whole plant was wilted, these little guys stood at proud attention. they were beautiful! i had never seen these before, and i immediately snipped them all and brought them inside to dry out on a paper towel.

i didn't know what i would do with them except keep them and love them forever. i put a few in a vase in my entry, and they looked fantastic, but the rest just laid on my counter for two days. the more i looked at them, the more i thought they looked like quills without arrowheads. and then i decided they needed some arrowheads! (or at the very least a shark tooth glued on the end). and a DIY was born.

off to hobby lobby (well, first to the internet, and then to the phone, to discover that hobby lobby indeed sells and stocks stone arrowheads- and in case you try to find that haystack needle i will tell you, they're in the jewelry-making section, next to the leather). 

also, in case your garden is short on ferns, i found an etsy seller who stocks the little babies. apparently they are called reproductive fronds. who knew?

and now we are ready to make some cutey cute little arrows and join the rest of the world in decorating for fall.

total time: 5 minutes
patience level: absolute zero
total cost: $2.50 per arrow (ish)

materials needed:

hot glue gun & glue sticks


1. (optional) use the pen-touch metallic pen to draw designs on your arrowheads or color them completely. i didn't like the reddish color of one so i decided to make it completely gold. on the grey one, i just free-handed some diagonal lines along one side. if you are doing markings, it is best to color the more rounded and bumpy side of the arrowhead (if there is one), so your frond can affix to the flatter side.

2. fire up your hot glue gun and run a bead of glue along the bottom inch of your frond stem. then press it against the flatter side of your arrowhead. 

3. once it is dry, use an exacto-knife to trim the excess glue from along the sides of your stem.

4. um, you're done. put them in a glass vase, lay one on top of a coffee table book, or mount a set of three into a shadow box frame. how easy was that?

just don't let your kids try to weaponize them. that is your job. 

oh, and p.s., see that gorgeous little candle up there that's styled just so? i made that too...thanks to these freebie printables from house of hipsters. they're my little arrows' besties. everyone should go get 'em!

{this project was featured at craftgawker}


  1. I've always thought those...fronds...were pretty too, but I NEVER would have come up with your idea. LOVE it! What a creative, natural, beautiful fall decoration! Pinning. Have a great day.

    1. thank you so much nicki! i know, i just think those little guys are so pretty. and thank you SO much for pinning!! the best compliment! ;-)

  2. Ok, these puppies make my little heart go pitter patter! LOVE LADY! LOVE! I'm going to Hobby Lobby this weekend and I don't have fronds, but I'm gonna figure out out! These are too cool for school!

    And I'm sooooo with you on the fall decor. I'm not really into Halloween (GASP!!!!) and I feel very blah on the pumpkins. So I won't be the one hating on your parade of sunny tea towels! No sir! Not I!

    1. i'm positive that arrows were on my brain thanks to your logo and vintage arrow we'll credit you with the inspiration. ;-) and if you can't steal any from neighbor's gardens, there's a link to an etsy seller that has them up top. oh, and seriously, i would just make a hobby lobby worker walk you to the arrowheads...i called beforehand to ask where they were in the store and it still took me 20 minutes to find them!

  3. What a cool idea, Laura! Between you and Kyla, I'm gonna have to up my craft game;)

    1. thank you grace! you totally inspired me to stop being a fall hater. ;-)

  4. Hello gorgeous! So cool! Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see on Monday at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Sunday~Lou Lou Girls

    1. thanks so much for sharing kimberly- you are always so generous. have a great week!

  5. Genius! I simply adore what you do! Amazing. So glad you found us so we could find you. :)


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