Arrowhead Collage In A Wooden Box

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

I wanted to make a work of art from an array of arrowheads. I decided to mount them in part of an old shadowbox I’d repurposed.

Using a denim background and some hot glue, I made a heartfelt, sentimental gift for my father. How was it sentimental? Read on, dear friends…

I'm showing how to make an arrowhead collage. This is the second one I've done with my brother's arrowheads. It turned out beautifully. #TexasHomesteader

Family Loss

Many of you know we lost my brother very unexpectedly recently. It’s always so hard to grapple with the loss of a loved one in these circumstances.

My brother was an accomplished flint-knapper. He hand-made many arrowhead works of art. Of course he signed each and every one to differentiate between his perfection at his art and actual American Indian artifacts.

After his passing I wanted to make gifts for my parents from his beautiful work.

Making An Arrowhead Collage For My Mother

For my mother I made a collage from his arrowheads in the shape of a cross. Since this gift was made during the COVID pandemic I wanted to use supplies I already had at home to fashion this heart-felt homemade gift.

In my craft supplies was an ugly hinged box previously used to store keys. The front was a shadowbox frame with plastic ocean-themed trinkets attached inside. I took it apart and fashioned her gift from the front of that box. I love the way it turned out.

Arrowhead collage in the shape of a cross. I'm showing how to make an arrowhead collage. This is the second one I've done with my brother's arrowheads. It turned out beautifully. #TexasHomesteader

Making An Arrowhead Collage For My Father

But now I’m ready to make a special gift from these arrowheads for my father. Since the pandemic is still going on I’m still looking for supplies we already have here at the Homestead.

Hummm… the other half of the key box I used to make my mother’s gift is still available. I’d sat it aside waiting for inspiration. Now’s the perfect time!

I'm showing how to make an arrowhead collage. This is the second one I've done with my brother's arrowheads. It turned out beautifully. #TexasHomesteader

When I made my mother’s collage I painted the wood white and distressed it. I felt this would go best with the farmhouse décor in her home.

But for dad’s gift I prefer the more manly wood color, so I won’t paint the wood this time. Humm… I still need a manly backdrop.

You don’t get any more perfect than repurposed denim. I love all things denim and always put back RancherMan’s worn jeans to repurpose that heavy, rustic denim fabric.

I make many pocket coasters from them. The worn cowboy patina RancherMan puts on those pockets, the place where he carries his wallet or pocket knife… I just love these coasters.

Repurposing denim into pocket coasters #TexasHomesteader

I’ve written before about the many different ways I’m able to repurpose that gorgeous denim. But now I’ll be using it for the perfect backing fabric for my father’s gift!

Assembling My Arrowhead Collage Gift

First I removed the two small wooden bars across the middle of the box. They had small hooks to hold keys. I’ll set these pieces aside in case they’re needed for something else down the road.

Now I’m left with an empty box – a blank slate to start my creation. I cut a section of denim to lay along the inside of the box, plus a little up the sides. Then I cut a section of worn hem to line it with and neaten everything up.

Denim backing. I'm showing how to make an arrowhead collage. This is the second one I've done with my brother's arrowheads. It turned out beautifully. #TexasHomesteader

 I love how the denim is gently worn and authentic. It’s exactly the look I’m after! Then I used a hot-glue gun to affix the denim to the inside of the box.

Yeah, yeah – I like that!

Working On Arrowhead Design

Then I brought out the rest of my brother’s arrowheads. I played with various arrangements of them until I found a design that appealed to my eye.

OK, let’s be honest, here’s how that went: I got them into a design I liked and then took a photo and walked away for several hours. Then I came back and looked at them again. I arranged them differently until I found yet another design I liked. And then I took a photo of the new design and walked away again.

I did this over & over until I was satisfied with the design. If I’d decided I preferred one of the previous designs I had a photo of it to replicate if needed.

Yes people. THIS is why crafts take me so long to complete! LOL.

Attaching The Arrowheads

When I was happy with the final design I once again brought out the hot glue gun. I placed a heavy bead of glue around each arrowhead and pressed it firmly into place.

The larger pieces received a heavy secondary anchoring bead of hot glue after they were attached.

I'm showing how to make an arrowhead collage. This is the second one I've done with my brother's arrowheads. It turned out beautifully. #TexasHomesteader

The beauty of using hot glue is that my brother’s arrowheads remain unaltered. They’re anchored firmly enough that they will stay put as they are displayed on the wall.

But if dad ever wants these arrowheads out of their frame, they can be carefully removed and there’s been no damage to them.

But between you & me – I think he’ll really like them in the display frame.

Now let’s finish up our project.

Finishing The Project

Now how to cover the display box? I didn’t want to use glass. I decided to get a piece of plexiglass and attach it at the corners with decorative-headed nails.

We had an errand in town so I called the small hardware store and asked them about buying plexiglass. They said because of the pandemic they haven’t even been able to get it for weeks. Ugh, I hadn’t even considered that.

As I was about to hang up the phone he asked how large a piece I needed. I told him the dimensions – 12″ x 8″. He said he had some scrap pieces that were that small and he’d be happy to cut it for me. Yea!

RancherMan needed to drill the plexiglass and attached it to our arrowhead collage display box with some decorative upholstery tacks in all four corners. Yeah, yeah, YEAH! I like it!

I think it turned out beautifully.

So once again I’ve been able to pour my heart (yet very little money) into a gift that is both beautiful and meaningful.


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6 thoughts on “Arrowhead Collage In A Wooden Box

  1. Stephen w smith

    First i was sad to read about your brother

    Wanted to share with you two collages made by a cousin of mine in the 1930s with arrowheads he collected from his 200 plus acre farm in middletown

    I read your article about the arrowhead collage and wanted thoughts as I have some remounting to do on the ones I am working on. Would private email you the 2 I have they were made in 1932 and 1934 and are approximately 40 inches square each

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Your arrowhead collages sound amazing, but I wouldn’t be the one to give you remounting advice. I only mounted these arrowheads as a gift for my mother in honor of my brother who flint-knapped them himself. I wouldn’t necessarily mount actual artifacts using the hot glue procedure I used on my brother’s repros. You’d be better served seeking out an artifact expert for that kind of advice. ~TxH~

  2. candace ford

    You have my sympathy for your family’s loss. After my youngest son died in a car accident it was a long time before I could look at his possessions and sort through them, but one thing that he had made as a gift for me had always been on the kitchen counter. Anyone looking at it would think “good grief why does she keep that grubby looking jar of ugly rocks on her kitchen counter. For me that grubby jar of rocks is a piece of my son that I can look at every time I’m at the kitchen sink. My son did other things as he got older and they are precious to me as well, but nothing compares to the jar of rocks. Most of the time I can keep in the realm of happy thoughts about the time I did have with my son, Eventually time softens the edge of pain. My best to you and your parents as you continue through the grieving process.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Sweet girl, they say the worst pain is that of a parent losing a child (HUGS) Keep those things close to you which bring you joy. That jar of rocks belongs right where it sits! XOX ~TxH~

  3. Laurinda

    Those are wonderful tributes to your brother, I’m so sorry for your loss. The arrowheads are really beautiful on the denim background. I love the idea of arranging them, taking a photo, & walking away several times- so smart!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Laurinda. Some people are just crafty, this kind of thing comes very easily to them. I have more of an analytical mind so crafts are often a struggle. But my dad loved his gift and that makes the whole thing worthwhile. ~TxH~


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