Friday, October 12, 2018

Yabusame Crafting

The Yabusame competition is a week away (eeek!) and I've got a few craft projects to put together before it gets here:

1: Helmet cover

2: Decorate my arrows

3: Make a thumb chard, or two

I finished number two today, decorating the arrows.  I've been practicing with a set of arrows that my friend Angie loaned me, but during a yumi (bow) lesson a few days ago, I learned that they are too short for me.  So, I took the plunge and bought my very own set of three arrows!

They come with a plain wooden tip and most everyone decorates them, sometimes they are painted, but many of the ones I've seen are covered in washi paper. 

I hadn't ever done anything like this, but figured I'd give it a go.  Thinking it'd be fun to document it, I snapped a few pictures along the way.

Here's the plain wooden tip, they put a label with my name on each of the arrows:

I was told I should reinforce the tip with some tape, so I started off by doing that. 

Here's the pattern I made, using printer paper:

My idea was to wrap the paper around the tip and then glue down the tabs.  (Side note, see the owie on my thumb?  Hence my desire for thumb guards.  I realized just recently that it appears I'm giving myself "paper cuts" with the fletchings, particularly these new ones which are still crisp and sharp.)

I think it will work!

Here's the real paper, some pretty washi paper I've had for a while.  I wanted something to match my riding kimono (which I received yesterday and: It. Is. GORGEOUS - more on it in a future post).  The top of it is my favorite rich blue color, which oddly I don't have in my paper stash...  but the bottom is shades of white, pink and purple, so I went that route:

The "spine" and first side glued down:

Time to cut the tabs on the other side.  I was going to cut all of the tabs before putting them on, but then decided it'd be easier to cut them where I wanted them on the actual tip.

All glued down!

Here are all three of them.  My paper wasn't quite long enough to cover the whole tip.

So I went back and added some strips around the top.  I also put a strip of pretty washi tape around the start of the shaft. 

I think they are ready to go! 

As for the thumb guard, I think I might actually try and wear my cycling, fingerless, gloves.  My last lesson, at the club, is tomorrow, I'm going to be experimenting with a lot of new stuff: arrows and gloves.  If they don't work I'm going to make a leather or synthetic leather cover for one or both of my thumbs.

The helmet cover comes next!  I was given the extra fabric from the two kimonos that were combined into one for my riding kimono, so can make the cover to match.  I'm far from a seamstress; I think the most sewing I've done has been on model horse blankets.  Ha!  But I'm sure I'll figure something out. 


  1. So exciting! The arrows look pretty all "dressed up". I can't wait to see the riding kimono!

  2. I like your tone. :) Thanks for the chance to see a totally unknown (to me) sport close up. Bulls eye!!