Bow and Arrow

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Recently I found a homemade bow and arrow set on Pinterest (SOURCE) .  My kids have been asking for a bow and arrow set for awhile and I have not caved!  Part of the problem is I grew up with bow and arrows at camp etc…  I actually have two crossbows.  So my kids want to go from knowing nothing about bows straight to the crossbows with real arrows!  I don’t think so.

First – just to let them play I made a bow and arrow set simply out of sticks, twigs and twine.  That kept them busy for awhile.  But now I want to make them a set with more tension and capable of much more.  I wanted my design to be a little different from what I found on Pinterest.  Here is what I came up with.

Here is what you need – I am making three.


- 40 inch length of 1/2 inch PVC piping.  I bought a ten foot length and just had Home Depot cut it into thirds.  PVC pipe is very easy to cut with a hacksaw but I couldn’t fit ten feet into my car and it was just as easy to have them cut it quickly (for free).  When I got home I used a hacksaw to create a notch through one side at each end.

- I wrapped the center of each piece of PVC with electrical tape to create a nice handle/cushion for the kids when shooting.  The electrical tape was wrapped in several layers. 

- I used 17 pound synthetic twine as the bow string.  I tied the first end of twine around a tiny washer and slid the washer into one notched end of the PVC pipe. 

- Place a PVC pipe cap over that end.  The washer will keep the string from breaking free and the cap will keep everything very nicely in place.  Cut the string about 2 1/2 inches shorter than the PVC pipe and tie on to another small washer. 

- To tie off the opposite end, bend the pipe (I could do this myself by being barefoot and stepping on the middle of the pipe while pulling the end I still need to thread up towards my torso).  It was tricky to do but I threaded the available end of twine through the other notched end (non capped).  Let go and cap. 

Your bow is ready!


- For the arrows I needed thin dowel rods.  Those came in four foot lengths – I just used a hacksaw to cut them down to two foot lengths.  At one end of the dowel rod I used the hacksaw to create a small indentation to “grab” the string while aiming and shooting.

I picked up these little foam cut and ball kits at the dollar store.  I threw the guns out – all I wanted was the balls.  I used a pair of scissors and cut the balls in half, then hot glued one half to the other (non-notched) end of the dowel rod. 

It is raining outside but that did not stop us from testing these babies out.  They are so much more awesome than I imagined.  These two are perfect for my husband and I.  The string is extra tight and the arrows FLY FAR!  The string is so tight though that it is difficult for the kids.  Sephora is getting the hang of it but it takes some true strength.  I may need to make another one for Anthony with the string a little less tight.

Even meme got in on the action – working with Anthony

Even Bill was having fun (just as amazed as I was with how perfect these bows are)

Ready, aim, pull (stick out tongue to help with exertion)

Look at her in action (below) – she already says she wants to be an archer in the Olympics!

I share my projects at some great link parties.
You can see them all HERE

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19 Responses

  1. Trimurti says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Tammy says:

    My kiddos would love this! Thank you for link this up to Rustic Restorations Weekend.

  3. This would be perfect for my nephew who has a bday coming up. I love homemade gifts. I came over from a link party and I’m a new follower!

  4. What a great idea, and I would be more comfortable also without them using the real arrows. I watched you daughter, wish you had it longer she so cute. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success! PS – now following you on Facebook!

  5. Awesome job! My son wants a bow and arrow set too. This might be the perfect thing to make till I am ready to let him have the real thing. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be pinning this too.

  6. HOW COOL! My daughter would love this!
    I would love for you to share this on our made for or by kids linky

  7. Arahbella says:

    This is so cool, especially with Hunger Games being out :) Thank you for linking this up at SPARK!

  8. Amy @MoMomma says:

    This is a really cool idea! My boys would love this…thanks for linking up last week! My MoMomma Monday link up is ready for this week! Come join us again and link up!

  9. Jill says:

    Excellent idea!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  10. Renee K says:

    I want to make this for my son. Would you explain or post a pic of how the washer inserts in the slit/end before cap is on?

  11. After you have cut the small slit in the end of the PVC – tie the string onto the washer. You are basically sliding the string into the slit – the bow part of the string on one side and the washer side of the string will fall into the inside of the PVC. If that is still not clear let me know and send me your email address. I will find a piece of PVC and take a picture. Thanks

  12. kgscrafts says:

    I was planning to make these for my daughters birthday party tomorrow but our “sample” seems to have a problem. The arrow keeps flipping backwards because it does not have any weight on the back of the arrow (where you would find feathers on a real arrow.)Have you had this happen or can you tell me what we are doing wrong? Thanks!

  13. You need to hold them until the very last moment – and hold it tight to the string – your fingers hold the string and the arrow tightly together. It sounds like you are releasing the arrow too soon (removing your fingers too soon). We don’t use any weights on the back end and they work just fine. It did take some getting used to though. Once you get the hang of it, it is a piece of cake.

  14. Rebecca says:

    I’m still not getting how to do the string and washer. I think I get the first side but is the second side the same? Is there two washers? Thanks.

  15. Rebecca says:

    I’m still not getting how to do the string and washer. I think I get the first side but is the second side the same? Is there two washers? Thanks.

  16. I still think this is such a cool project that any kid would LOVE. Thanks again for sharing on We Made That!

  17. Sam says:

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    I added a cool feature – I had a 1/2 inch cross piece so I put two 24″ pieces together at the cross and then used the other direction to hold the arrow. I bolted the pieces to the cross and wrapped everything in duct tape just in case it breaks.

    Works great! Much easier than holding the arrow with your hand – especially for my kids.

    Here’s a couple pics:

    Thanks again!


  18. Catalinuta says:

    this a great stuff,i’d love to try this

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