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How To Make A Bow And Arrow Out Of PVC

Posted by  ·  October 24, 2018  ·  Last Updated: October 24, 2018

Learn how to make a bow and arrow with easy to find supplies.  Use PVC pipe to make a fun bow and arrow for kids.

girl shooting PVC Bow And Arrow

How To Make A Bow And Arrow Out Of PVC

When my boys were little we did several parties centered around this PVC bow and arrow. Now we have a little girl who just saw the movie Brave, so these wildly fun bow and arrows have made another appearance. This DIY bow and arrow made out of PVC is really cool.  It is an easy way to learn how to make a bow and arrow for kids, and encourage endless hours of creative play!

This bow and arrow is super simple to make and makes a great party favor if you are hosting a party! The best thing is the kids love them.

PVC Bow Supplies

You will need the following supplies:

  • 40″ of  1/2″ PVC pipe (these come in 10′ sticks of schedule 40 thickness)
  • 16″ X 3/8″ dowel rods (purchase a 48″ piece that makes three arrows)
  • 6″ of foam pipe cover (use a 3/4″ diameter piece that is sold in 6′ lengths)
  • thick nylon string (I used very heavy duty nylon string)
  • a lighter to seal the ends of this string
  • scissors
  • a hacksaw or fine tooth jig saw
  • duct tape
  • zip ties
  • foam cut into triangles (I used 2″ thick foam home insulation cut into approximately 3″x 3″ triangles)

One 10′ pipe will make three bows. Cut pipe into 3 equal 40″ pieces

How to make a bow and arrows supplies laid out

How to Make a Bow and Arrow In Easy Steps

Tie a large knot into the end of the nylon string. It needs to be big enough to not slip through the notch in the PVC. Use a lighter or match to burn the end to keep it from fraying.

pvc recurve bow

Cut a one-inch long notch into one side of the PVC pipe on each end. Next place the knot into the notch. Pull tight and make sure the knot is big enough to not slip through. A bead can also be tied to the end to keep it from slipping.

how to make pvc bow

Pull the string tight along the cut PV pipe and cut sting and tie a knot about 4 1/2 inches from the other end of the pipe. Bend the pipe and slip the knot into the other end.

diy pvc bow and arrow

Wrap a piece of duct tape around each end of the pipe to keep the string from popping out.

make your own bow and arrow

Place the pipe foam around the middle of the PVC pipe. Bring edges together and secure on each side with a zip tie. Trim the ends of the zip tie close to the handle.

PVC Bow and Arrow

Stick the dowel into the foam and remove. Now coat the end of the stick with hot glue and place back into the foam. A slit can be cut into the end of the dowel to make it easier for the child to place on the string of the bow.  Such a simple PVC bow.

How to make arrows

Bow and Arrow for Kids

It takes some practice and patience but these girls mastered it. The PVC bow kept our Brave girls busy until sunset!

DIY Bow and Arrow [PVC]

How to make a bow and arrow for kids!

I hope you love this kids bow! Now that you know how to make a bow and arrows made you might like these  PVC toys to make and kids LOVE this marshmallow shooter! Looking something else fun to make with PVC? This DIY movie screen is pretty amazing!

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How To Make A Bow And Arrow Out Of PVC
Article Name
How To Make A Bow And Arrow Out Of PVC
Description
Learn how to make a bow and arrow with easy to find supplies.  Use PVC pipe to make a fun bow and arrow for kids.
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Skip to my Lou
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Comments

  1. Kelley Hilton
    Saturday, September 9th, 2017
    I am so excited to try this. Along with my regular jr. high girls' PE classes that I teach, I also teach a couple adapted PE classes that have kids with special needs. They cannot do the regular archery unit that we do, so am excited to try and see if this will be a good alternative. :)
    • Cindy
      Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
      What a great idea Kelley!
  2. Thursday, December 1st, 2016
    These are so fantastic! I was just searching for some DIY Christmas gift ideas and stumbled upon this...do you mind if I share it in our DIY Gift roundup post?
    • Cindy
      Monday, December 12th, 2016
      I would be flattered Kelsey!
  3. Kellie
    Monday, May 11th, 2015
    These look so fun! My kids will love them. Thanks for sharing!!
  4. Cairn
    Friday, July 25th, 2014
    Did I miss it or how long do you make the string/cord?
  5. Bob Taylor
    Monday, December 30th, 2013
    My grand daughter and I made 14 of these this weekend for her 9th birthday party. I also had trouble with the string breaking. I had used the Tarred line (not waxed) and it broke, so I tried non tarred trot line that was a larger size. It worked better, but still had a little problem breaking, so I found a larger diameter tarred line (also from Walmart) and made a spare bow string for each bow. Hopefully that will last longer. My son in Law and I may be busy re stringing the bows during the party.
    The string was pretty rough on our fingers, so I wrapped the 2" section of the string where the arrow hooks onto the string with duct tape. That made the string less abrasive.
    After assembly we shot a few arrows and noticed that the foam tip made the arrow flip around and fly backwards down range. I didn't want to go to the trouble of gluing feather fletching, so I made fletching by cutting 8- 2" strips of bow string and taped it to the rear section of the arrow using duct tape. This made the arrow fly straighter.
    This was a good grandfather/ grand daughter project on a cold rainy saturday afternoon.
    • Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
      Hi Bob, thanks for the tips! Our string was a heavy duty nylon and had no problem with breakage.
  6. Bob Taylor
    Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
    For the string, try waxed thread used by trotline fishermen. It can be purchased from Walmart in the fishing dept.
  7. R
    Thursday, November 21st, 2013
    we tripled our string and it forced the pac pipe to bed into a nicer bow shape.W
  8. MAJ
    Sunday, October 20th, 2013
    To protect our hands when shooting, I bought packs of Hanes tube socks and cut off about 1/2 " from the toe. The kids slipped the now-truly-a-tube tube socks over their hands and forearms and no one sustained injury. Hope that helps!
  9. Mary
    Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
    I am having the same trouble with the string either splitting or breaking. I even tried wire that is used to hang pictures but eventually broke. I have 7 made but cannot conquer the string problem. the one i bought for a pattern had a brown rope like in a 5 ply but not stretchy at all. couldn't find anything like that. Any ideas what that would be?
  10. Dickface
    Sunday, October 6th, 2013
    Ha,Gayyy!
  11. Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
    Can anyone suggest a nylon string which you used? I used 2 types, and both split after little use.
  12. Eli
    Monday, August 19th, 2013
    Did anyone have trouble with the pipe splitting when you bent it to slip the string in on the second end? Any ideas on how to prevent this problem, or what is causing it?
  13. Marlo
    Friday, July 26th, 2013
    We are so excited to make these. We went camping this weekend and our friends kids had made these. My boys want to make them so Ihave been searching on line for instructions. To personalize them they covered the pvc pipe with fun duct tape. This might help cover the writing on the pvc. If not try liquid sand I have used that remove ink stuff before.
  14. Friday, July 19th, 2013
    The CPVC pipes are used for a number of reasons. The pipes are used for commercial purposes.
  15. Fanua Matagi
    Monday, June 24th, 2013
    They turned out great-thank you!
    We also used pencil eraser tops for the arrow tips instead of the foam, and then cut more length to the string so there was more slack. Those of you getting a sore thumb/hand will find that there is less soreness with a more slack rope. There is a difference in efficiency, but the arrow will still shoot and that's what we needed for our group of 4-5 year olds.
    Thanks for the fun project and thorough instructions!!
  16. Alison Navarro
    Saturday, June 22nd, 2013
    Cathy,
    Above someone said to use a blow torch gently to brown the pvc and give it the look of real wood. Could maybe cover up the ink?
    We are doing this in a few days, my kids can't wait! Neither can my husband!
  17. Cathy
    Monday, June 17th, 2013
    Does anyone know how to remove the ink writing on the PVC ? I have made six so far for our family reunion. I do like the erasers better, less bulky. I am having fun shooting them myself. Thanks for the instructions .
    • ShaRON Kelly
      Thursday, November 17th, 2016
      To remove any ink marks or pvc glue from the pipe; use acetone [nail polish remover] or denatured alcohol product, then rub it gently to remove unwanted material. Now wipe dry, and let air dry a few minutes.
  18. Frank Bright
    Friday, May 31st, 2013
    I can't seem to get the arrows to go straight. any help?
  19. Shawna
    Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
    My coworker and I made these for a youth group. We used those little pencil top erasers for arrow tips, with the tips cut off. They work great. Also, we had the kids dip the arrows in washable paint before shooting at a paper target. We also ended up adding an arrow rest with some of the leftover foam. It makes for a great activity for a wide range of ages!
  20. john
    Thursday, April 25th, 2013
    If you have older children 17+ and they want a bow and arrow you can use 1" pvc piping markin the midle and 2" down each way from the center, use a heat gun to heat it up one side at a time and flaten it with a 3 ft 2x4 this will make the bow stronger and provide more pressure, although it requires a real bow string you can purchase from bow shops for about $15
  21. Ashley
    Friday, April 19th, 2013
    The same thing is happening to me as to Terri (above). The string is hitting my thumb joint and it really hurts. I want to fix this before I try to give this to my kids.
  22. Terri
    Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
    When I saw this, I immediately went to HD and got what I need to make one. I am hoping to use these with our youngest girls at girl scout day camp. My only problem is when I pull back the string then release it, it hits my thumb joint. Did I do something wrong? It seems like the bow doesn't have much curve.
  23. A Rigsbee
    Saturday, April 13th, 2013
    Did this today! Thanks for the instructions - very fun!
  24. MamaC
    Saturday, February 9th, 2013
    I would like to make a couple of these for a kindergarten Valentine's day party. Wondering if I can use an elastic cord and run it all the way through the pvc as time is limited (school party) and it sounds like it may take a bit of time to become comfortable with this instrument. I'm thinking the elastic will offer immediate bouncy and kids won't get discouraged if their arrow goes haywire,everyone goes home happy, etc. Thoughts?
  25. Patricia
    Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
    Wonder if you could give an approx length of the nylon cord for the bow. I would like to have everything precut to make 'kits' for the children to put together. Thank you.
  26. Mr.Reality
    Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
    yeah then what happens when the kid decides to take of the foam and put a rock on how strong is this bow 5, 10, 20 pounds?
  27. lynn
    Thursday, September 13th, 2012
    thanks so much for the great project. we made 3 bows and arrows today with my son and his friends (ages4-7) and it was a really great project to do together. and, of course, once we were finished they had a blast.
    i can see making more for gifts in the future. again=thanks!
  28. Brigitte
    Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
    Thanks for sharing! I made 25 of these today for my daughter's Brave party this weekend. I had a very tough time bending that sch 40 pvc pipe. I found some sch 20 1/2" pvc at my local hardware store (a local chain; HD and Lowes doesn't have it). It has thinner walls than the sch 40 and a lot easier to bend. I saw some similar to these on Etsy, but they were spray painted so that's all I have left to do. :-)
  29. Monday, September 10th, 2012
    Thank you for sharing, I've been looking over your website as some inspiration for babysitting my nephew, and this one got me excited to try even on my own :)
  30. Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
    Loved this so much we had to share on our blog today! Thanks for the inspiration! http://www.allfortheboys.com/home/2012/9/5/bow-arrows.html
  31. Saturday, September 1st, 2012
    What a cool idea!
    • Wednesday, August 15th, 2018
      Wow, Nice idea. Thanks for sharing with us. Hope my kids enjoy it.
  32. Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
    Yes, Melissa, there are pro archers, matter of fact. I hope you were able to watch replays of the archery eliminations, semifinals, and trophy events of the olympic archers. It was WAY exciting for those of us who have competed at any point in time. If all you can handle is "one" event, watch the final. Exciting, exciting!!! And if she does to take up the sport (they even have a junior olympics organization), be sure she takes classes so she develops correct form. It gets so discouraging to practice and practice, yet not know what you're doing wrong :) (As hobbies go, it's not nearly as expensive as some!)
  33. Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
    How fun and clever. I think both of my not so little ones would actually enjoy this!
  34. Sunday, July 29th, 2012
    Oh, what a great idea. We have a friend's son in Canada that really enjoyed using our real bow and arrow, but we sure are not going to give him a real one. I just might have to make this for him for Christmas.
  35. Amy
    Thursday, July 26th, 2012
    YOU CAN ALSO TAKE A BLOW TORCH TO THE PVC AND GENTLY BROWN THE OUTSIDE BEFORE ASSEMBLING AND IT WILL LOOK LIKE REAL WOOD! THANKS FOR THE FUN IDEA!
  36. Katrina cannava
    Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
    My kids loved this project! Thank you for sharing.
  37. Cathy Hayes
    Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
    The photographs are AWESOME! Especially that first one! :)
  38. virginia hopper
    Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
    I have just finished a "Ride into History" with some kids and adults. One boy made an arrow out of a small limb and feathers and lashed a real arrow head onto it. Making a bow out of another limb and a string. I thought he did a great job in replicating the iIndians. Yours is a great project depicting a safe, modern tool. Thanks
  39. Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
    um, hmm...how should I put this....YOU JUST MADE MY LIFE. or my daughter's life to be exact! She's 6 and 'Brave' has consumed her world and imagination -- she wants to be a professional archer now (is there such a thing??) -- this is too fabulous, thank you!!!
  40. Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
    Such a neat idea...I will be making these with my son. Thanks!:)
  41. Susan
    Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
    love this idea, my boys are going to have a blast. Can't wait to put this on the calendar. FUN!
  42. Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
    oh my gosh this is so awesome I'm pinning it for our next Hunger Games Party!

    marissa
    rae gun ramblings
  43. Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
    How fun!!! What's crazy is that I already have everything I need to make this after making my parrot a play stand!
  44. Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
    thank you for this! My daughter is far to young, but my boys have really wanted a bow and arrow set for a long time! This is one I wont mind them having. No sharp edges!
  45. Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
    I see a project with my daughter coming on. Thank you!!