Monday, July 26, 2010

PVC Pipe Bow and Arrows

I guess just the bow is made of PVC pipe- not the arrows! (those are dowels!)
Okay, so last summer I was down in St George, playing at a park with my kids. They found a pvcp pipe bow and I thought -"how easy is that!? I can make that!" So I have made a couple for friends and family for birthday and Christmas gifts, and this past week I made 10 for a family reunion. They were such a hit, the kids loved them! And now all the neighbor kids are having a ball playing with them.

They are super easy and pretty cheap to put together.

Supplies you will need:
*1/2" pvc pipe (at my lowes they cost $1.22 for 10 feet (enough for 2) or $2.40 for 20 feet (enough for 5)
*1/2" pvc pipe caps (the rounded ones) they cost about $ .25 each. (optional - I just like the finished look it gives)
*1/2" pipe insulator $ .99 for a 4 or 5 foot section
*nylon string (I don't remember the thickness, but I bought mine at Walmart for 2 or 3 dollars, and it will last for years!) I think it was like 500 yards or something.
*colored duct tape (about $3 a roll at Walmart- you can do about 10 with one roll)
*or spray paint
*electrical tape
*Dowels (I buy mine at Home Depot) they are about $ .80 each (you get two arrows out of each)

Okay, Here's how you make them:
1. Cut your pvc pipe to 42" (3 1/2 feet) I used my chop saw (aka miter saw) to do this, but if you are super nice you can get the guys at Lowes to do it for you.

2. Wrap your pipe with tape, or spray paint it (this step is optional, but I like a cute bow instead of a plain white one with black words printed on it! :)

3. (this is the hardest part) Stand in the middle of the pipe and grab one end upwards to slightly bend it into a "watermellon slice" shape! (sorry - that's the best way I could think to describe it!)

4. With a little hand saw or a scroll saw(what I used) cut a 1" slit on the end of the inside of the curved. Make sense? Just think of the finished product, and that will help you visualize. This is where your string will go.

5. Cut a 4 1/2" length of pipe insulation and center it on the pipe.

6. Use electrical tape (because you can stretch it) and tightly wrap it around the center to make and indent for the grips.

Repeat it centering the tape between the center tape and the edge. You should now have 3 ridges. The tighter you pull the tape, the better your ridge will be, I wrap mine about 2 times around.

7. Using the same electrical tape, start at one end and slowly wrap it around to the other end. Do not pull it tight as you do this - just wrap covering all the insulation.

8. Cut your string to 38". Tie a square knot on each end. (right over left, left over right) You want your finished string (the part between the knots) to measure 34" To secure your knots, you will either want to melt it a bit with a match, or put a dab of super glue on the know (I prefer super glue)
9. Slide the string into the slit so the knot ends up inside the tube. You will have to bend your bow to get the second knot in place. Once you have both knots in the slits, your bow should be nice and tight.

10. Put your end caps on to cover the slit and knot.

Your bow is now complete!

Now for the arrow.
1. Cut your dowels 22"- you should be able to get 2 with about 3 inches left over. I also spray painted mine bright camo so that we could find them in the woods

2. I used my scroll saw for this part, cut a little notch (about 1/4" long) in one end of dowel (this is where you put it on the string)

3. If you want to make them safer, add a small piece of foam, or nerf arrows to the ends of the dowels.

WARNING: These really work! The first time I made one, I tested it in my garage and put a dent in my garage door! These should NOT be used indoors! And instruct the kids to never point them at anyone, pets, or cars! So far my kids can't really launch them far, so we haven't had any problems. knock on wood! :)

Thanks Michelle!
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Thanks a ton Ashlee!


Jenglamgirl said...

to fun I bet the boys just love them! way to go! Jen

Kirsten said...

that looks like so much fun! I'm going to make a few for gifts.

Meg said...

Ha! What a fun gift and toy! I love it. My kids would have so much fun with these. Thanks for the great tutorial!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

How fun is this? My kids need one of these! i am featuring this at

Misty said...

This is such a fun idea!! I'm thinking I need to make a bunch for my son and nephews for Christmas!!

Amanda said...

I love this! My son would really enjoy one of these. I'm guessing he may get in trouble, too! ;) thanks so much for sharing. I actually made a bow and arrow bag that would be perfect for these! You can check it out here:


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★All Thingz Related★ said...

This is so clever! My boys would love it! We appreciate you joining us this week at Anything Related!

Kristen Duke Photography said...

my kids will LOVE this and I think my hubby will enjoy making it as we do pvc pipes for forts around the house!

atul said...

ATUL BRAND- Twenty years experience pipe manufacturer and supplier of Delhi/India, provide quality pipe manufacturing in pvc pipe, pvc conduit pipes, conduit pipes, pvc conduits.

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

I love these! If only my boys weren't so destructive on their own already. Thanks for linking up to Topsy Turvy Tuesday's. I'll be featuring this tomorrow!

AUDRA said...

The things you can do with creativity!
Would have never thought of this!
How fun!!
Thanks for linking up to Socialize with me Monday til Sunday!

Tami said...

my son will love this! Thanks for sharing!

ATUL BRAND - PVC Pipe, PVC Conduit Pipes said...

ATUL BRAND- Twenty years experience pipe manufacturer and supplier of Delhi/India, provide quality pipe manufacturing in pvc pipe, pvc conduit pipes, conduit pipes, pvc conduits.

Jacob's Ladder said...

I've seen these arrows with some type of foam tip and covered with material and zip tied. I just don't know what is used to make the foam tip. Do you have ideas?

daniel said...

Thanks for this, exactly what I was looking for with two 6 year old boys ;)

johnparley said...

Thanks for the idea! After checking our dollar stores I went to Walmart and all they had was a bunch of junk. I found this article and now we have 6 sweet bows and 16 arrows. One thing I did differently was cut the pipe into 40 inch sections to give me 3 bows for each 10 foot piece of pipe.

*Colleen said...

I like your tweaks to the bow and arrow.... we have recently made them for both our boy and girl and I blogged about them! With the new movies Avengers and Brave, kids are gonna totally want a bow and arrow! =) And the ones they sell in the store are cheap!
You are def. right about them REALLY working! My husband broke our front storm window! =)

For the tips of our arrows we used rubber chair tips!

Also, someone gave me a great idea! Paint an all black circle and dip you arrows in baby powder and when your child shoots the target they can see where they shot!

You should check out the accessories I made for my son to go along with it! I made a finger glove, armguard, and quiver! ALL very easy! This is his Hawkeye costume but it could also be just for fun with the bow and arrows! =)
Great post!

Anonymous said...

Are you interested in making two for me and selling them to me? I've looked everywhere to buy them ughhh....its all my daughter wants for her birthday;p

Dom Smith said...

After finishing with the making of bow and arrow i just bet, no one can judge it that this bow and arrow is prepared from the PVC pipe. This is the best innovation i ever find of PVC pipe.

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Anonymous said...

Bow and arrow from PVC pipe is just an amazing innovation. I just wonder how people make reuse of these waste pipe and help their children also to think that way. Hats off to your unique idea.

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aliah said...

PVC is a great material for bows..PVC is readily available to anyone at a cheap and affordable price.
It was nice visiting here..and did get good amount of information from here..:-)
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Jessica Garthe said...

thank you for your AMAZING tutorial. I made these for my nephews for Christmas and they were a HUGE hit!!!!
The dad's now want them too!

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Melenie said...

Do you think these would be good enough to use at a girl's camp?

Jacqueline Morris said...

That is really neat. I've been trying to find an efficient way to make a bow online when I found this. I was wondering, is the bow also suitable for adults?

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Dan Gambardella said...

What size thickness are the dowels?! Thanks.

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Keith Allen said...

My son will surely love this, I will use those PVC Pipes in the Philippines that was on the garage for some time now. I thought I will never need them again after the plumbing system was installed years ago.

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