Finally! The PVC Bow and Arrows!

Oh the Christmas List. T only had 3 things on his Santa list. When your kid only has 3 things on his/her wish list…get them! Because one day their list will be a mile long, and nothing on the list will be under $100.

The major thing on T’s list was a bow and arrow set. Nice! I had already found a set online from a hunting/fishing store, a kids set, and figured we would set up a hay bale and target in the backyard, and have a grand old time! WRONG! He informed me that he didn’t want a regular bow and arrow set. He wanted one just like his cousins had. Well, they had got theirs from a flea market, and there was only one more weekend before Christmas that it would be open. Now, granted we don’t usually have harsh winters here in North Texas, but I really was not looking forward to going. But why would I go buy it when I can make it?!?! The search begins!

I started with a gooble search (I know what you are thinking, wth is a “gooble search”? I like to slightly change the name of things, so “gooble” is really google. Instead of saying “google it”, I say “gooble it”!). Anyway, I searches for “PVC Bow and Arrows”. Found lost of awesome blogs on the subject with tons of different ways to make them! I shall list the links I took from here-

Youcraftmeup

Life Sprinkled With Glitter

And Polymath

Like I said, I took what I saw from the cousins’ bows and arrows, and what I learned from these blogs, and mashed them all together and came up with

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I really hesitated to do this tutorial because all the pictures are on my phone…pain in the butt. But here goes…

First stop was our local Home Depot! I didn’t know where all this stuff was, so it took forever! And I decided we could all have fun with them, and got enough stuff to make 5 bows and 20 arrows (4 per person). Shopping list went something like this:

For the Bows-
3/4 in PVC Pipe (4 ft for each bow)
4 way 3/4 in PVC coupling thing (1 per bow)
PVC primer and glue
Something to cut the PVC
Pipe insulation tube things (make sure they are for the same size as your PVC pipe! I picked up the wrong size)
Electrical tape
PVC caps (end cap things, again, to fit the pipe you have)
Twine or string. I used orange mason string

Arrows-
Dow rods
Rubber chair feet things (don’t worry, there is a picture)
Duct tape
Hot glue gun
Zip ties
Orange fabric

Here is what I started with

20121212-085509.jpg I cut the PVC into 2 foot sections. I forgot how many long pipes I got, but it was just enough to make 4 regular size bows, and one that’s just a bit shorter, perfect for T! Start putting the pipe into the 4way coupling thing using the PVC primer and cement.

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20121212-085932.jpg Like so!

You have to have some way to hold the string in place. At the ends of the PVC I used the little broken hand saw, and cut a slit down one side. Make sure it’s lined up somewhat with the hole that goes through the coupling.

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And 1 bow half way done! Good job!! Now if you are like me, repeat 4 more times! Yea, it happened!

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You don’t have to paint your bows if you don’t want to. However, Santa would not give bows like that for Christmas, so I chose to paint them.

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You can hardly see them, right? Yea cause I painted them camo! Better suited for our family!

After the paint dries, it’s time for the OPTIONAL hand grip. Here is where the electrical tape and foam insulation come in. Cut the foam insulation tube to a little bit bigger than the width of your hand. Put it over the pipe just below the 4way coupling, and tape it closed with the electrical tape. I had to squeeze mine together because I got the wrong size!

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Tape off segments to make it look more like a hand grip. I know the picture shows the string already on there, but trust me, don’t do that yet! It makes it harder to take the grip!! Next, tape up the whole grip.

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Now for the sting. Cut the string a bit longer than your bow. Tie a knot at the end, and slide it into that slit you cut at one end. Now for the tricky part! If you have 2 people, I’m sure this works better. But it was just me. So flip the bow on the other end where you are going to put the other end of the string. Bend the bow a bit and find out roughly where you need to tie your knot. Tie the knot, and bend the bow again to put it into the slit.

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Now place the PVC caps over the pipe, paint them first if you painted your bow! I didn’t glue them on because it is inevitable that someone’s string will break. This way, you can restring it if necessary.

Onto the arrows!! Get your Dow rods. I think I cut ours into 2 ft sections.

20121212-092556.jpg Paint them, if that’s your thing and all.

More foam pipe insulation! I cut mine to about the size of the rubber chair feet that will be going over it. But I also had to cut them in half to make sure it would fit in the rubber feet.

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Grab the duct tape!

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Take the insulation and wrap it tightly around the Dow rod, then tape it while wrapping it even tighter!

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Ta-Dah! Half way done with the arrows! You are doing excellent! Again, if you are like me, repeat 19 more times. Then take a break, and have a glass of tea!

Now, I wanted the Insulation to stay in place on the Dow rod, so I hot glued both ends of the insulation.

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Go ahead and hot glue the inside of the rubber chair thing, and cram the foam end of the arrow down into it!

BOOM! 20 arrows, almost ready to go! The reason I put the rubber feet on the ends is because I wanted them to have a little bit of weight so they would go further, but not enough weight to seriously injure someone! You’ll shoot your eye out!

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Now take your orange fabric, cut it in to squares big enough to cover the ends of the arrows, and zip tie them on! I chose orange for ours because the arrows are camo colored as well. I didn’t want to lose them in the yard. And what is the only bright color used with camo??? Orange!

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Go outside and get your hand saw (or I used a dremel tool) to cut slits into the end of your arrow, so that when you slide your arrow through the hole of the bow, it “sits” in the string.

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Now go outside and have fun!! Or if you are like me, hide them in the closet with excitement and count down the days till Santa comes and you actually get to play with them!!!! I will post pics of the family playing with them after Christmas!

Have a great day!!
J

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UPDATE: I mentioned that I would do an update after we had the chance to play with them. The adults played with them more than the childrens, and the dogs got ahold of a fee arrows. Turns out those rubber chair stoppers make excellent chew toys. In all honesty, we were shooting to hurt one another. And it did! It didn’t help that it was at dusk, so the arrow coming at me was hard to judge distance and speed. I got hit in the leg, and it hurt quite a bit. For the children’s sake, use foam balls on the ends of your arrows. They will be much softer. If the adults are going to be using them, by all means, go ahead and use the chair stoppers!!! We had a BLAST!!

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