How to Make a Simple Bow & Arrows With Sticks

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Bows and arrows are ancient implements of hunting and war. They have also been used in archery competitions, and remain popular today. Children frequently make their own versions of bows and arrows, and play at being Native Americans or medieval knights. Making simple bows and arrows requires little more than sticks.

Things You'll Need

  • Sticks
  • String
  • Search for a suitable sapling. The sapling must be flexible and strong. It must be able to bear the tension of the bowstring without splitting or warping. Test the sapling by bending it in your hands. If it breaks, discard it. If you are able to make one end touch the other, it is too weak. Fresh wood is best. Also, look for wood that does not have too many little projections or knobs. A rough piece will be unwieldy and uncomfortable to hold.

  • Cut nocks near the end of your bow. Nocks are narrow slits for holding the bowstring. Select a string that is strong and flexible. You can make string out of grass or bark. Twist the strips together first in one direction and then the other. Take the bowstring and tie it to the nocks. See if it springs back into place. If not, select a more pliable material.

  • Gather some small sticks to make the arrows with. These sticks should be straight and tapering. They should also be stiff and smooth. If necessary, remove any rough spots or knots. Trim the thicker end to a rough point. You want it to look like the point of a pencil.

  • Cut nocks, or slits, at the other end of the arrow. The nock will be the part of the arrow that rests against the bowstring. You can add feathers to your arrow to make it fly straighter. Cut thin fletching slits along the nock end of the arrow. Find some feathers and trim them to an angular shape. Insert these feathers into the fletching slits. Your arrows are now ready to use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cut small sheets of metal into the shape of arrows, and attach them to the head of your arrow shafts. You might also try making arrowheads out of flint.
  • Children should be careful with bows and arrows. Even a simple bow can cause injury.
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