How to Make a Bow and Arrow out of Sticks in 6 Easy Steps!

how to make a bow and arrows out of sticks

The bow is the world’s earliest hunting weaponry that has been used by Native American warriors to Ottoman armies. Even if it can’t compete with modern weaponry, a traditional bow can protect you if you have ever been forced to hunt and survive in the wild. But do you know How to make a bow and arrow out of sticks?

If you’ve always wanted to be an archer but couldn’t afford to buy or rent a good bow and arrow, here’s how you can make your own! And this may come in handy for fans of The Hunger Games who aspire to be like Katniss Everdeen in the film.

With this freshly made bow set, you can enjoy the sensation of holding a bow while also bragging to your friends!


Step-by-Step Guidelines to Make a Bow and Arrow out of Sticks

Get the Wooden Base

This is the most important component of a bow. You can’t just pick any old piece of wood and expect it to be perfect. Here are a few things you should consider before getting the wooden base-

The bow’s base should be a thick, preferably old, tree branch. However, it should not be so old that it has gray or cracks. You can use any strong tree branches such as lemon, teak, yew, oak, juniper, and so on. Just keep in mind that the piece you are taking should not have any knots and should not be too thick to bend. Something flexible but strong will be the ideal match.

The branch’s length should be equal to your height. For example, if you are 6 feet tall, you should also take the wood that is 6 feet tall. Some people make bows out of bamboo, which is perfectly fine. Bamboo is highly flexible, but branches such as oak or lemon are much stronger than bamboo.

You can also use freshly cut branches, but they will not be as strong as the dried ones. You can also use fire smoke to dry the branch. However, if you are not a professional, the branch may bend horribly. So, it will be best to cut a branch of your choice and sundry it for a week.

Find out the Stick’s Natural Curve

There will be a natural bend in every wooden branch, no matter how big or small. This curve will dictate where the bow’s major components will be placed when you build it. To determine the curve of your chosen wooden piece, just place one end of it on the ground and hold the other one with your hand. Now press the end you are holding atop lightly; you will see a curve in the very middle of the wood. While holding it, mark it with the assistance of another person.

Mark Your Limb and Handhold

This will be an important step as you try to shape your bow. The handhold is the part of the bow where you will hold it while aiming or shooting it. The handhold is primarily the center part of your bow. Since you’ve already marked the center point, you’ll need to mark three inches on both sides of the middle mark.

This is where you’ll put your hands. The upper section of the three inches will be your upper limb, and the lower section will be your lower limb.

Give Shape to the Bow

You will now shape the branch so that it resembles a bow. Remember how we measured the handhold as well as both limbs? You should now work on your limbs and determine where to make the curve for your string. This curved part is known as a notch, and you will become more familiar with it as you progress towards real bowhunting.

The best place to slit is 2-3 inches inward from both ends of the bow’s limbs. Mark the location and make 1/2-1 inch deep slits on both sides with a sharpie-like knife. Create an angled slit toward the wood.

The strongest part of your bow should be the handhold area. Otherwise, it won’t be able to withstand the tension when you pull the string.

Tie up the String

Another important component of your bow is the string. It will determine both the arrow flight and the fly strength. You must exercise caution when selecting the string type for your bow. One common misconception about bowstrings is that they should be stretchable. But the truth is quite the opposite. The string should be firm and not stretchy.

The wood rather than the string determines the strength and curviness of the bow. When you pull the string, it will be your strength that causes the string to curve.

The string may come in various materials such as nylon rope, fishing line, rawhide, hemp cord, and so on. The string should be 2-3 inches shorter than the length of the bow. It will allow the limb to tense up and fly the arrow with ferocity.

You must tie the string in the notches so that they remain secure at all times. The knot should be tied tightly, but the loop should be loose. The reason for this is that tied string causes tension on the bow limb. The limb will crack sooner if you keep the string tied with the bow all the time.

And we are done making a bow!

Let’s Make Some Arrows

You’ll need the straightest branch you can find to make arrows. The wood from which you will make the arrow should have no curves. Even a slight curve will cause it to fly in a completely different direction than you intended.

Just like with bow wood, the branches should also be dry. Make an arrow out of the dry and strong branches. The size of the arrow should be half the size of your bow. Look for mullen or goldenrod branches because they have the best branches for making arrows.

If you want your arrow to stick to something when you shoot it, you must make a pointy end. You could simply use a sharp knife to cut one end to make it pointy. If your arrow stick is too strong to shape, make a coal fire and dip the end, you want to shape.

Be careful not to burn the wood. Simply heat it up and slice it with a knife to make a pointy end. Make a half-inch deep curve on the other end of your arrow to perfectly hold it with the bowstring. If you have a feather handy, you can tie it to the back of your arrow as well. It will function similarly to fletching and will aid in the flight of your arrow.

There, now you have your own DIY Bow and arrow made out of sticks!


You might be curious to learn more about bowhunting. Archery classes are available for little or no cost at many regional sports organizations, gyms, colleges, and outreach programs. If you receive proper instruction, learning these new skills will be easier and more enjoyable. Keep yourself and others safe by not doing anything that could lead to injury. Arrows and bows are not toys; if misused, they can cause severe injury or even death.

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