Introduction: Bamboo Bow and Arrow

Picture of Bamboo Bow and Arrow

Hand crafted bow and arrow made of bamboo that looks perfectly natural. Can be fine tuned to be used as a real hunting bow hitting targets up to 50ft away (depending on the arrow used).
And it looks awesomely cool!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

What will be required to make this bow:
1. Hand saw
2. Hex saw
3. Penknife
4. Scissors
5. Hammer and Chisel
6. Machete/ Knife
7. Pencil
8. Sandpaper
9. Stool

1. Dried Bamboo (Thick and Thin) - You can make do with whatever type you have
2. Jute
3. Inner tube of a motorbike tire / Nylon string

Step 2: Main Parts

Picture of Main Parts

These require quite some hand crafting work and sweat!
How nice the overall outlook depends on your own skills and visual estimation...

[For midsection main frame]
1. Pick a smaller bamboo (a little smaller than your palms can grasp) and cut out both sides with a hand saw and chisel. Like in the picture =).
2. (Optional) Trim out another half of it to make it look like a gradient from full bamboo to quarter of the bamboo
3. (Optional) Cut out a dovetail ? its that what its called for the arrow to pass through in the middle

[For upper and lower LIMBS which bends and gives the elastic power]
1. Pick a full rounded bamboo with a diameter of 3 - 4 inches and split out 2 strips of about 0.5 - 8 inch thick. The length also depends on how long you want your bow to be.
2. Shave it out using a penknife so it becomes about 0.1-.0.2 inches thick. Depending on the hardness of your bamboo. You will know when you are able to bend bamboo a little.
3. Cut out lines/ channels for your string / rope , in my case inner rubber tube using a hex saw / penknife

[For front on midsection]
1. Cut out another piece of the full rounded bamboo slightly shorter than the main frame, this will act as a pivot to make the other frames bend more. Refer to picture

**The measurement really depends on what kind bow u want to make. If you need a really powerful force, then have it thicker, but keep in mind the thicker, the harder to bend, and your string has to be really strong too.

This bow was made for a short distance light shot ( to shoot a balloon ) for an event opening ceremony, not to hunt ducks.

Step 3: Put Them Together

Picture of Put Them Together

1.Tie the main frame and frame cover together with jute

2.Then tie the limbs, first tie them to the ends of the main frame so they bend something like this /-\

3. Overlap the limbs a little over the frame cover and tie them up, you can use the rubber tubing (cut out in a thin strip for this). This gives even more flexibility to the bow and more elastic power besides only the bending of the bamboo.

Step 4: String It

Picture of String It

In this example i am using the inner rubber tube of a motorcycle. You can get this from most bike shops. They throw it away and its free! You just need to get your hands dirty and cut em up.

Nylon string would be a much better choice since they don't expand as much, fishing ropes will do too... whatever depending on your needs =)

I used a sheetband knot (boy scouts should know!) at the end so it would no come off so easily

And i did not tie the strings to the bow, so it means i can remove the string and change it whenever i want, depending on the situation, and it also helps relieve the stress on the bow n string =)

Step 5: The Arrows

Picture of The Arrows

1.Split of some of the thicker bamboos and shave it down till it looks like an arrow. The straighter the better.

2. Use the hex saw to carve a groove on the back on the arrow

However bamboo arrows don't fly that well unless u add some stuff to it. for example a heavier pointed head and aerodynamic "functional feathers" My arrows don't fly straight... its because they don't spin when they are launched. The spinning motion is what allows it to fly in a straight trajectory. The same applies to rockets and bullets, they spin!

Step 6: Done!

Picture of Done!

Now go out shooting, be warned, these can be dangerous toys.

I have actually made a mini bamboo catapult and a 10ft tall trebuchet too!
All out of bamboo =) they are fun

msg me or mail me if you have questions


Matthias2345 (author)2017-05-09

How long does it take to make this?

Tasoulenko (author)2014-09-12

I made a mistake and the first time i went to the store I bought the thickest nylon string. I now have just the right thin string but I have 2 meters leftover string :/ can I recycle the thick string by using it to tie the bow together or must I use the jute ?

GDADZGSONS (author)2013-02-07

What is the draw weight?

gricerocket (author)GDADZGSONS2014-07-05

The draw weight on that bow is most likely 15-20lbs*. I've made bows out of green bamboo before (about 5-6 feet long) and the draw on those is only 20-25lbs. The dried/cured bamboo is stronger but I judge that bow to be only about 4 1/2 feet. *Keep in mind the inner tube "string" will reduce the power as it stretches vs. string, sinew or braided vine...

fallout-fanboy #1 (author)2012-10-22


nike05 (author)2012-06-25

Very nice ... bro :)

koay (author)2012-06-23

How to make the arrow

curvy77 (author)2011-10-31

huh, nice one man! i never tried that before. when i used bamboo i attempted a spear but could never get it quite right. got any tips?

Nixion (author)curvy772012-05-01

Did u try straghtening it?

curvy77 (author)Nixion2012-05-01

|( No i tried sticking it inside an outlet to see if i could use it to charge my car. Piece was straight, but bamboo is partialy hollow so didnt know how to go about forming a point without tieing one on.

Nixion (author)curvy772012-05-27

try a four pronged spear
y know the ones with four seperate points
search it on google you should get plenty of results
i did make one few months ago it was great for fishing
[sorry for the late reply]

curvy77 (author)Nixion2012-05-29

i think thats called a trident but pretty sure im wrong. never thought about multiple points. thnx for the idea.

Nixion (author)curvy772012-06-03

Your welcome
i have some experience with using bamboo

Ting Shen (author)2011-10-26

Cool , ur bow looks tradisional and it look like chinese hand made bow ! Thx for sharing because i make a bamboo bow from ur information.

sarnasalam (author)2011-05-09

Hw u doing mAn < wht thing's need to mke a prefect bow n arrow.....thks mn !

jpereira11 (author)sarnasalam2011-08-16

nice mustache

sarnasalam (author)2011-05-09

it's wonder......well doing ,nc mn ~

handyman22 (author)2009-10-04

hey i was just wondering, which type of rope/string should i use for a very strong and effective bow, preferable so it can be accurate and go as far as it can. I would like to try use fishing line, but would nylon string be the best choice??

dustindodd (author)handyman222011-05-02

550 paracord. fishing line will cut your fingers.

soliloquy (author)handyman222009-10-23

 Its best if you can get something like the real bow string. Fishing lines might be some trouble to tie

williskid (author)2010-07-30

what type of bamboo did you use, i live in the tropics and so there is only 2 types of bamboo, a stupid kind and a even stupider kind. XD

Mikedood (author)2010-07-28

Havent made one yet, but from what i've heard, 550 paracord works pretty well for a bowstring

sockless (author)2010-06-22

Do you have any idea how many pounds or Kgs of force are required to pull this bow fully back?

TheBlackSharpie (author)2010-01-26

Would braiding 20lb test monofilament work as an alternative to real string?

cavaliere (author)2010-01-20

what pound test does this have (approximately)?

kraggle (author)2009-04-23

What is the test on this bow, just wondering because usually hunting deer requires at least a fifty or sixty pound test...

soliloquy (author)kraggle2009-04-24

erm i never tested it that way,
The main problem is getting a good arrow, so far none of my arrows fly straight for more than 10ft =P
But if you used a nylon string instead of the flexible rubber i used, and got an aerodynamic spinning arrow, im sure it can take down a rabbit! LoLs
I'm sure it would for a deer too, just i wouldn't do that unless i was really desperate for food =D

if you want a more accurate arrow you need to give it some sort of drag in the back such as fletchings or simply a bunch of yarn bits tied to the back and glued in place. Use some hair and paint it black and you have a ork arrow. the better the fletching the more accurate the arrow. straightness of the arrow matters very little in comparison to fletching.

kraggle (author)soliloquy2009-04-24

You do know what a test for a bow is, right? Anyway, a real good bamboo bow should go at least forty yards. If you are trying to make a good arrow and cannot get a straight shaft I would have to suggest using a dowel, lol...well thanks for the instructable.

bubba j (author)kraggle2009-07-05

no thirty fiv eto forty leagal

kraggle (author)bubba j2009-07-05

Please, could you at least take the time to write what you are thinking instead of bashing the keyboard to vomit out what you call words, theres even a spell check on here so just click it... but yes, the legal test for a bow is thirty-five to forty pounds.

bubba j (author)kraggle2009-07-13

ya sorry mr. bossy

lmuli3 (author)2009-06-10

plz make an instructable for the catapult

jerseyman (author)2009-03-24

Nice looking bow, A couple of questions,1 what diameter bamboo for the handle section and length.what size bamboo for the limbs , are they flatten. THANKS JERSEY MAN

soliloquy (author)jerseyman2009-04-10

The bamboo i am using is a different breed, they grow at most up to 2inches in diameter. the one i used for the handle is about 1inch in dameter and the limbs are actually splitted from a 2inch diameter bamboo (1 full bamboo can make 4-8 limbs) i dont think there is a way to "flatten" bamboo hehe more over full rounded bamboos are hard to bend unless they are less than 0.5 inches thick

BillyK12 (author)2009-02-11

how long does it last?

soliloquy (author)BillyK122009-02-12

it depends on the materials you use.
i find that the rubber looses elasticity and it also degrades over time,
so if you replace that with some other material, it would last longer =)

ItsTheHobbs (author)2009-02-09

Nice bow, it looks really nice!

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