Introduction: How to Make a Bow and Arrow--10 Steps Only

Picture of How to Make a Bow and Arrow--10 Steps Only

Making a bow and arrow is not difficult, all you need is patience and focusing on the work.

I divide the course into 2 parts, i.e, making a bow and making an arrow.

Let’s get started now.

How to make a bow and arrow

Part 1. How to make a bow.

Here I would like to share the way fo make a simple Glass Fiber Bow.

Step 1: Step 1--Get a Wood

Picture of Step 1--Get a Wood

Get a wood and plane the surface first. Then Outline the Bow Shaft and Tip.

Step 2: Step 2--Cutting the Wood

Picture of Step 2--Cutting the Wood

Cut the wood according to the outline, after cutting them out, polish the surface.

Step 3: Step 3-Arrange the Material to Make a Bow

Picture of Step 3-Arrange the Material to Make a Bow

Material List:

Glass Fiber Sheet;

Wooden Bow Tip&Shaft;

AB Glue(or Epoxy Resin);



Protective glove ( you don’t want the glass fiber to hurt your hand, right? ) ;

G Clamp;

Half Round File and Broach File(optional).

Step 4: Step 4--Polish the Bow Tip and Shaft for 2 Rounds

Picture of Step 4--Polish the Bow Tip and Shaft for 2 Rounds

In the first round, use 400 Grit Sandpaper to mill off the edges and corners, especially the on the String Groove.
In the second round, use 2000 Grit Sandpaper to make the Bonding Area of Wood and Glass Fiber rough ( in order to make them bond more firm by AB Glue ).

Step 5: Step 5--Glue the Bow Tip and Shaft Onto the Glass Fiber Sheet

Picture of Step 5--Glue the Bow Tip and Shaft Onto the Glass Fiber Sheet

Use AB Glue to bond the bow tip to the glass fiber sheet, and then wrap it firmly by bandages and wires, and then wait 12 hours to let the glue show its bonding power.

Then unwrap the wires and bandage, polish the bonding area. Spray some water to the File to avoid lots of dust during polishment. After polishment, wash the bonding area by water.

Step 6: Step 6--Glue the Bow Shaft to the Glass Fiber Sheet.

Picture of Step 6--Glue the Bow Shaft to the Glass Fiber Sheet.

Use the above mentioned method to glue the Bow Shaft to the Glass Fiber Sheet.

A. Find out the Centre Point of the Bow by measure first, then use G Clamp to fix the boding area.
B. Wait 24 hours after glue, otherwise the Glass Fiber Sheet and Wooden Shaft will easily get apart.
C. You can use some shim to protect the Glass Fiber Sheet.

Step 7: Step 7--Wrap

Picture of Step 7--Wrap

Wrap the cowhide first, then wrap the Nylon and Twine
(nylone for fixing the cowhide, Twine just for making the bow seems more traditional).

Step 8: Step 8--Paint

Picture of Step 8--Paint

Paint the wood until it will not absorb the paint oil anymore.
For this bow, I use Edible Oil as it’s easy to get for everyone.

Step 9: Step 9--Draw the String--The Final Step

Picture of Step 9--Draw the String--The Final Step

I bought a finished string from the market because it seems just a waste of time for making string by myself.
( You can make a string by yourself, it’s also easy )

Step 10: Final Result

Picture of Final Result

That's it.

It only will need 2~3 days for making a similar bow.
It’s a Simple Bow for practice purpose, its Draw Weight is about 35 lbs.
I can make the draw weight to 50lbs or above, however it will high standard Glass Fiber Sheet,which means more costs. As this is just a sample case, I choose material with lowest cost.The total cost of materials I spent on is about US$50.

For more hand made bow, you can visit my website.

This bow is kind of composite bow, not like English longbow.
I'm also wondering who will win if a Chinese Composite Bow VS a English Longbow. ? :-)


Maicol4891 (author)2017-10-23

Goodnight .
Could you please share the measurements of the bow you published?

Maicol4891 (author)2017-10-23

Goodnight .
Could you please share the measurements of the bow you published?

SnootsD (author)2017-07-23

Nice basic instructable, but would like to know where to get the fiberglass and specifically what kind of epoxy to use (there are LOTS of epoxies out there). Could also use a template for the wood parts. Thanks!

lčervenková (author)2017-03-18

Please, can you send me the dimensinons of the shaft and the tip at ? I realy love this instructable! ;)

Ali000 (author)2017-01-03

Fiberglass is available but for making shades and windows doors etc how much thick to use? Any one!

Arqueiroverder (author)2016-12-25

Hello, how is it going, I am a long time looking for information on how to do this bow, but I do not find information, it is very scarce, so I saw your post and found it very interesting, but it has no measurements if you can say thank you.

Dino Lover 1102 (author)2016-09-07

i recently made a Native american style bow out of a maple branch that i cut down and it is powerful i just need to make some arrows for it could ya help me out?

Day Ferran 14 (author)2016-01-30

1. I don't think that's safe, what with no arrow rest, or teaching people how to make an arm guard or finger tab, you can get a serious cut or scrape.
2. You can't just glue pieces together and expect the bow not to break when you draw and release.
3. That string has lost its twist and will snap if you shoot with it, so now you have to retwist it and wax it with a piece of leather.

1. There are lots of bows that do not have a shelf or arrow rest. This style of bow is often made and shot without rests. While some people will use shooting hand gloves or guards, arm guards, and finger tabs, gloves, or thumb rings/pads, not everyone does. Saying this bow isn't safe is like somebody showing how to make a bicycle and then saying the Instructable is not safe because they also don't show how to make a helmet and pads.

2. Most laminated bows are only held together with glue. There are few traditonal bows aside from takedowns that have mechanical fasteners as well. Some makers of bows similar to this instructable use screws or bolts along with glue, but it can be argued that these cause more problems than they help. Plus this bow isn't just glued, the nylon string is actually helping to keep the bow together where the joints could be stressed. A bow like this could be held together without glue if it's wrapped tight enough with a strong cord.

3. That string, which is pretty typical of what you'll find for fiberglass limb bows made in China, is fine as is. They are made of a long looped strand of a pretty coarse twine, probably polyester or Dacron. They don't need to be twisted, and work better if they aren't. Plus if you don't have to twist the string on a bow with siyahs (the glued on wooden tips), it's better not too. Having a really twisted string can actually cause siyah twist or misalignment over time.

Rhysmedforth (author)2016-02-02

looks like a mongolian bow

Auinger (author)2016-01-10

Can you send me the dimensinons of the shaft and the tip please at ?

HerraS1 (author)2015-09-16

Dear do u cant share me dimenstion chinese qing bow shaft and tip draw for sunherra09@gmaildotcom

jumpup_dnb_dj (author)2015-09-05

Get a wood. LOL.

KimB31 (author)2015-09-01

Hey can I get a more detailed tutorial please? I'm not sure how to pm on this app... Haha thank you :)

jlee178 (author)2014-12-11

are there any specific dimensions. or photos with a ruler. maybe template for wood pieces? I would be nice if there was a little more than here are all the pieces , put them together. Instructables usually have a few more ......instructions.

howtomakeabow (author)jlee1782015-06-09

yes, I just make a draw for the wood tips and grips. contact me and i would like to send you

LiaA1 (author)2015-05-31

I don't need it to shoot. I'm making a cosplay. I was wondering if you need the fiber glass then or if the wood would be fine? Is the fiber glass pure for shooting it?

howtomakeabow (author)LiaA12015-06-09

For cosplay, wood is ok of course, just make sure the wood you choose fit for making bow and not get cracked when string.

P.S: Use pure wood to make a traditional bow is more complicated and time consuming.

lbravo4 (author)2015-06-09

you say how to make bow and 'arrows' yet there is no arrows in this instruction. . .

howtomakeabow (author)lbravo42015-06-09

"how to make arrows" is in another post

o_z (author)2015-05-26

You can buy these things at home depot or something.

ehicks7 (author)2015-05-19

Where did you purchase your fiberglass

jasher2 (author)2015-04-23

anything on a pattern?

ThinkTankRepair (author)2015-02-17

ThinkTankRepair Matthew Lane Tripp on Facebook

ashwindec11 (author)2014-07-07

For those of you who've made it, where did you get the fiberglass? I've tried searching around but haven't had much success. I've heard


may have stuff but am not sure. Thanks!

u can get it on any hardware shop easily

Which hardware shops? I looked around a bunch of shops and the closest I got was "why don't you try a ship building shop."

waleedasif.mir (author)2015-02-09

Gregbot (author)2015-01-13


jlee178 (author)2014-12-11

dimensions of any kind would have been useful. even a ruler layed down next to the materials would make it easier to use. not to mention a more specific materials list.

dialog (author)2014-06-24

what are the sizes of the wooden pieces ?

Do you have a diagram to cut it ?

Matt428 (author)2014-05-14


howtomakeabow (author)Matt4282014-05-14

In another Instructable

sanejack (author)2014-04-19

Whats the length of the fibreglass bar?

seolfor (author)2014-04-15

Here's what I found for the fiberglass.

Awesome, thanks mates. Do you think it will be right for this project?

Personally, I think this will work for the project. I linked to the 8 foot piece, as you could get 2 bows out of it. In one of the comments, the author gave the dimensions, in millimeters, for the piece of fiberglass.

With that stated, though, I am not going to make any guarantees as I haven't tried yet. These fiberglass battens are designed to be put under tension. Each end is put into a slot in order to make a "bow" that holds up a tarp that is put over a boat during winter. This means that they are also designed to take a certain amount of weight from snow. They are strong and flexible.

Sure, I will try it out when i gain sufficient funds to try it out.

Hi. I am planning to make one of these bows but i unfortunately do not obtain any fibreglass sheet. Would it be possible to make a bow with a similar design and poundage without it?

Hello, if you have interest in making a PVC take down bow, pls send me a private message, I would like to share a copy of ebook about this to you

How would I send you a private message?

8bitMisfit (author)2014-03-19

Could you explain to me how to get more force upon impact? Or at least a blow by blow on how to do so? I'm sorry if it seems like I'm pestering. Just want it to get done right the first time without possible injury.

Tanzer26 (author)2014-03-19

For those who want to make one. The fibreglass bar looks like a 'sail batten' to me. Try a google search for 'fibreglass sail batten'.

n1cod3mus (author)2014-03-19

nice, i used to Fletch arrows, proper wooden ones with horn nocks an turkey feather and medieval bodkins which were hardened steel.

I made awesome arrows, but i was crap with a bow lol might start up again and make this bow too ;-)

Jobar007 (author)2014-03-17

Technically longbows of medieval England were composite bows. They had a layer of linen laminated to the front of the bow for strength and endurance of the wood fibers. Both bow styles have advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately the competition would come down to the more skilled archer, not the "better" bow.

This is a nice instructable, and I for one would like to know more about the fiberglass bar that is used. Could you please elaborate on that?

cudy789 (author)Jobar0072014-03-17

Some English longbows (have a D shape) were just made out of one material, commonly yew or a similar type of wood. However they would still have a backing of some sort, such as linen.

omnibot (author)cudy7892014-03-18

I seem to remember something about the longbows being cut so that the outer, softer wood, and the harder corewood became a naturally laminated spring.

Jobar007 (author)omnibot2014-03-19

Right. That's because European Yew (Taxus baccata) is good in that regard. I'm not sure about other species of Yew, but I would assume that they are similar. The sapwood of EY is very good at resisting tension; the heartwood is very good at resisting compression. When combined properly, it made for a very good bow. They were still usually backed with linen because it would help keep the fibers from pulling out as well as provide extra tension on the flat of the D.

Jobar007 (author)cudy7892014-03-18

Right. If you have more than one material bonded together, then you have a composite. I may be approaching it from an engineering point of view, but a composite is a composite. An unbacked self bow on the other hand...

About This Instructable




Bio: Handmade traditional recurve bows, contact me if interested
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