Introduction: How to Make an Arrow for Under $10

Picture of How to Make an Arrow for Under $10

This Instructable gives you good instructables to make a goodworking arrow for under $10. The pictures should hopefully explain what the finished prouct should look like once you've completed it.

Step 1: Tools and Objects Needed to Make the Arrow

Picture of Tools and Objects Needed to Make the Arrow

To buy these objects you can find them in your local hardware shop:

1.Metre long wooden dowel.
3.Super glue
4.Thin string
5.Stanley knife

You can find the feathers needed in a carpark or you can buy official feathers from archery stores.(You need three feathers for one arrow.)

Instead of buying thin string something that is even better is the string found underneath the grip on the handle of a cricket bat, which I used in my instructable.

Step 2: Make the Actual Arrow

Picture of Make the Actual Arrow

1.Make a mark a centimetre in from the end as a position where you should stick the feather.

2.Tear the fluff off one side of the feather and do the same for the other two.

3.Gently squeeze a thin layer of glue all along the bottom of the feather and again do the same for the others and arrange them like this:

Step 3: Making the Actual Arrow

Picture of Making the Actual Arrow

4. Then using your string wind about a centimetre of it infront of your arrow and then start going up onto the arrow giving it more support and giving it the authentic look, then wind another bit at the end of the arrow to keep it secure.

5. Using your tape just cover the bits of string at the beginning and end of the arrow to make sure the string doesn't come loose.

The feathers once finished should look like this:

Step 4: Finishing the Arrow Off

Picture of Finishing the Arrow Off

To finish the arrow off, fist of all cut a notch on the end of the arrow that is going vertically with one feather going at three o'clock to it.

To make a point at the end you could just sharpen it off with your stanleyd knife or buy an arrow head from an archery store.

The finished product should look like this(The arrow head is not included in this instructable) :


SkidinDINGO (author)2011-11-17

i have a question and a recommendation my question is can i shorten these up and use them in my crossbow and also maybe use braided fishing line because 20 pound test braid will only be about as thick as a thread, wont stretch, wont rot, will make great knots, and is only like 15 bucks for 200ish yards

eruger (author)SkidinDINGO2015-02-15

I'd use a strong button or upholstery thread myself, at a few bucks a spool. It doesn't stretch like nylon. And nylon braid stretches even more. So it'll loosen up with use. I would make sure I had an strong hardwood if your crossbow has any strength to it, or buy bundled arrow shafts. (readily available for DIY fletchers on the web). Also, I believe that since bolts are shorter, they are usually made of heavier material to improve accuracy and power.

billbobaggens (author)2010-07-17

ok well i do archery i have 2 compound bows.. i buy my arrows for $4 AU.... so whats the point of this.. my arrows are pre set up and are fiberglass.. so im not trying to be mean i appreciate what you have done but it would be quicker and easier to just buy them.. but good instructable.

You get a good feeling when you make something then use it, its much better than anything you can buy, although these arrows are no good for you and me as we both use compound bows and wood arrows shatter on impact

eruger (author)Assassin Tube2015-02-15

The usually unidentified 'hardwood' in dowels is usually pretty easily broken, yeah. Not claiming expertise above the boy scout level, but if ash arrows were strong enough for a longbow that could run over 100lbs draw, couldn't they handle a compound? Though I seem to recall they'd be fire-hardened. Would that make them stronger as well as stiffer? I don't know. Deflection of course is another issue, so you wouldn't want flexible arrows with a compound bow, they'd just wreck your accuracy, right?

eruger (author)billbobaggens2015-02-15

Well, then there's the zombie-pocalypse appeal. Let's be honest

fmoser (author)2014-12-12

let me see..

good wooden shaft 1.50$

screw on arrowhead 0.60$

feathers: 3x 20c

nock: 25c

thats 2.95$ for an arrow thats actualy good, if you know how to build..

NinjaMaster235 (author)2013-08-03

Wouldn't that be too heavy? I have no knowledge of guns or ammunition so it's just a guess.

Subdood (author)NinjaMaster2352014-04-21


ethiran (author)2012-02-23


aweis (author)2011-06-25

how sturdy are the shafts?

skimmo (author)2011-06-02

i was thinking this morning could you make arrow tip by cutting a bullet sell in half and leave to projectile in the end then gluing the whole thing onto the end to make a field tip

Notbob (author)2008-11-05

who cares how it looks? So long as it works, it fine by me. Also, im pretty sure what ever your shooting these at doesn't care very much..

thebluemartyr (author)Notbob2008-11-05

i suppose, but the feathers all wrecked like that cant be good for the aerodynamics...

crazykiddo (author)thebluemartyr2011-06-01

ur right the way these arrows fletching looks really detestable it a whooole lot i made one even though i knew it wouldn't work properly and guess what did it work not even if i shoot from a foot away (i did i missed and i can shoot a bow btw haven't ever missed a bulls eye as soon as i got my long bow a year ago and ive been shooting for 2 years)any ways if u wont that way to work make sure u put the string right in between the feather-lets and refluf them

*** not to say i wouldn't make one or two** il take a cheap arrow any day, but i would def get laughed at for having funky homemade arrows

dagyboy (author)2011-02-27

i am looking 2 buy a heap of arrows, do u sell them? regards steve

Illamadi (author)dagyboy2011-02-28

Hi steve ! Sorry no - don't this was just a small projectn did you finf this instructable useful ? Did you make some of your own ?

dagyboy (author)Illamadi2011-02-28

thanks 4 ya reply mate, no i havnt made any as yet. so where abouts ru from? regards steve

Illamadi (author)dagyboy2011-03-07

No problem! Yeah I'm from cheshire in the north of England, what about you ?

dagyboy (author)Illamadi2011-03-07

hey there, i was from yeovil sommerset. but now i live in australia. i have all my rellies over there still though. regards steve

akoutdoors (author)2010-12-28

All im going to say about the feathers is to not use eagle feathers here in the us... nuff siad

georion (author)2010-01-17

Why make an arrow 'Under $10"--can buy one between 4  and 1 dollars !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

woohoman232 (author)georion2010-06-10

yea a cheep one that breaks a good wooden arrow or a fiberglass arrow cost 9-11 dollars depending on size strength brand and materials. it might cost between 4 and 1 dollar/s at the dollar store but they break if you look at them wrong.

Fender39 (author)woohoman2322010-07-12

i get aluminum arrows for around 2 buck each and not one has broke

georion (author)woohoman2322010-06-18

not so-----$4 at reputable store--reputable arrow $1 ?? 300 Great arrows for $300 from manufacturer Dollar store comment Not acceptable !!!!!!

greymatter21 (author)georion2010-06-22

its called im

greymatter21 (author)2010-06-22

sum ppl may think this is sh*tty looking...but i like it:Dit reminds me of the arrows the goblins in lord of the rings used

lebelt (author)2008-03-20

DO NOT SHOOT THESE! EVER!!! As a avid archer (300+ arrows a week) I can tell you that if you shoot these they WILL break and potentially cause sever injury. Using a dowl form a hardware store is bad, they are made of many different woods and the grain goes in every which direction. That causes the arrow to be weak. Real wooden arrows are made of ceader wood were the grain runs with the shaft of the arrow, these shafts cannot be bought at home depo or any other hardware store. If you want to make your own arrows get all your supplies form a archery shop, they will sell you everything you need. Also never shoot wooden arrows out of a compound bow or a cross bow.

Cubie2 (author)lebelt2009-11-16

never. though that is only because they have more zing than actual force. my 70Lbs. recurve shoots em fast and they just fracture on a rock if they go through the target. they split in half and it absorbs the shock... It is not like it is going to explode... That why I hate fiber arrows. (Carbon FIBER, FIBER glass, etc.) now THEY REALLY have a tendency to blow up- shrapnel in every direction. I am an avid archer as well. so don't use wood with a cross bow or a compound but seriously... High pound recurve are just fine AS LONG AS THE GRAIN IS THE RIGHT WAY!!! Get rid of the tip though- now THAT IS a hazard... get a real one.

woohoman232 (author)Cubie22010-06-10

i like long bows recurve and compound but i use fiberglass and there just fine but i have a 50 poung compund so thats a difference there go COMPOUNG LONG AND RECURVE BOW!!!

woohoman232 (author)lebelt2010-06-10

hes right i sugesset ceder or fiberglass arrows with rubber or feather fletches( the feathers) with a plastic nock (the slit on the end)

PLUCK YEW (author)lebelt2009-01-13

Cedar is not the only wood used for making steles (arrow shafts) I could name 20 or so different woods used for the application, -do a google search- tell me why is it not safe to fire an arrow from a crossbow? Quarrels or bolts are made from heavier gauge wood 23/64"++ or are you one of these people who listen to know-it-alls that no nothing at all about arrowsmithing and fletching - maybe you should read a little medieval history on archery before making extreme subjective comments.

Cubie2 (author)PLUCK YEW2009-11-16

Ha! now this guy knows what he is talking about. Also use a recurve compound bows SUCK!

gnose (author)lebelt2009-01-19

A compound bow can shoot wooden arrows as long as the arrow's spine is slightly higher than other wooden arrows, and the grain is straight, clear and intact.

NRen2k5 (author)gnose2009-10-25

"Slightly higher than other wooden arrows"? Arrows are supposed to be spined specifically for the bow and archer they're intended to be shot by.

Sure, it's possible to shoot wood arrows from a compound bow. You just need to be sure they're of the correct spine.

gnose (author)NRen2k52009-10-25

Sorry for the misunderstanding; I was just suggesting that it is possible to fire wooden arrows from a compound bow without damage to either piece of equipment, as long as the arrow is stiffer than one meant for a recurve with the same poundage, for example.

Besides, you could pick up half decent carbon-shaft arrows for a bit over $10 anyway. Most likely will be below match grade, but definitely a lot better than hardware store-bought dowel.
Anyone who makes this for actual use will probably have more luck using it to stab stuff; I played around with these a lot before I became involved with proper archery

lebelt (author)lebelt2008-03-20

10 bucks a arrow is expensive for wooden arrows, however you get a mid range carbon fiber arrow for about this. High end arrows run form 15$-40$ per arrow. arrows are almost all sold either by the 6 or by the dozen, this is to make sure you have a matched set.

thebigone48 (author)2010-05-25

Yo they work it awesome and my feathers looked like crap to

NRen2k5 (author)2009-10-25

I make wood arrows myself, with the parts (e.g. feathers, nocks, points) bought pre-made from archery shops and with glue from the local hardware store or even Wal-Mart.

Total cost for me is a little under $7 CDN per arrow. That's about $6.70 USD or £4.10 GBP. That's including the cost of glues and varnish and even the shipping from online stores.

I'm working on an instructable of my own, actually.

NRen2k5 (author)2009-10-25

1 ft? Woah, 2 or 3 inches is enough.

Notbob (author)2008-11-05

is it possible to replace the feathers with a reletively stiff plastic? (like the stuff milk jugs are mad from?)

NRen2k5 (author)Notbob2009-10-25

Possible, but not advisable. A stiff plastic will probably scratch the heck out of the bow or your hand.

masterochicken (author)Notbob2009-01-19

That seems like a pretty good idea.

Blaaken (author)2009-02-01

if you put them on at an angle to the side, did you know it will cause the arrow to spin causing it to go faster and if you intend to hunt, cause more damage, but don't put TOO MUCH angle on it other wise it will SLOW it down and cause it to do LESS damage, or if done wrong, could cause your arrow to just fly off and miss completely

NRen2k5 (author)Blaaken2009-10-25

Making the arrow spin doesn't make it go faster. What it does is stabilizes it.

The reason helical and/or more angled fletching is used for hunting is to compensate for the destabilizing effect of the broadhead.

airsoftjunke (author)2009-02-24

wouldent the dart destableize the arrow in flight

outsidedude (author)2009-01-29

i can make better ones for free do you want me to tell you how.

jasontimmer (author)2008-12-03

This can be very dangerous. Setting aside the obvious inconsistencies in each arrow which will cause each one to fly differently, and make it more likely you will miss or injure an animal, you also have to take into account "archer's paradox." When you fire an arrow from a bow, it bends quite a bit. If you shoot an arrow made from hardware store dowels out of a bow made for hunting, the arrow is going to explode and embed shards of wood in your hand. Nice instructable, but this can be dangerous if used stupidly.

nickliew (author)2008-12-02

erm... where u get and wad feathers is this?

About This Instructable




More by Illamadi:The best match rocket ever!!How to make an arrow for under $10
Add instructable to: