How to Make an Arrow of Light Award





Introduction: How to Make an Arrow of Light Award

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

The Arrow Of Light is the highest award a Cub Scout can earn. After completing the requirements it’s presented to him before he moves onto Boy Scouts. I recently had the task of making 8 awards. I was able to find plenty of examples but very few tutorials. This instructable should give you a starting point if you’re making awards yourself. Each award cost me just under $8.00 to make though it will also depend what you already have on hand.

Step 1: Arrow of Light Template

I started out by modifying an image so it would work out as a template. That image was opened in excel and printed out. I included the file incase you need it. I arranged the printout how I wanted it, taped them together and cut them out with a razor blade.

Next I Traced the stencil I made onto a piece of MDF. I then used a scroll saw to cut out the stencil. Finally I sanded out any chatter marks within the template.

Step 2: Routing the Arrow of Light

For this part you need a router set up with a template guide bushing. You can get that bushing kit at any hardware store. The router bit you use depends on what look you want. I started out with a round bit but decided it looked better with a strait bit.

Clamp the template to the wood your using. I’m using pine. With the router set at the depth you want, run the router though the template. Make sure the router is completely stopped before you lift it to see your work. Otherwise you risk damaging the template. To make things easier I used a vacuum to pick up the saw dust.

Lastly, use a round over bit to ease the edges. Don't forget your safety gear.

Step 3: Paint and Sand

Find some blue and yellow paint. Paint in the arrow and light beam. You don’t have to be too careful because the excess will be sanded off.

Keep in mind that the paint will seep into the grain along the edge just a tiny bit. You’ll get a clean edge with a sander but it’s not going to sharp %100 sharp due the nature of how pine soaks up paint.

Step 4: Make an Arrow

To make the arrows I used wooden dowel rod, sheet metal, nylon cord, and electrical tape.

Make a silhouette like you would a paper heart. Trace it onto the metal and cut it out. Use a ball peen hammer to texture the metal. Heat all the arrowheads with a torch until they discolor. Use sand paper to remove some of the oxidation from the surface. Grind off any sharp edges. Taper the dowel at the end where the arrowhead is going to go. Use a scroll saw to cut a groove in the end of the dowel. Place the arrowhead into the slit and tie it off with a constrictor knot. I also applied some hot glue on the back.

To make the feather part I overlapped electrical tape, cut it to size, put it on, and cut it to shape. The arrow stripes were printed on computer paper and attached to the shaft with clear packing tape.

Step 5: Make the Name Plate

The name plates were cut on a table saw out of Plexi-glass. Make sure to apply masking tape on both sides of the plexi-glass where the saw blade will cut through it. Remove the protective covering and with a round over bit in your router, make a random jagged edge. Lightly sweep the edge with a torch flame to smooth the edge. Drill holes in the corners to accommodate the brass tacks.

Use photo paper to print out what you want the award to say. Place the photo paper on the award and the plate over it. Secure it with the tacks and use a razor blade to cut away the excess photo paper.

Lastly, screw in eye hooks to the top edge. Use nylon cord to serve as a way to hang the award and to tie in the arrow. Good Luck.



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    Here are the plaques we made for our boys, we are very proud of them.

    4 replies

    if you don’t mind could you share the dimensions of the plaque?

    MarkZ15--What did you use to adhere the patches and belt loops to the wood? And how did you attach the Webelos colors/pin? Your presentation looks great!

    We used contact cement to adhere patches and name plates. Belt loops were attached to the belts that we cut and stapled to the wood. Colors were hammered in by the push pins.

    Awesome! Great job.

    Thank you for this post, it was very useful. This was a great reference to use in making the router template to cut the plaques that my graduating cub scouts are going to get this year. Thank you Again from the leadership at Pack 224. Hope to see more posts from you in the future.

    Anyone who was looking for a nice plaque for an Arrow of Light Award. Before you become a Boy Scout (Middle school and high School Age) you are a cub scout. The highest rank you can achieve as a cub scout is your Arrow of Light.

    We just had our Arrow of Light ceremony and I couldn't have been more happy with the outcome. The total cost was $15 per plaque.

    I purchased bone arrowheads and sinew from and Flu-Flu fletches from That made the price for the arrows around $8, but I really like how they came out.

    I could not have made the awards without your Instructable.


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    1 reply

    I remember reading this comment through my email but I just now saw your pictures. You did a great job. The arrows turned out very nice. I'm glad this was of help to you. Thanks for sharing. Brent

    Fantastic. I've got 9 scouts crossing over in a couple months and I wanted to build them the awards instead of buying one. This fits the bill nicely. I might try to fletch some real feathers on the arrow, but the blue and gold looks nice too.


    Those are gorgeous! You should be very proud, and I know it will be a memorable event for the boys. If they were like me, they'll hold onto that award for a very long time. Nice job.

    1 reply

    Spray the routed arrow & light beam with clear acrylic first to prevent paint seepage

    1 reply

    That's a great idea. Thanks.

    These are great, a lot better than the tacky awards I see at some cross overs. Still, I gotta say, mine is better. Back when I was a Webelos there was a guy in our patrol that was a Cabnet Maker, and he had a CNC in his shop. He cut out the award on really high end walnut then routed the shapes on the CNC much like you did above, then had metal plaques engraved and mounted to the board, then each scout made their own arrow and attached them. It was good fun and is a treasured keepsake. Still hanging on my wall.
    Great instructable!

    We have an Arrow of Light at Pack Meeting this next week. It reminded me to fix the award shield (30 year tradititon for our Pack) and get it off to the Cubs parents. I also need to finish his arrow to hold the shield. Thanks so much for the reminder. And very good job!

    very cool! im the senior patrol leader of my troop and im going to a cross over tomorrow for the cub scouts

    That's awesome! I bet they loved them. I would have been very excited to get such a fancy award when I was younger. :)