I saw some gaudy heart-shaped balloons the other day, and my inner-imp thought it would be wonderful to pop them. And since Cupid pierced people's hearts with shafts of love, the natural method of balloon popping that came to mind was "Shoot them with arrows!"
I guess this is a bit perverse for a Valentine's Day project, but I'm sure some of you have had similar desires to pop a few heart-shaped balloons.
(I didn't actually pop them.)
I grew up in urban/suburban areas, and never had much of a yard for archery, so I improvised as a kid. I grabbed some bamboo skewers, a few sewing needles, floss and glue, and made myself little bow+arrow kits that would work wonderfully in my bedroom. (All those beastly stuffed animals to hunt and all.)
The general idea: a single skewer will be made into a bow, and the rest of the skewers will be cut in half to make arrows.
Step 1: Disclaimer & Materials Needed
I had considered writing this instructable down to the tiniest detail (e.g. what knots I used to tie what), but then I thought "If someone can't figure out some of this on his own, he has no right to be shooting little needle-pointed arrows around in the first place."
I am not responsible for your stupidity.
Even as a seven year old I didn't skewer any living things with my arrows, so you don't have much of an excuse.
These things shoot at pretty high velocity and fly very unpredictably and can ricochet. From five feet away, I got an arrow firmly lodged in a solid wood door. These things will go upwards of 10 feet.
So, you'll probably need:
Bamboo skewers (minimum 6")
Floss or upholstery thread (as a kid, I totally had mint-y, plaque fighting arrows.)
Some blister-pack plastic or stiff paper
Super glue, white glue
Step 2: Skewer Prep.
Get a skewer. Cut notches into the sides of the skewer, about 1/4 inch from the ends: this will be where your bow string is tied, and you don't want it slipping off.
Get a second skewer. Cut it in half. Take the end without the point-y bit, sharpen it. Now you have two point-y half-skewers.
Step 3: Making It Pointy
Cut a groove into the two halves: this is where the needle will sit. You will probably want half the needle sticking out, but adjust the length of the groove as you will. No need to cut it all that deep, just enough to cradle the needle.
(If you happen to have fairly unequal halves, cut the groove into the stouter half.)
Place the needle into groove. Dab some superglue on to hold in place.
Grab about 10 inches floss (you'll probably want leftover string at the end--it makes things easier to tie) and tie the needle towards the eye-end to one half of the skewer. Glue. Sandwich the floss between the two halves, start wrapping. Tie off and glue.
Step 4: Stick Some Tail-feathers On
Cut out fletching from paper/plastic. Dab some white glue on either side, slide into not-pointy-end of arrows. Leave some space at the end of the skewer so that when the arrow is on the bowstring, the fletching isn't getting in the way.
Grab about 6 inches of floss, tie the two skewer halves together at the far end of the arrow and wrap the floss around a few times, trail the floss to the other end of the fletching, wrap a few more times, trail it back, wrap and tie. Glue.
Step 5: Oh, Right. the Bow.
Go back to your bow skewer. Take 10 inches of floss, tie securely to one end of bow. Bend bow slightly (the curve should be about/less-than one inch deep) and tie other end. Glue. Lots of glue.
Let bow and arrows dry.
Step 6: Arrow Variations
-If you have a longer skewer with which to make a bow, keep the shorter skewers full-length to make arrows
-You needn't needle-point the arrows, but you will want extra weight at the point-end, so come up with some other weighting method
-You can try splitting the arrow skewers into thirds and fletch them with the triple fletching real arrows usually have
Step 7: Have Fun
Shoot things. Carefully.