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!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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!

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

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Cardboard Speed Challenge

      Cardboard Speed Challenge
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest

    38 Discussions


    2 years ago

    How long does it take to make this?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    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 ?


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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...


    7 years ago on Step 2

    How to make the arrow


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    5 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    |( 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.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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]


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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

    Ting Shen

    7 years ago on Step 6

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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??

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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