How to Make an Arrow of Light Award

75,048

52

30

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.

Make It Real Challenge

Participated in the
Make It Real Challenge

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge
    • CNC Contest 2020

      CNC Contest 2020
    • Secret Compartment Challenge

      Secret Compartment Challenge

    30 Discussions

    0
    MarkZ15
    MarkZ15

    4 years ago

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

    20160131_113549_resized.jpg20160131_113535_resized.jpg
    0
    danabrenna
    danabrenna

    Reply 5 months ago

    these are amazing, Could you tell me where you found your arrows, and what you used to hold up the belt loops? thanks Den leader mom who is going to make my own for my kids and not so crafty so I can use all the help I can get. ;)

    0
    BrianA1775
    BrianA1775

    Reply 7 months ago

    MarkZ, I really like the different look of the Yellow arrow and sunburst. How did you do those?

    0
    MarkZ15
    MarkZ15

    Reply 7 months ago

    Our local library has a laser cutter Just needed the file of the arrow and sunburst and used yellow acrylic sheets that they also sold to cut them out.

    0
    BrianA1775
    BrianA1775

    Reply 7 months ago

    Mark, was the acrylic stock 1/8" or 1/4" and by some lucky chance you still have the arrow and sunburst file? Santa was nice to me and sent me a home laser cutter, and cnc 2 in 1... so Im going to try to put together similar version.

    0
    JulieO45
    JulieO45

    Reply 1 year ago

    Could you share a little more detail about the plaque? What is the height at the sides? What is the height at the middle of the arch? Distance of the curve? Or did you by the plaque this way and stain and add the arrow of light?

    0
    xraygal2003
    xraygal2003

    Reply 2 years ago

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

    0
    MarkZ15
    MarkZ15

    Reply 2 years ago

    24"x12"

    0
    LeahS55
    LeahS55

    Reply 2 years ago

    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!

    0
    MarkZ15
    MarkZ15

    Reply 2 years ago

    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.

    0
    JS8
    JS8

    Question 8 months ago

    Did you use a chisel to square the edges after running the router around the pattern?

    0
    Mrballeng
    Mrballeng

    Answer 8 months ago

    I changed out the router bit to a 1/4" flute.

    0
    LeahS59
    LeahS59

    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    My feathers are too round on the arrow of light plaque because the guide bushing wont allow the bit to get into the corners tighter. How did you achieve the squarer ends. The rest of the award plaque looks pretty good

    0
    Mrballeng
    Mrballeng

    Answer 1 year ago

    Use a guide bushing with a smaller diameter. That will make the difference.

    0
    LeahS59
    LeahS59

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you! Which means a smaller bit correct?

    0
    Pilgrim55
    Pilgrim55

    4 years ago

    Awesome! Great job.

    0
    mikejsilveira
    mikejsilveira

    4 years ago

    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.

    0
    scientist80
    scientist80

    6 years ago

    What the heck??? who would need this????

    0
    xtreker15
    xtreker15

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    knj5306
    knj5306

    7 years ago on Introduction

    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 ecanyons.com and Flu-Flu fletches from 3riversarchery.com. 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.

    Thanks!

    IMG_9640 9.44.37 PM.jpg101_4587.JPG101_4583.JPG