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You will be truly impressed with how well this simple bow (made from craft sticks) can shoot an arrow (made from a straw).
The bows we created were sturdy and effective. We’ve had a great deal of fun trying to hit various targets with our homemade bows. And once we had the supplies gathered and the hot glue gun ready to use, we put the whole thing together in less than 10 minutes.
Learn how to make your own working bow and arrow by following the directions below. I have provided a video as well as written directions with photos. At the very end of the post you can download a 2-page PDF showing you step-by-step how to create your working bow and arrow.
Because this project uses a glue gun, adult supervision is required.
This video shows the steps to make a working bow and arrow.
To make your working bow and arrow, you’ll need to gather the following materials:
- 12 jumbo craft sticks
- 1 jumbo craft stick cut in half
- 4 wooden blocks (if you do not have wooden blocks, get creative – glue pieces of cardboard together or use bottle tops or anything else you have on hand)
- 1 rubber band
- Straws (for arrows)
- Hot glue gun
Place two wooden blocks on the ends of a craft stick and use hot glue to secure them into place. Place another craft stick on top.
**NOTE: There MUST be a sizable space between the blocks as this is where you will shoot your arrows from. **
Next, you will be adding an additional two craft sticks (see purple craft sticks in image below) and block to your arrow. Attach the new craft sticks at an angle of about 150 degrees to the original craft sticks.
Repeat the same thing on the other side (see green craft sticks in image below).
Glue three craft sticks in an ‘A’ shape to add strength to your bow. (See blue craft sticks in image below.)
Repeat these steps on the other side of the bow. (See yellow craft sticks in image below.)
Next, glue one of the craft stick halves to the end of your bow, pointing to the outside of the bow.
Repeat this step on the other side of the bow.
Once the glue has dried, add a rubber band.
Your bow is ready to fire!
Now it is time to make some arrows. Gather straws, tape, and scissors.
Pinch one end of the straw flat and cut a small notch in it to make the back of the arrow. Then wrap a bit of tape around the other end to make the head of the arrow.
Now you are ready to start using your bow and arrow!
The correct position for the arrow is right in the center between the first two blocks you glued into position. The front of the arrow will go between the two blocks.
At the back of the arrow, slide the rubber band between the notch. Pinch both parts of the rubber band and the back of the arrow together. Pull the rubber band back and aim your arrow. Release the rubber band to fire!
Like this activity? Want to give it a try? Download a free 2-page PDF document with step-by-step photos for building your own bow and arrow.
Challenge your children to try different designs to see if they can improve the distance and accuracy with which the arrows fly.
- How does increasing the overall weight of the arrow change the arrow’s flight?
- How does adding a bit of weight just to the tip of the arrow change the arrow’s flight?
- Use different types of straws (different materials, different lengths) and compare how each type flies.
- Compare how arrows fly when you use different sized rubber bands.
I just made these for my grandsons. The 5 year old had been trying to figure out how to make a bow for weeks. He is in love with his bow. The 3 year old likes his, but he is still a little young. My only change was to give one twist on the rubber band to make it easier on the young ones to have a spot to put the straw arrow. Thank you so much for this!!!
I’m so glad your grandsons are enjoying, and the idea of adding a twist to the rubber band is a good one!
Olivia Rose @momslilmunchkin
In million years I could have never thought about an idea like this. This bow is beyond perfect, Truly amazing . Pinning!