All of my boys have been wanting to own a good bow and arrows! We have purchased plastic bow sets with suction cup arrows that have lasted a week or two before breaking. They have also tried making bows out of sticks and even Tinker Toys (not especially safe – ha!) Here’s an option that is not only sturdy but also extremely inexpensive!

The supplies for each bow and arrow cost well under $2.

PVC Pipe Bow and Arrows

This project is for whatever age you think is safe. It depends on the kid, really!

To make one you will need:

  • 3/4 inch PVC pipe. Use the cheapest, thinnest type.
  • A drill
  • Nylon braided string (braided, not twisted) We found ours at Home Depot near the tool section.
  • A drill
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Dowel rods (81 cents each at Home Depot, each one made two arrows. My hubby thinks they were 1/4 inch thickness – make sure what you get will fit inside your Nerf darts)
  • Nerf darts
  • A saw
  • A lighter
  • Pocketknife

Step 1: Use the saw to cut your PVC pipe to the desired length. We made two sizes – 3 feet and 4 feet. The one in the picture above is 4 ft.

Step 2: Drill a small hole on each end of the PVC pipe to tie your string through.

PVC Pipe Bow and Arrow

Step 3: Attach the string by tying it through the hole in the pipe. Melt the ends with the lighter to fuse, and the string won’t come untied. My husband also had the boys pull on their bows to bend them while he tied the string so that the string would be as tight as possible.

Step 4: Decorate with duct tape.

Step 5: Use the saw to cut your dowels to the right length for arrows. The length needed will depend on how large you make the bow. Insert each dowel into a Nerf dart. Secure with a little duct tape if needed. Use a pocketknife to cut a notch in the end of each arrow to help secure it on the string when you pull it back.

**The bow stays straight until you pull back the arrow to shoot.

How to make a PVC pipe bow and arrows

Owen (age 5) has put so much effort into learning to shoot his bow!

I love how he balances it between his feet to put the arrow on the string.

How to Make a PVC Bow and Arrows

How to Make a PVC Bow and Arrows

More things to make with PVC pipe:


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  1. Haley @ Ever Never Again Oct 3, 2014

    My boys would love this! And I love projects that are cheap and easy. Perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  2. yanique Feb 3, 2015

    Love this idea. I'm going to attempt to do this with my 10 year old son.

  3. Cathy Mar 30, 2016

    The string doesn't allow the arrow to go very far. We bought the skinny, nylon string. How far does your arrow fly?


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