Wooden Dowels (I chose 5/8" - the orange tipped ones)
Foam (I used pipe insulation left over from bows, but pool noodle foam or batting would work too)
|Step 1: Cut dowels to 18". I bought 36" dowels and cut them in half using a saw. I sanded the edges a little so they wouldn't be rough.|
If you want the arrows colored, now is the time to paint them, before putting the tips and fletchings on. We faced a dilemma here because we wanted to stay authentic to Brave, and make realistic looking arrows, but we also knew that the arrows were likely to go missing deep in bushes in trees. Therefore, we opted to paint them neon glow-in-the-dark and attach neon fletchings. This is the BEST part for kids - they LOVED painting the arrows neon camo - which is a hilarious contradiction in terms ;)
We wanted our bows to look more wood-like and less PVC-like, so we went with brown and opted to wrap the bow in duct tape rather than paint it. Why? Well, I got very excited about the tutorials, ran to the hardware store, got my supplies, came home and was looking online for more measurement details when I ran across several warnings that PVC shatters under pressure and should not be used to make bows. Now, granted, this was talking about 8 ft bows that were being used to hunt elk, not little kid bows that wouldn't have nearly the poundage of pressure applied, but it still scared me. PVC slivers are crazy scary! After some more research though, multiple recommendations of wrapping the bow in duct tape re-established safety precautions and we were back in business - if the bow splinters at all, the tape holds the splinters in until it can be disposed of instead of going into the operator's hand.
Step 1: Measure PVC to desired length. I was able to get 2 longer and 1 shorter bow (older and younger kids) out of each PVC length. *Note, I made shorter bows for younger kids (5 and younger) but the older kids told me that actually the shorter bows were more powerful and accurate. I'm not sure how right they are about that, but it was a unanimous opinion.
Step 2: Cut PVC to length. I've been told you can get this done at Home Depot when you buy the PVC, but I enjoy using power tools, so I did it myself. Remember to use safety goggles! This stuff flies everywhere!
Step 3: Wrapping at a diagonal, cover the entire length of the PVC in duct tape. The options for fantastically wild colors here are endless, but we wanted ours to be BRAVE-like, so woodish brown is what we chose.
Wrap grip in tape - either electrical or strips of duct tape - remembering to keep it tight. We had issues in subsequent weeks with the grips spinning due to loose tape.
*Note: Due to blogger constantly deleting half my pics, etc as I was typing it, this lengthy post kept getting shoved back in the file out of frustration. So I've decided to post it in parts - one piece of the party at a time, to shorten the post before it can get deleted - again. Bonus for readers though, I can now add notes as to what did and didn't stand the test of time and much, much abuse from the kids!Go to A very BRAVE birthday party - part 2: Arrows
Go to A very BRAVE birthday party - part 3: Goodies & Fun Stuff