A very BRAVE birthday party - Part 2: Arrows


Welcome to Part 2 of the Merida party post!  It seems that blogger finally let me post part 1 in its entirety, and though I've already lost a pic on this post and I've just started writing, I'll keep my fingers crossed that we'll get through to the end.  Because what good are bows without ARROWS?!?  NO good, I say! And of all the tutorials for bows that I found online, I found very little about arrows and had to make it up as I went along, so I need to share and make the world a better place - it's what the blogosphere is about, right?! ;)

Supplies Needed:
Wooden Dowels (I chose 5/8" - the orange tipped ones)
Duct tape
Foam (I used pipe insulation left over from bows, but pool noodle foam or batting would work too)
Paint (optional)

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 ;)

Step 2: Add fletchings. Cut three pieces of Duct tape, approximately 2 - 3 inches long. It doesn't really matter, as long as all three are the same length.

 - Lay the dowel on an approximately 2 1/2"-3" strip of duct tape, leaving about an inch of the dowel at the end to grab on to when shooting (I learned this one the hard way, putting my first flight right at the end).

- Line up a second piece of duct tape, cut to be the same length as the first, along the edge of the first piece, with the dowel coming to the center of the second piece of tape as it does the first one.  Make sure to not let the two pieces of tape touch on the other side of the dowel - leave their sticky sides open.
- Line up a 3rd piece of identical duct tape along the final sticky edge of the original piece of tape.  Smooth to center and the dowel, then match up with second piece of tape and press all tightly to each other and to the dowel.

Looks like this
Step 3: Shape fletchings. Cut each flap into a triangle shape, tapering toward the front of the arrow. (Learned this one the hard way too - tapered my first one the wrong direction and my triangles faced the wrong way.)
Triangles need to look like this

Step 4: Safety Arrow Tips. Cut foam about 1 1/2", then cut in half.
- Wrap foam around tip of dowel.  I used a little glue (E6000) at first, but after a while I realized the tape alone held them on very securely.  *Note, my kids wore through these tips in only a couple of days and we added extra layers of foam.  On subsequent arrows, I started off double thickness and they have been fine - though I recommend checking them regularly as they do need to be re-tipped from time to time for safety.
-Wrapping a strip of duct tape around the fom tip keeps the foam from coming off in chunks when the arrow hits anything abrasive. Then using either electrical tape or more duct tape, wrap the base of the foam, around the dowel joining them securely.

Finished Arrow
Oh, I almost forgot that the arrows do need little notches for nocking them on the string.  You can see it in the Finished Arrow pic, that there is a tiny little groove in the bottom of the arrow.  I just used a file out of the toolbox.
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