Make Your Own Hunger Games Bow Out Of PVC Pipe

With a few supplies from your favorite hardware store, you can have your own Katniss Everdeen, District 12 style bow. If you are unafraid to try your hand, or hands at a little DIY, you can have a pretty cool bow that actually functions!

Backyard Bowyer Demonstrates the Beginning Process (Part-1) For You Below:

To Make This Awesome Bow You Will Need the Following:

  • 1-Schedule-40, 3/4″ PVC pipe, 56 inches in length.
  • 1-Black Sharpie Marker
  • Flattening Jig (see the video above that shows nick’s homemade version).
  • Heating Trough (see the video on how to make one of these-it’s easy!)
  • Heat Gun
  • Clamps (various sizes) I prefer the ratcheting type clamps myself that only take one hand to use. They make the whole process much easier.
  • Pinching Clamp: This is demonstrated in Video-2 below. It is made from (2) 1″x 2″ boards cut at a 9 inch length, connected together by (2) hinges (2 make the clamp more stable), with a 1/4″ gap between the boards.
  • Polyester or Polypropylene Rope, or Regular Bow String: Diamond braided poly rope must be 5/32″ or 3/16″ in size.
  • Sandpaper: Varying grades. I like to wet sand mine.
  • Stain or Paint: If using paint, use exterior latex.
  • Paintbrush
  • Fast Flight Bow String: Dark, waxed.
  • Wax Nylon Thread: Use a light earthy , natural color for the lighter colored bands.
  • Velcro: Cut in the shape of an oval.

Instructions for Part-1:

1. Using your Sharpie, mark the center of the pipe at 28″. Then measure 3″ out from center of both sides. Then measure 9″ in from both ends.

2. Place the PVC pipe inside the heating trough.

3. Using your heat gun, heat the pipe a little bit past center. You want to heat the entire pipe. Please watch Nick’s excellent demonstration in the video above. He will show you everything you need to be a success with this project. WARNING: Never let children work on a project of this type unsupervised!!!

4. Lay your heated pipe on a flat 2″x 4″ of approximately 5 feet in length. Place your flattening jig on top, and clamp down one side from center first. Do one end at a time, and let it cool down between sides. Please watch Nick demonstrate exactly how this is done in the above video.

Part-2, Shaping the Handle For Your Katniss Everdeen Bow

In the Video Below, Nick, the Backyard Bowyer Demos Part-2 of the Process:

What You Need To Do In Part-2:

1. Remove the pipe from the jig. Eyeball down the length of the bow to make sure the part you just flattened is straight. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It is just important that the points line up.

2. Place your bow on the long piece of 2×4. Using your heat gun, heat up the center section plus 1 inch on both sides. The 1″ sections will serve as the handle “fades”. The fades are important, as they prevent your bow from snapping in half under pressure. Please watch the video above to see exactly how Nick does this. You will see just how the bow handle is shaped.

3. Next you will be heating up and working with the last 9″ on each end of the bow. Use the pinching clamp at an angle as demonstrated in the above video. Your bow is now beginning to take shape!

Part-3: Finishing the Tips and Stringing the Bow

The Backyard Bowyer Demonstrates Stringing the Bow Below:

What You Need To Do In Part-3:

Follow the instructions for tapering the tips in Nick’s video above. He shows you exactly how to do the proper procedure.

Cut the tips using a hack saw or tile saw. Measuring 1/2″ from the bow end, cut your string nocks.  Nick shows you how this critical part of the process is done in the video tutorial. You can also get more tips for your Hunger Games District-12 Bow at Backyard Bowyer.

Using your choice of material for the string, tie an overhand knot to make a loop on one end (nock).

Measure 4″ from the other end of your bow. Make another loop, and tie another overhand knot. Bend the bow by stepping on the opposite end, and finish stringing your bow. Be sure to watch Nick demo this. Now it’s really looking like a bow, don’t you think?

Part-4: Staining Or Painting Your District-12 Bow, And Limb Wraps

Nick Shows Us How To Do the Limb Wraps In This Video Tutorial:

What You Need To Complete Your Bow In Part-4:

1. Using your dark and light colored string, you will make the bow wraps to give your Hunger Games bow an authentic look. You will make each of the bands approximately 1/2″ wide. Nick demonstrates to you how he does this in the video tutorial above.

2. Place an oval of Velcro on the handle as shown in the video for the finishing touch. Your beautiful new bow is now finished. You can now take pride in telling your friends you made it yourself. How cool is that?! A great addition to your Katniss costume.

Part-5: Let’s See This Bow In Action!

Nick Shows Us How He Shoots His Hunger Games District-12 Bow In the Video Below:



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Filed under: Costume Accessories

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