How to Make a Bow and Arrow

As exciting as buying a new bow and arrow set can be, let’s be honest, nothing beats making your own bow and arrow from scratch.

In this in-depth guide, we’re going to take you through step by step and show you how to make a bow and arrow.

Bow Design, Build Quality & Building Techniques

Before we go into what tools and materials you may need, you first need to decide on the type of bow you would like to build. Will it be more of a basic primitive design and build? Or are you looking to make a bow that requires professional tools, time and thorough research? 

Additionally, are you looking to make a bow and arrow for practical use? Or a bow that would be proudly displayed on your wall or mantlepiece?

These questions are of high importance, as the tools, techniques and build time will be completely different.

Tools & Accessories (basic bow design)

  • Hand saw
  • Whittling knife
  • Hand ax
  • Drawknife
  • Bark spud/peeling spud
  • Chisel
  • Tape measure
  • String

(Above is a general list and can change depending on the materials you have to hand)

Is There an Ideal Wood to use for your Bow?

In short, yes and no.

It all depends on the type, and length of bow you wish to build.

As an example, English Longbows were traditionally made from Yew wood. 


Of course, your place of residence will also play a significant part. Not everyone has an abundance of different woodland to choose from. So, unless you’re willing to travel to forests further afield or order online.

Your choice of wood will be restricted to what kind of trees grow in your area. Which in turn will limit you in what type of bow you will be able to build.