How to Make a Roman Bow & Arrow

Written by laura pru
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How to Make a Roman Bow & Arrow
The Roman bow and arrow are fun accessories for a period costume party. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The bow and arrow is a paired accessory for a masquerade party if you are dressing up as a Roman warrior. Making the simple Roman bow and arrow is easy if you know the basic principles of its construction. The bow is the fulcrum which will act as a lever for the arrow. The arrow is a thin but sturdy stick of wood with a point at one end and feathers at the other to help in its flight. Make a bow and arrow and dress up your outfit.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Strip of wood, about 6 feet long and 2 inches thick
  • Sharp knife
  • Piece of string, about 3 feet
  • Scissors
  • Smaller pieces of wood, about 2 feet long
  • Feathers
  • Glue
  • Sticking tape

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  1. 1

    Flex the strip of wood to check its bending capacity. This strip of wood will be your bow. Oak, hickory, black locust, teak or pine can be used. You can get these wooden strips from your local hardware store. If the wood does not bend, steam it or soak it for two to three hours in a bathtub. Take it out and bend it to resemble a curve. Once dried, it will stay in that shape.

  2. 2

    Cut two notches at either end of the long strip of wood to tie the string of the bow in. The notches should be deep enough to securely hold the string in place. Take the piece of string and tie an end to each end of the bow in the cut notches. Cut off any excess string. Once you have tied the string, check its strength and elasticity. It should feel secure and strong, capable of projecting the arrows to a reasonable distance. If it feels loose, draw string out to tighten it.

  3. 3

    Shape the arrows so they are thicker at the head than at the ends. To do this you can either sand them or whittle with a knife. The head of your arrow should be further shaped to closely resemble a point. Cut a notch close to this head. This is the place where you will hold it against the bowstring for support while aiming.

  4. 4

    Glue the feathers to the end of the arrows for better flight and aerodynamics. If necessary, secure sticking tape over them to keep them in place.

Tips and warnings

  • The tighter the bowstring, the better the flight of the arrows.
  • If the bow is strong in the middle it will not break while flexing or curving.
  • Take safety precautions while whittling with the knife.
  • Never aim your arrows directly at people. The spring of the arrow may cause an accident.

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