Props Fast Recurve Bow Build + Tutorial

Not open for further replies.


Active Member
A friend is going to Anime Expo cosplaying as Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) and she is leaving today. Yesterday night she told me she couldn't find a toy bow anywhere so since I didn't want her costume to feel incomplete I told her I would build a Bow in pretty much a day. It's my first time building a prop bow and i wanted it to be a recurve bow similar to Kate Bishop's so I sat around looking at various things in my garage when I came across a coat hanger. Then an idea popped into my head and i decided I'd use Coat hangers and craft foam for a quick build.

So First I uncurled some wire hangers and taped them together to create something 4 feet in length and I stuck it into plastic Coat hanger that will be the base for the Grip.

Then I bent them into the bow shape


At First I tried to Glue the Foam directly onto it but the wire was TOO noticeable so I glued Card stock on first.

I then put foam over the cardstock and then wrapped foam around the Handle as well as put in a couple pieces of Scrap EVA foam. It's not the way a real recurve bow looks nor is it Kate Bishop's but it passes pretty well since I was thinking on the fly at 2 AM.



After the coat of Plasti Dip I went to sleep cuz it was 4 am by the time i got to this point.

When I woke up the Plasti Dip fully cured and Then I layerd some Mod podge on top for a smoother feel.



I primered the bow and was awaiting for my friend to come over later on since she had a can of purple spray paint for the bow.
So after the Primer Dried I took electrical Tape and wrapped it around the Grip

It was going to be hours before she came so I wanted to surprise her and decided to make the Quiver and a few arrows as well.
Here's the quiver I glued together with Camping mat foam and put plasti dip over.

I took Wire Coat hangers cut them to two feet and hammered them Flat.
then took some Foam, a bottle Cap, and an old Pen to make these three arrows. a standard pointy arrow. a tube shaped arrow that all the comic archers always have that is stuffed with w/e they have in there. and the pen looked like a missle, so what the heck why not.

Put Primer on them and then She came over and they got their Purple coating.


I forgot to take any more pics of the bow after cuz she had to go after we ate and strung the bow up. The bow can be Drawn but of course its not strong enough to fire an actual arrow. and from the rush building process I learned a few things that I can do better if i decide to ever build another one.
So if You're interested Ill list out the steps with my revised ideas because the bow is good for a one day job but would have been better if i knew then what i know now haha.

1) When you uncurl the wire hangers take a flat hammer and hammer the entire thing Straight. Or cut off the parts you can't straighten.
2) Next line them next to each other and pull them apart to the length of the bow you want. Tape or glue them together, Don't glue or tape them together bundled but keep them lined up to ensure you have a flat base for the bow. I put them together bundled and it shows through the foam.
3) Mark off the section that will be for your Grip and sights.
4)Cut out some cardstock or thin cardboard to the width you want the bow to be (I just made them the same width as the ruler) then glue them together length wise.
5) take your wire frame and glue it onto the cardstock flat. then put more cardstock to cover the other side of the wires.
6) Now do the same with Foamies so in the end you should have a very flat lengthy foam with the middle marked for your grip
7) Glue on whatever you want your Grip base to be (preferably something very Rigid)
8)Bend the Bow to shape you want it to be
9) Wrap the Grip and apply whatever details you want to put on
10) coat it with Plasti Dip or Mod Podge Primer then Paint.
11) Cut Grooves about an inch away from each tip on each side and Tie the String using these grooves.
12) Marvel at what you built.
thanks! this helped alot. I slightly modified your method to accomodate the style of bow I was trying to make. I found it easier to straighten the wire hangers with plyers rather than a hammer.
I wouldn't recommend the PVC pipe with fiberglass core. Extremely unreliable and broke to SnapBack. And let me tell you that it hurts as all heck having a sting slap you
Not open for further replies.