Tessa is expanding her skills, and as a result, I needed to make her a bow, arrows, and a quiver. The LARP we participate in utilizes foam “boffing” weapons instead of realistic looking foam weapons. I actually really have to thank Todd and his friend, Tim, because they built my bow for me completely, all I did was purchase the materials.
I don’t have any pictures of my bow, other than this one of me holding it. My bow is made of PVC pipe, a pool noodle, paracord, and black opaque tights.
Tim and Todd used a heat gun to bend the PVC to the shape that I liked (wanted). After the shape was correct, they added a piece of pool noodle to each end with a gap in the middle for the handle. They also cut circle shapes out of EVA foam to cover the ends of the bow so there is no chance of anyone getting hit with the actual PVC inside the foam. Then, each leg was cut off the pair of tights I bought, and one was placed on each end of the bow, meeting in the middle at the handle, which was then wrapped with paracord and tied off for the bow handle. It took about an hour total to make.
My quiver, on the other hand took a long time to finish. Tim had the basic shape cut and formed from EVA foam before Todd and I even got to their house to work on it, which was AWESOME (thank you again, Tim, you rock!) The boys finished shaping it and adding the bottom and strap to the quiver for me, and they also put on the thin foam accent pieces on the top and bottom edges.
I knew I wanted to have some sort of embossed design on the quiver, but I had a hard time deciding what to use. Turtles have always been my favorite animal, so I eventually decided to utilize this Celtic looking turtle design for the upper accent piece as well as another Celtic design on the center of the quiver. I used the same design that was in the center of the turtle for the base accent piece of it.
While Todd and I were working on the house, Harley drew the designs for me and cut them out of the thin crafting foam. Pip supervised, and it’s a good thing, I’m sure Harley needed it.
Once the shapes were cut out of the craft foam, I traced around them on the quiver so I know an approximate area to put the contact cement – I used DAP Original Contact Cement. You can see by the shininess around the turtle, though, that that kind of went out the window, and I just made a mess. Unfortunately, it shows under the paint, but nobody really gets close enough to see it. Once the contact cement was tacky on both pieces (just a couple minutes of dry time), I pieced them together trying to stay as close to my guidelines as I could.
After all the pieces were attached, I taped off the strap (You can kind of see in the first picture below – I just used blue painters tape for it.) and put the quiver upside down on a piece of PVC pipe stuck in the ground to paint it. I used Plutonium Spray Paint, which is way more expensive than I would normally buy, but it was totally worth it! The paint dried very quickly, and left a beautiful, smooth finish!
Once the brown dried, I painted the accent pieces red, and added some black for aging and wear. I think it helps it look more like real leather; more believable, anyway.
Because we are a “boffing” based LARP, none of our weapons can have the potential to hurt, scrape, maim, or otherwise damage anyone else, so figuring out how to make the arrows was really tough. I tried several things that didn’t work, including wrapping hot glue sticks in felt. Finally, Todd found this round foam at work, and we decided to give it a shot. I got some super thin welding rod and guided it in the foam to give it some strength, and it worked great! The only thing is that it made the arrow shafts a little bumpy, but I think that just made them look more like a real wooden shaft would look.
I used more crafting foam to cut the feather vanes for the arrows and glued them on with more contact cement, as well, and then I painted them with a copper color by Plutonium Paint. They are not great looking, but they will work until I actually have time to sit down and create something awesome!
The only thing I don’t like about this quiver is that I cannot wear it and my cloak at the same time, so I will be making another quiver before our next camp that I can wear at my waist and under my cloak. I will save this one for when I am not wearing my cloak, and the next quiver will be even better since I have one under my belt.