My Hunger Games Costumes and Katniss’ Arena Bow Tutorial

| November 3, 2012 | 2 Comments More

My wife Lauren and I dressed as Katniss and Haymitch for Halloween this year, and we just had to share the photos with all of you!  If you’re wondering why I was Haymitch and not Peeta, Lauren is not in the Peeta camp, and dressing as Gale just wouldn’t make much sense (or be much fun).  Plus, I already have Haymitch’s hair!  Oh, and if you’d like to find out how I made the silver arena bow don’t worry – I’ve got plenty of pictures and details below!


Haymitch and Katniss get into an argument

Bonus – Mockingjay Pumpkins!

Kelsey's Pumpkin

Kelsey’s Pumpkin

Hamilton's Pumpkin

Hamilton’s Pumpkin

Lauren with her amazing recurve bow as Katniss

LaurenKatniss2 LaurenKatniss1
LaurenKatniss3 LaurenKatniss4

Arena Bow Tutorial

It might be a bit late for this year’s Halloween, but I figured you guys might like to see how I made the Katniss Arena Bow in the pictures above.  There is more than one way to make a great looking prop bow, but this is the way that I went about it.  I did use power tools for it, so please be careful and enlist the help of someone who knows how to properly use them if you do not.  If you’ve made some Hunger Games props, we’d love to see how you did it!



I decided on a five foot bow since, from the pictures, that looked like about the right height. I bought a piece of pine (because it’s cheap) that was 6′ x 10″ to work with.  If you want a sturdier bow you should choose a harder wood, but it will be more expensive.


I cut a foot off the end to leave myself with a five foot plank.



Referencing a photo I found online, I free handed an outline of the bow in pencil after lining up the center of the board with where the center of the bow should be.


A problem with cheap wood is that it is not always the best quality. Too late after I had cut the other end off, I noticed that there was a crack running through part of the bow. I filled it with wood glue, hoping that would be enough to hold it together when I cut out the bow.


Taking my jigsaw, I began cutting out the bow.




A trick I found when I realized my freehand drawing was not symmetrical was to take the pieces of wood I cut out from the top half, and trace them on the bottom half so that the whole thing had an even curve.


The whole thing is cut out and the wood glue held!

Bow 11

To be sure it didn’t break, I wrapped the weak point in narrow silver duct tape. I did the same thing on the other end as well to give it an even look. I know it’s not accurate to the movie, but I wanted to make sure it didn’t break.



I took my trusty steak knife (an old one I keep in my workshop), I cut grooves around the handle to give it some depth. I also cut grooves at the ends for the string to wrap around.



To give it a nice smooth grip and to make the handle seem like it had some more dimension, I wrapped it in the same duct tape.


I used sand paper to smooth away some of the rough edges.


Ready to paint! I laid the bow on some plastic and gave it a quick coat of chrome spray paint (making sure the outside window was open for good ventilation).


I decided it was best to finish spraying the bow outside – that way I could hang it and get all the sides without risking it sticking to the plastic.



Here I got lucky – I just happened to have a slightly stretchy, black cord almost the exact right length for the string.


Wrapping the cord around the grooves I had made, I took a plastic coated twist tie and wrapped it tightly around the ends with needle nose pliers to give it an authentic look rather than just tying it together.

Bow 22



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Category: Fan Art, Movie, The Books

Comments (2)

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  1. Jo says:

    Hey could you guys make one and send it over for me?

  2. HG-Fan says:

    The arc does he shoot arrows?

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