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How to Make a Bow Stringer

Posted in - Hunting & Knots & Survival on December 27th 2014 2 Homemade Bow Stringer

Whether you picked up a used recurve or long bow at a yard sale, outdoors store, or made your own, a serious bow will take some serious strength to string. While you can pass it through the legs and bend it over using your leg as a fulcrum, I would strongly advise against it. If something were to go wrong down there — the bow slips or breaks –, you might injure your arrow if you catch my drift. You can pick up a bow stringer for about $10-$15 or you can make your own in about 10-15 minutes. Here’s how to do it.

How to Make a Bow Stringer

The Supplies You Need

  • Hammer
  • Large philips-head screwdriver
  • Spare block of wood (for hammering on)
  • A spare piece of leather (at least 4″ x 3″) found at any craft store
  • Scissors or other tool to cut the leather
  • Over 6′ of strong Nylon rope or other cordage
  • Tape measure or ruler
Bow Stringer supplies needed

The supplies you’ll need before getting started.

Step 1: Cut 2 strips of leather, 1 1/2″ x 4″

Cut leather strips

Cut the leather into 1 1/2″ x 4″ strips

Step 2: Punch holes into leather with screwdriver

Place the strips of leather on top of the block of wood. Hammer the screwdriver into the leather until it easily passes through.

Note: Use a fairly large diameter screwdriver to make sure the rope will pass through with ease.

Punch hole into leather with screwdriver

Punch hole into leather with screwdriver.

Punch hole into leather with screwdriver

Don’t punch the hole too close to the edge.

Screwdriver in leather

Pass the screwdriver through a few times to stretch the hole.

leather strips with holes

Your leather strips should look something like this.

Step 3: Cut and seal the rope

Cut the rope to over 6′ in length. It is better to be on the longer side. 6.5′ is just fine. You will want the bow stringer to be fairly loose and easy to step on.

Seal the ends of the rope (if using nylon) with a match.

Note: There is evidence of about 5 projects taking place at once on my work bench!

sealing nylon rope

Seal the ends of the rope to prevent fraying by using a match.

Step 4: Pass the rope through the strips of leather

rope through leather

Pass the rope through the holes in the leather.

rope through leather

Continue to through the other side.

rope through leather

Create a loop with the leather strip by pulling the ends together.

Step 5: Tie an overhand loop knot in the rope

Here is how to tie an overhand loop knot:

Overhand Loop Knot Illustration Vintage

How to tie the overhand loop knot.

over hand knot in rope

Tie an overhand loop knot in the end of the rope.

over hand knot in rope

Pull the leather tab to the knot to test it out.

over hand knot in rope

Repeat the process on the other side of the rope.


Your bow stringer is ready to use. Go slow the first few times you use it to make sure that knots hold and the rope doesn’t break!