Sunday, September 30, 2012

How to Make a Quiver for a Katniss Everdeen Costume (Or For Everyday Use)

Alright, so this is a little off topic beings that this is a book review blog, but I really wanted to share this!

It's now October, and Halloween is quickly approaching and people are starting to think about their costumes.

With the popularity of the Hunger Games, (and just archery in general--ex. the new NBC show Revolution) I can see a lot of people dressing up as Katniss Everdeen. And what Katniss costume would be complete without a quiver??

The quiver I made is actually for everyday use, not for a costume. I was tired on setting my arrows on the ground, and I wanted a quiver! (I'm going to be Red Riding Hood for Halloween, in case you were wondering ;] )

Problem is, quivers are expensive--$70-$100 or more. I'm a poor college student and don't have money to spend on that right now haha. So, I made my own! And for around $8 which was totally in my price range ;]

Luckily for you, I had the presence of mind to take pictures of the processes and I put together this tutorial so you can make one yourself, either for personal use or a Halloween costume. Let's get started!

Difficulty level: 7/10 (some sewing skills required)
Time: Approx. 7hrs (this is a really time-consuming process! But since you have a tutorial and I had to figure everything out myself as I went, you could probably make it more quickly.)
  • a cardboard box
  • 2/3 yd of leather-like material or suede (I got mine on sale from Joann's in the suede section)
  • brown thread
  • contrasting embroidery thread
  • a hot glue gun 

STEP 1: Think about your design

There are different styles you could make for your quiver, you don't have to make yours look exactly like mine. This was the photo I used for inspiration while making my quiver.

You can look at different quiver designs here.

STEP 2: Make a tube

First off, take your cardboard box and cut off a piece as long as you want your quiver to be. I cut off a side and a flap of my box to get the length I wanted. I made my quiver about 26in long, but you can do whatever length you like.

Once you have your piece of cardboard, you are going to make a giant tube. Notice how stiff the cardboard is. If you try to make a tube now, you will get more of a hexagonal shape.

So, you need to make the cardboard flexible. Do this by curving/bending the piece of cardboard bit by bit. This takes a while :P When you're finished, you should be able to roll up your cardboard into a nice round tube. Get it as round as possible, getting rid of any straight edges.

STEP 3: Choose your diameter and secure

Now that you have your tube you can decide how big you want it. I put my arrows in my tube for scale, and played around with size until I got it where I wanted. I chose a 3.5in diameter, but you can do any size you like.

Once you have chosen your diameter, cut off the excess cardboard. Bring the two edges together, but don't overlap them! You want a flat surface, overlapping will cause a bump. Secure the edges together with a sturdy tape. (I used clear packing tape).

STEP 4: Make a bottom

Place your tube onto another piece of cardboard and trace a circle around it. Cut out the circle, and trim it until you can get it to fit inside the bottom of your tube. Once it fits, secure it with tape.

STEP 5: Measure out your fabric

Lay your tube on your fabric, and wrap the fabric around it. Mark where it wraps all the way around, but leave yourself an extra inch or two to overlap the pieces. I also left myself lots of extra material on the top and bottom--probably around 3-5in on each end.

Once you have everything measured out, go ahead and cut your material. You can also go ahead and cut out a circle for the bottom piece. Make sure you cut the circle a little bigger than the actual bottom. (If its too big you can always trim it later).

STEP 6:  Sew your end pieces

You can do this part on a sewing machine, but I did mine by hand. A sewing machine would be easier and quicker, though. (I just like to make my life complicated :P) First, decide how big you want your end pieces to be. I did my bottom piece 2.5in long and my top piece 6in.

Start with the bottom piece. Give yourself a little more (1/2in-1in) than the length you want (so in my case that would make 3.5 in). You are going to fold over the excess and make a hem so you have a neat, clean edge.

Cut your bottom piece off of the material you have just measured for your tube. (This is why I said to leave yourself extra length).

I was using the underside of my material to measure. Now, you want to flip over your material to the front side. Fold over a little bit of your new bottom piece to make the hem, and lay the part where it is now folded over on the edge of your larger, original piece of material. Secure with pins. Like so:

Now, sew the material just below the fold of your hem. If you do this by hand make sure you have a sharp, larger needle because it will be hard to pierce the layers of fabric.

When it's done it should look like this (I apologize for the crappy pictures, my camera hates me):

Meh. You probably can't see the stitching. But I promise it's there!

Anyways, you're going to basically the same thing for the top piece. Move to the other end of your material and measure how long you want the top piece (giving yourself extra for a hem). Cut your material, fold the hem, secure with pins, and sew. Hopefully (if you measured right!) you have several inches of extra material left that you will be able to tuck inside the top of your tube.

STEP 7: Add some details

Take your fabric and wrap it around your tube. Try to get the edges of your hems where they meet as even as possible. You can secure the fabric in place with pins.

Now, in a couple steps you are actually going to glue the material to the tube. But you want to make it look like it's sewn on ;] Let's start with the end pieces.

The left edge of your fabric should be the one on top that overlaps. You are going to sew all your details onto the edge of the left side. I left mine wrapped around the tube while I did this but you don't have to.

Once again, I did this by hand but you could use a sewing machine. You could probably even skip this part, but I wanted more detail on mine. On the top and bottom pieces, I sewed small x stitches:

STEP 8: Sew on the bottom

Take the circle you cut out earlier and place it on the bottom of your tube. If it overlaps a little bit that's okay, you can trim it if you need to. Take a larger needle that can pierce the fabric easily and leave a big enough hole for your embroidery thread to fit. Sew around the edge of the circle.

STEP 9: Secure fabric with glue

Take your hot glue gun, and glue down the right edge of your fabric to the tube (remember you want the left side to overlap!).

STEP 10: Add final details and finish gluing

Almost there! Okay, so now you want to fold over your flap and sew some larger x's along the middle length of your quiver with the embroidery thread. How many and what size is up to you. To help you decide, you can cut pieces of thread and lay them on the quiver to see what it would look like.

 Once you've finished, it's time to glue it down! Get the edges where your hems meet lined up as closely as possible. Also, try to pull the fabric around the tube as tight as you can.

Now, take your glue gun and glue under the places on the ends where you added stitching, and add dots of glue on the underside of the x's in the middle. This will help it look like it's been sewn rather than gluing the edge down flat. Tuck the extra fabric at the top down into the tube and glue it down as well.

Your quiver should now look something like this:

STEP 11: Make a strap

You should still have some extra material left over. Cut a length of the material, and fold it in half depending on how wide you want your strap to be. (I think I made mine around 2in).

You can sew it by hand or on a sewing machine. I did this part on the machine because it would've taken forever to do my hand. (And when I say I, I mean my dad because he knows how to use my grandma's old sewing machine and I don't :P)

Sew along the edge opposite the fold, and then turn inside-out.

Now, figure out how long you need your strap to be by having someone hold your quiver behind you against your back and holding the strap to either end of the quiver. Cut off any extra length.

My dad insisted I sew the strap onto either end before I glued it, but since the material was already glued down onto the cardboard tube this was a big pain! And it was hard to get the needle through all those layers of fabric! I think that hot-gluing it would be enough, but you're welcome to try sewing it too haha.

You are going to lay the strap onto the bottom of the quiver and create a little hem. If you do sew, sew along the part where it will crease when folded over. You will also hot-glue this part down, and a tad higher just above the hem so that the hem will be hidden. (You'll see what I mean as you do this). Repeat for the top and bottom.

You can also add an x with the embroidery thread like I did to make it look sewn on. But do this BEFORE you glue it down!! 


If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below! Also, if you make this I would love it if you would let me know and send me a picture, link, whatever :D It would seriously make my day!

Good luck, and Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor ;]


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  2. I used your instructions to make a quiver. Thank you for posting. I made mine a little shorter, 22 or 23 inches, but same diameter. I sewed instead of hand stitched. That woulda taken forever! I also sewed the strap. And I put Styrofoam at the bottom to secure my hand made arrows. I used 5 wooden towels, seagulls feathers i collected from the beach, and green floral tape. It looks awesome!

  3. I wanted to thank you for setting me in the right direction for making a quiver. I was making mine for a 10 year old so I cut a 3" shipping tube to a length of 19 inches which accommodated the arrows from her youth archery set nicely. I cut a circle larger than the shipping tube cap and sewed a gather stitch around the perimeter to encase the cap completely. With a little effort, I was able to force the cap back on the end of the covered tube.

    I ended up getting frustrated with the hot glue gun and went for the bottle of super glue. I created a cuff at each end of my tube such that I could tuck the strap in at either end and glue them in place before stitching the strap into place for increased durability.

    I'm glad I knew that the fabric you used existed because it was folded completely inside out at the store on the bolt and I really had to look for it. It was perfect for this project though. I was really happy with how the quiver turned out and appreciate your instructions. It was a fairly frustration free project. Thank you internet bloggers of the world!

  4. Thank you for this tutorial! This will be very helpful for making my son's Rangers Apprentice quiver.


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