If you have a bow (or just finished making one, like me) then you should have a bow stringer. A bow stringer allows you to easily string your bow without putting potentially harmful stress on the limbs. Bow stringers can be purchased, but they're also really easy to make, and it just seems fitting to make your own bow stringer if you're making a bow.
There are a few ways to make a bow stringer; mine will simply be a pouch and a vinyl strip on opposite ends of a nylon strip. The pouch goes on the bow tip that already has the string in the nock, the leather strip goes the other end. This design is easy to make, and places all stress on the rope and not on the pouch.
The dimensions of the pouch and strip can be seen in the pictures below. These dimensions are based on a longbow with a narrow tip; you should modify the dimensions to fit your specific bow.
Each half of the pouch is symmetrical in both directions, so in order to cut out the pattern, I fold the vinyl both ways and make one cut.
This method will give you perfect symmetry and you only have to make one cut! After doing this to both sides, you piece of material should look like this:
Now you need to fold and sew the pouch like this
Leave the top side open on the bottom so that the bow tip can slide in. The bottom can sewn fully shut. I also sewed an extra strip of fabric over the pouch to reinforce the area the bow tip will push on.
The strip used on the other end of the bow is simply to pieces of vinyl sewn back to back. Once you finish sewing both parts they should like this:
Now you can punch holes for the string. I used a regular paper hole punch. It worked fine on vinyl, but I leather might be too tough.
Now you just need to string it all together. One end is a large loop with the small leather strip. For the other end, feed the string through the holes as shown in the photo below, then tie a knot. The string needs to be significantly longer than your bow, and should allow you to hold the bow around waist height when stringing it. I cut the string extra long and then tested and moved the knot until I liked the length.
Using Your Bow Stringer
To use the bow stringer, slide the pouch over one tip of your bow (this tip should have the bow-string fully attached), and the loop on the end of the bow, far enough up the limb to avoid interfering with sliding the loop of the bow-string into the nock. Then step on the both stringer with both feet roughly shoulder width apart. Using both feet is important; if you use one foot the stringer loop will slide down the bow limb. Hold the bow by the handle and pull upwards to make the limbs flex. Now slide the loop of your bow-string up and into the nock. Gently release the tension on the stringer and remove it from the bow. To unstring follow the same process in reverse.
As you can see, the bow stringer makes stringing your bow a breeze!