DIY Wooden Paper Slingshot

In the last week of summer break, my son told me one morning that he was bored. So I asked him if he’d like to make a slingshot. He definitely said yes! I’d actually been thinking about this project for awhile, and I believe the design ended up having the perfect balance of safety and excitement. Lightweight paper arrows, gentle elastic band, and some targets with recycled magazine covers!

Simple directions below if you want to try it out.

First off, I cut out a Y shaped piece of plywood with my scroll saw. (Any size Y should work fine. No need to measure.) Then I drilled a small hole on each side of the Y. I let my son do the sanding. Then we threaded some elastic band through the holes and tied knots to secure it. (A rubber band would also work, but it might shoot harder than the elastic, and also could break more easily.)

For the paper arrows, we just cut small rectangles of magazine paper, folded them a few times lengthwise, and bent them in half.

We cut larger rectangles of thick magazine covers for the targets. Then folded one end to make them stand up. (See above photo.)

Now, ready to launch!

20 Comments

  1. treasure
    September 5, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Awwww, your son is cute. He looks about my son's age...4. He also wants to shoot a slingshot so we will try it! Thanks.

  2. September 6, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for the great idea! Now I need to ask my husband to dust off his scroll saw. :)

  3. September 6, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Joel, what a classic and sturdy little toy! All kids love to shoot things, and I love that this is a non hostile vehicle for this kind of play! The magazine arrows and targets are so graphic..it always makes me happy to see recycled and homemade toys! We don't have a jig saw, but I might try making a version of this out of cardboard, we'll see if it's sturdy enough....

    1. September 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks everyone! Amber - You could also do it the original way and find a good Y shaped tree branch and cut it. Even a large pair of pruners would do the job. Have fun! Joel

  4. September 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Hey Joel, Great idea, but we live in an apartment in Tokyo. No pruners here! The best we've got is a cordless drill and a hammer. I will keep my eye out for that perfect branch though, we might happen across one in the park this fall.

    1. September 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Ooh, awesome! Well, one last option that you can try: when I was a kid, we used to just stretch a rubber band between our finger and thumb to launch little paper arrows like these. If your kids are good with their hands, it should be easy for them to do!

  5. September 7, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Ha! That we can do!

  6. September 8, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Rad! When I was a kid we used to make mix tape covers the same way you made the targets. Our own personal album covers. How good were mix tapes?! Super cool interpretation of a classic. Thanks.

    1. September 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      Cool! Thanks Pete. And yes, I still have some of my mix tapes in a box somewhere. Ahh, analog. Nice!

  7. September 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    What a great project, I'm going to go make some now with some sticks.

    1. September 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      Excellent!

  8. September 26, 2012 at 6:06 am

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  9. September 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

    This is awesome. My son isn't quite old enough for a slingshot, but I might have to make one for myself to reenact the good old days with my Wrist Rocket. I really like the paper arrows. Much better for a child than the rocks and ball bearings I use to use....

    1. September 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Ha, yes, I totally forgot about those wrist rockets. Cool! And yeah, paper arrows are definitely good.

  10. B
    September 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    So cute, i need to make this for my daughter!

  11. December 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

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  12. April 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    [...] Made by Joel inspired this one- and his little folded paper arrows work great without being obscenely dangerous. Fun! [...]

  13. May 23, 2014 at 5:08 am

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  14. torontomum
    November 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Hi, thanks, we'll be doing this with a branch, and am thinking of white pom-poms to turn it into a snowball launcher! or perhaps multi-coloured pom-poms, or even cotton balls? One per child, so they can launch soft pom-poms at each other.

    1. November 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Cool! That's a great idea!

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