How to Make a Paper Tommy Gun

Written by matt scheer
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How to Make a Paper Tommy Gun
Two handles and the drum magazine make the Tommy Gun a recognisable weapon. (Army man with a tommy gub image by patrimonio designs from

The Thompson, better known as the Tommy Gun, is an automatic firing gun that became distinctive during the Prohibition, when it was outlawed. The Tommy Gun is known for its round magazine, which holds 50 or 100 bullets, depending on the model. For a paper Tommy Gun, making this unique feature is key in creating a realistic looking Tommy Gun. Fortunately, making a 3D paper Tommy Gun requires only a few basic materials most of which can be found around the house.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Stack of white 8-by-11 inch paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • White electric tape

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  1. 1

    Make the barrel. Roll a sheet of paper along the long side into a tight cylinder and use electrical tape liberally to tape the cylinder together. Roll another sheet of paper into a cylinder and fit the cylinder into the first cylinder. Repeat this process for a third sheet of paper, being sure to tape the barrels with the white electric tape. This action creates a barrel 33 inches long, the same length as the Tommy Gun.

  2. 2

    Make the rear handle and attach it to the end of the barrel, on the thicker end. Make the rear handle by cutting an 8-by-5 inch rectangle out of paper using the scissors. Fold the paper at the 3-inch mark, 1 inch farther along, and then at the 7-inch mark. Bend these folds and tape them together in order to create a rectangle prism, which is to be the rear handle. Then cut two more rectangles the same length as the first. Fold these rectangles into two cylinders and insert them into the handle, providing strength for the paper rectangular prism. Tape the open end face of the handle to the barrel and close the open face at the bottom of the handle using more tape.

  3. 3

    Cut a rectangle about 11-by-4 inches. Fold this rectangle to make 1-by-11 inch strips, and then tape the edge of the rectangle together. Insert the front of the barrel through this rectangle and push the rectangle against the rear handle. The rectangle should fit tightly around the barrel.

  4. 4

    Repeat Step 2 in order to create the second handle. Attach this handle about 22 inches away from the rear handle, or wherever you feel comfortable holding the second handle. Try out the feel of the paper gun by holding the rear handle and the new handle at different positions along the barrel.

  5. 5

    Create the paper drum magazine. Cut two circles out of paper that have a diameter about 6 inches wide. Cut an 11-by-3 inch strip out of one paper, as well as another strip about 8 inches long. Tape these two strips together and use them to circular prism; for example, tape the strip between the two circles to give the circles depth in order to look like the drum magazine.

  6. 6

    Tape the drum magazine to the rectangle about 6 inches from the rear handle.

  7. 7

    Cut a 2-by-1 inch strip of paper, fold it in half along the short axis, and tape one end to the barrel and the other to the rear handle. Crisp the crease in the centre of the paper to look like a slot for which your trigger finger can fit.

  8. 8

    Cut a 1-by-2 inch rectangle and roll it into a cylinder. Tape the cylinder together and then tape the cylinder above the trigger on the rectangle. This cylinder mimics the action lever on the Tommy Gun.

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