How to Build a Homemade Crossbow

Written by scarlett gauthier
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How to Build a Homemade Crossbow
Use a crossbow to shoot arrows for target practice. (Target for crossbow shooting. Amateur competitions. image by Igor Zhorov from

Crossbows are essentially a bow using a trigger system to shoot projectiles toward a target. They were often used throughout history as weapons during warfare and hunting. Throughout history, wood and steel were often used to build crossbows. Although these mechanisms can be purchased, professional crossbows can be costly. You can build a simple crossbow with household items that can be used as a recreational and educational project for children as well.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 4 unsharpened pencils
  • Electric tape
  • 2 rubber bands
  • Pen
  • Chopsticks

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  1. 1

    Place two pencils on a flat surface parallel to each other.

  2. 2

    Use masking tape to secure the two pencils together. Leave approximately half an inch at each end of the pencil with no tape.

  3. 3

    Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for the remaining two pencils.

  4. 4

    Place two pencils over the other two perpendicularly so that they create a lower case "t". Attach the pencils together at the intersecting point with electric tape.

  5. 5

    Remove the cap of the pen and unscrew both ends. Remove the inner mechanisms of the pen and discard.

  6. 6

    Attach the hollow pen tube to the centre of the vertical part of the "t" shape. Secure the pen tube with electric tape to the pencils.

  7. 7

    Anchor a rubber band between the two horizontal pencils at the far left end. Anchor a second rubber band at the far right end of the two pencils.

  8. 8

    Stretch the rubber bands toward the bottom of the "t" shape and secure the two intersecting ends of the rubber bands with electric tape.

  9. 9

    Insert a thin chopstick, straw or various other types of ammo that are thin enough to fit into the hollow pen tube.

  10. 10

    Place one end of the ammo against the electric tape securing the two rubber bands. Pull back on the rubber bands and let go to shoot the ammo.

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