How to make origami paper crossbows

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to make origami paper crossbows
Origami is the art of folding paper. (sinemaslow/iStock/Getty Images)

A crossbow is a weapon that shoots an arrow using a spring mechanism that lets you aim and pull a trigger similar to the way you’d shoot a rifle. You can make your own pretend crossbow out of paper and scour the countryside for bandits to shoot at. You will need some common household items as well as sheets of paper. Your paper crossbow won’t be as powerful as the real thing, but you can play the Tudor soldier with it.

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Things you need

  • Sheets of A4 white paper
  • Scissors
  • Rubber band, 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) wide
  • Cellophane tape

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put a sheet of paper down on a table with the 20 cm (8 inch) side at the top. Roll the sheet of paper up from the bottom to form a tube.

  2. 2

    Put a piece of cellophane tape at each end of the tube and in the middle to secure it. Place the tube down on the table.

  3. 3

    Repeat this procedure with another sheet of paper. Tape both tubes together with cellophane tape at the ends and in the middle. Place the tubes down on the table.

  4. 4

    Roll a third sheet of paper into a tube in the same fashion and tape it.

  5. 5

    Use the scissors to make a cut in the sides of the two tubes taped together at one end.

  6. 6

    Place the middle of the tube that was just made into the cuts in the end of the two tubes so as to form a “T.” Use cellophane tape to hold the middle of the tube onto the end of the two tubes. Place the tubes down on the table.

  7. 7

    Roll another sheet of paper and tape it in the same fashion as before. Insert this tube into the tube that is attached to the end of the two tubes of paper. Place the tubes down on the table.

  8. 8

    Make a small cut using the scissors at each end of the tube which forms the “T” and is attached to the two tubes of paper.

  9. 9

    Put the inside edge of the rubber band into the cut on one end of the tube forming the “T.” Stretch the rubber band over and put it into the cut on the other end of the tube forming the “T.”

  10. 10

    Put a sheet of paper on the table. Fold the sheet of paper in half. Place the sheet of paper so that the shorter side is at the top. Roll the sheet of paper up from the bottom to form a short tube. Tape the tube together at each end and in the middle using cellophane tape.

  11. 11

    Repeat this procedure with another sheet of paper. Tape the two short tubes of paper together at the ends and at the middle using cellophane tape.

  12. 12

    Cut a strip from the long edge of another sheet of paper using the scissors. Fold the paper over three times to form a small square. Put the small square aside to use as the arrow later.

  13. 13

    Use the scissors to cut a hole in one side at the bottom of the two tubes that are forming the “T.” Insert one end of the two short tubes that were just taped together into the hole. Use cellophane tape to hold the two short tubes in position in the hole.

  14. 14

    Use your left hand to hold the crossbow you have just made by the two short tubes now forming the handle. Stretch the centre of the rubber band over and onto the ends of the two tubes taped together.

  15. 15

    Aim the crossbow you have made at a tree or rock outside in your back garden. Place the small square of paper against the end of the two tubes taped together.

  16. 16

    Release the rubber band that is stretched over the ends of the two tubes with the fingers of your right hand. Watch the “arrow” shoot off of the crossbow you have made out of paper.

Tips and warnings

  • Never aim any kind of weapon, real or otherwise, at a person -- there is always a chance of hurting someone.

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