How to Make a Paper Shuriken Launcher

Written by joe capristo
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How to Make a Paper Shuriken Launcher
Build a paper shuriken "throwing star" launcher for little ninjas. (My Ninja image by Rodhas from Fotolia.com)

It is fairly simple to make a paper shuriken launcher from common household materials. The shuriken, or throwing star, is one of the legendary weapons of the Japanese ninja. Using origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, you can create a variety of shuriken using different weights and sizes of paper. You can build your collection of paper shuriken and then launch them with the speed of a ninja using a simple rubber band launcher you can make out of commonly found items.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Rubber band
  • Adhesive tape (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Stick, ice pop stick, pencil, craft stick, tongue depressor, ruler, or any similar item

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Select a pencil, ruler, ice pop stick or other similar item to form the handle of your slingshot-style launcher.

  2. 2

    Cut a hole near the tip of the handle if it is a flat piece of material such as a ruler, ice pop stick or paint stirrer. Use an adhesive such as tape or a staple rather than cutting a hole if your handle is a pencil or other round type of stick.

  3. 3

    Affix the rubber band to the handle with adhesive or push it through the handle hole and loop it through itself. You are ready to fly your paper shuriken. Tuck one point of the star into the rubber loop, pull it back, and let it shoot.

  1. 1

    Gather several square sheets of paper. Card stock makes more rigid stars, while lined loose-leaf or printer paper provides a good balance between mass and distance. If the paper is too light or too heavy, it might not fly far. Experiment with different grades of paper until you find what works best with your launcher.

  2. 2

    Fold your square sheet of paper in half to form a rectangle. If the paper is overly heavy and needs to be lightened, cut or tear the rectangle in half along the centre crease you just made. If the paper is light and needs the weight, use the full sheet of paper.

  3. 3

    Fold the rectangle in half and crease it by bringing the short ends together. When the crease is formed, unfold the shape back to the large rectangle.

  4. 4

    Create a triangular point at each end of the rectangle by folding the short edges of the paper against the long edges. Form each triangular point in opposite directions. Your paper shape should now be a parallelogram.

  5. 5

    Continue folding the shape so the long edge of the shape rests against the centre crease. Fold the longest edge toward the crease so the fold goes in the opposite direction of the triangular point fold. Do this with both halves of your shape. You should now have a zigzag shape that looks a little like the letter "S."

  6. 6

    Repeat steps one through five with another paper. When you have the second shape, lay it on top of the first shape. It should lay across in a perpendicular manner. Fold the four triangle points of the zigzag shapes into each other the way you would interlock the flaps of a cardboard box. Your shuriken is now ready to fly.

Tips and warnings

  • The shuriken will fly best if you pull it back while holding it by the one point inside the rubber loop. Hold the point perpendicular to the stretched rubber band to achieve the best launch.
  • Multiple stars can be loaded and fired in a single launch; however, they may collide in midair, preventing them from reaching your intended target.
  • Experiment with different paper and materials as well as different sized shuriken.
  • Experiment with rubber bands of different size and strength.
  • If you can't visualise the creation of paper shuriken without a picture, see the References and Resources sections.
  • Although your ninja shuriken are made of paper, they could still hurt someone or cause damage. Don't launch your ninja stars at people, pets or breakable objects.
  • Always check your rubber band and launcher handle before shooting. You could be injured if the rubber band snaps or breaks free of the handle.

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