How to make a simple catapult for a school project

Updated February 21, 2017

You can use one set of ancient tools to construct an ancient weapon. With a few chopsticks and other household items, you can create a small wooden catapult fast and easily. Your homemade catapult will provide you with hours of fun launching soft items such as paper wads or marshmallows.

Select three chopsticks and place on a flat surface to form a triangle with overlapping ends.

Secure the chopstick triangle by wrapping rubber bands around the sticks at each vertex.

Use the remaining chopsticks to make the triangle three-dimensional by creating a pyramid. Attach each leg of the pyramid to a vertex of the base with rubber bands.

Secure the top of the pyramid by wrapping a rubber band around the three chopsticks where they come together at the peak.

Take the plastic cup and place it inside the pyramid to be sure it will fit. Cut shorter if necessary.

Use the pen to poke three small holes in the bottom of the cup, spaced evenly apart.

Thread a rubber band through each hole and knot one end so the band remains attached to the cup.

Turn the pyramid on its side so the base faces forward rather than downward. Tie the other end of each rubber band around each corner of the pyramid base. The cup should be suspended in the frame of the base.

Load a light object into the cup. Pull the cup back and release to fire.


The slack in the rubber bands from the cup to the posts should be minimal for maximum launch distance.


Never launch objects that could cause serious injury.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 chopsticks
  • 12 small rubber bands
  • Pen
  • Disposable plastic cup
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Adelaide Tresor has been a technical writer and book editor since 2006. Her work has been published by Thomson Reuters and Greenhaven Press, including several "At Issue" titles. Tresor holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and is also a certified teacher with experience in English, mathematics, chemistry, and environmental science. She currently teaches AP Physics.