Picture of DIY Archery Target - Puzzle Mats
i'm new to archery and i just got my own bow. i'd like to shoot at home but unfortunately the straw targets offered from the range won't fit in a car or cab, so i have to DIY.

i built this thing for about 2 days. 1 day is enough, but i ran out of materials and the store's closed.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
forgive me... i have a bad habit of crafting things without planning. this instructable would just serve as an idea for you in case you wanna make one. you can make use of your own specifications if you wish.

[1.] 1" x 1" x 10" wood (i used about 4 pieces of these)
[2.] 1" nails
[3.] 2" nails
[4.] wood glue
[5.] wood putty
[6.] sand paper or electric sander
[7.] 3" x 3" x 10" wood (i used about 2 pieces)
[8.] 4 pieces of casters/wheels
[9.] plastic mesh or chicken wire
[10.] puzzle mats
[11.] metal angle braces
[12.] carpet (1m x 1m) - the ones used for car trunks
[13.] varnish or wood paint (optional)

Step 2: Preparing Puzzle Mats

Picture of Preparing Puzzle Mats
puzzle mats comes in a pack of 10s with 1ft x 1ft dimension. i laid down and connected 9 pieces all together to create a wall of 3ft x 3ft in dimension. stacked them together until they're about 1 foot thick.

i was hoping to have plain puzzle mats but the store have mixed some with alphabets and animal designs. i just placed them in the center of the pile so pieces won't scatter.

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ggriffith129 days ago

I use a wall section from an old coolroom (from the tip) I removed one of the metal sides leaving 6 inches of polystyrene foam and a metal back. Some of my shots penetrated the metal back. Adding a layer of old carpet or two prevents this. I needed a large target because there's no safe backstop in my backyard. With a coolroom wall of about 4 by 7 feet I can keep even the really bad shots in the yard from my longest range of 35 yards.

A layer or two of old carpet will capture the arrow, and a couple of loosely hung layers of shade cloth a few inches behind the carpet will stop full penetration.

I use a 50lb recurve bow, but this works with a 65lb compound as well.

tukmol (author)  ggriffith128 days ago

hi, thanks for your input. good work on that ggriffith1. i think i'll consider modifying my backstop when i get home.

pavulurirao1 month ago

I know this is a DIY site. However, I tried many things including using 2'X2' tiles. But finally ended up buying the target from Lancaster Archery in PA. The 2' diameter targets are less than 100 + shipping (Shipping is a lot). The 4' diameter targets are about $300. If you really want to use the targets properly, I would suggest to use those targets. I ended up paying a lot more and these did not lot long. My son shredded the targets within a week. The other targets are going about 1.5 years so far. The center cores of the bigger targets can be replaced with smaller target...The other problem is the arrows may pass through depending on your weight of the bow. Nice try through...

tukmol (author)  pavulurirao1 month ago

hi pavulurirao. thank you for the suggestion. i live in the Philippines where archery is really not that mainstream, therefore not much local dealers for proper targets and stuffs. i do have one range that i shoot at, but of course given the situation, targets are expensive, or had to be ordered form the US, etc. which would cost more.

Got it. One other suggestion is to get a very dense self healing foam similar to the one you got and may be denser, and stack them up on top of the other and use the SIDE of the stack as your target. Not the face. You will get much better longevity for the target. .

Other best and cheapest is to get the hay block that is tightly packed and use it as non movable target. I know it is heavy and all. But the hay stack might last much longer. Just IMHO. Good luck with your shooting.
ShallNOTBeI3 months ago

Great idea, Tukmol! One suggestion, though; If you happen to hit one of the puzzle seams your may get a pass-through.

The fix is to offset every two or three layers. Just slice a row of the puzzle pieces in half and assemble like a brick wall. I encountered this particular problem while sighting in a crossbow.

These are great because when the target starts to wear out you can restack and move around the beat up pieces a few times before needing to replace any. This also works well on a smaller scale as a bb and pellet trap. They always seem to penetrate to the same depth so mining the trap for lead pellets to recast is a snap!

tukmol (author)  ShallNOTBeI2 months ago
hey, great idea. thanks!
awaite11 months ago

Fuuuuuuu I just threw out a whole heap of these last week, why didn't I see this earlier.

What model Who makes them ?
tukmol (author)  megabeastmode5551 year ago
it's from Mathews. Model is a Conquest 4.
What type of bow is it?
tukmol (author)  megabeastmode5551 year ago
it's a compound bow.
TruFord1 year ago
First off this is an amazing idea. I started looking to buy the supplies to make this and I stumbled upon these and wanted your opinion. 

Do you think these would make a better center/core? This way you could the replace the core once its worn down. Thought id kick the idea around a bit before I try it.
tukmol (author)  TruFord1 year ago
hi! sorry for the late reply. that actually is a good idea...though, are there any "cores only" being sold? Or you still have to buy the whole square as replacement?

either a visual aid, it would also be beneficial to improve groupings!
TruFord tukmol1 year ago
To my knowledge they don't sell the circles separately but you could easily stuff the score with another material (cardboard, another type of foam, ect) It would just need to be cut or rolled into the same size circle. This way you can easily replace the major wear area on your target.
tukmol (author)  TruFord1 year ago
i'm thinking of a rolled up rubber mat / sheet as a replacement. there you would have a spiral center that would stop arrows.
TruFord tukmol1 year ago
I think that would make a pretty awesome core/replacement. Perhaps something like a yoga mat (or two/three) rolled tightly together to fill the space. Its a pretty good idea.
tukmol (author)  TruFord1 year ago
yeah... a cheap yoga mat would do just fine, i believe!
john32 years ago
great project this one is a must try for me, thnx
tukmol (author)  john32 years ago
hey, thanks john!
john32 years ago
great project this one is a must try for me, thnx
joebro19952 years ago
Hey! This DIY target sounds fascinating however I don't know if it's suitable for me. I have just started archery a few months ago and I'm still shooting with my 22 pound PSE snake bow. Will my target arrows even penetrate compacted and layered puzzle mats?
tukmol (author)  joebro19952 years ago
thank you! yes... it will penetrate. puzzle mats are soft but will stop even a 90 pounder when stacked.

tjlavelle3 years ago
I used this idea with a slight mod: use 4 colors of mat for the target cut circles out of them and glue them together for a nice target
tukmol (author)  tjlavelle3 years ago
hey, that's great. a good idea indeed.
thanks, it works really well, attach 2 fence posts to the back and prop it up with a third one and it will stand with the front facing slightly upwards. I am in the process of making an instructable
tukmol (author)  tjlavelle3 years ago
and i'm waiting to see that. :)
a good target face is spray painting a stencile on shade cloth, i've got a couple of bucks like this with a red bull.
tukmol (author)  it_dont_work2 years ago
sounds like a good deal, thanks for this idea!

G'Day Mate

Great idea

You may have said but I can’t seem to find it.

What poundage are you shooting at this target and how close were you when you fired.

I’m shooting 62poinds, well I use to, and my arrows are mighty thin.
I’d hate to see them go shooting out the other side and pin a little lam to the tree stump.

Although I am mighty hungry atm.

tukmol (author)  broken board3 years ago
good day!

was shooting at 60 pounds from 10 meters.
neroweed3 years ago
awesome idea i'll surely use it with your kind permission!!
to avoid arrows passing trough target , maybe u should think about creating shock dissipation zones alterning your foam mats with : corrugated cardboard box (adequate size ) stuffed loosely with surmentioned heavy duty wrapping film , old t shirts blankets or any (gonna trash it ) fabric , plastic bags bubble wraps and anything (clean) plastic hanging round the trashbin (recycle!!) . excellent alternative to cardboard box is woven plastic sacks ( the kind used for animal dry foods or army sandbags , woven plastic let the arrow penetrate with minimal to no ripping using field points not broad heads :) and is tough enough to endure a lot of target practice!!) , on the fita training field we also used them filled with nylon foil ( kinda cheap tarp material) folded several times to a half inch tick plate , hanged loose on the back of half rotten straw targets they saved my (70 lbs propelled , point blank range) precious arrows!!
tukmol (author)  neroweed3 years ago
sure, no problem go ahed. ;)

yes, good i dea. i agree with you. i think i'll do with the corrugated cardboard boxes. precious arrows indeed. thank you!
mntbkrguy3 years ago
Great build! I have been planning to make a target for a while now. I was curious how it is holding up? I also wanted to ask if you thought of cutting them in half and stacking them so the arrows could slide between the layers making it last longer before replacing the mats.
tukmol (author)  mntbkrguy3 years ago
hey, thanks!

well, it's holding up quite well. though i have to shoot at different areas (relocate targets) so that i won't destroy a certain area immediately. otherwise, i have to disassemble and rearrange the mats to distribute the worn out pieces among the good ones. yet it will still take some time before i buy new puzzle mats to replace the whole thing. sometimes when I get lazy, i slide in corrugated cardboards in between the puzzle mats to make it stronger (adds a good sound too, rather than the usual "thud").

yes, you got a point there, thank you! i'll try layering them next time.

excellent grouping in step 6 :P
tukmol (author)  BuffaloNickel3 years ago
thank you very much! :)
red-king5 years ago
just looked up your bow. I can't afford that. but I already have a 45# martin jaguar TD recurve bow. It's been pretty good so far. this is a good Instructable for some cheap targets. when my target wears out I'll probably make one to use until I can get a new target. Also... I'm wondering why there's no Instructables around about how to make a quiver....
tukmol (author)  red-king4 years ago
hey thanks!

quiver... here's one:
Take a look at this an see what you think.

Comments are encouraged and welcome.
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