The office had lots of scrap/used A4-sized papers lying around. I decided to save them from the shredder and make a cheap and easy archery target out of these. The idea is to stack them up and compress them, enough to stop your arrows.
A3-sized papers would be better, you can make a bigger target from those. But since A4 is widely used in the office, i don't need to be choosy... since it's free anyway. ;)
So here goes...
Step 1: Materials
1. lots of A4-sized papers. stack them up until they're tall enough to equal the length of an A3-sized paper (two A4s makes one A3).
2. old ring binders/file folders (or a strong, thick cardboard)
4. cutting mat (optional)
5. rubber cement
6. cloth from old t-shirt of whatever you could find
7. 2-inch duct tape or filament tape (those with fibers)
8. 2-inch packing tape (the strong, clear types are preferred)
9. metal ruler or anything straight that would serve as a cutting guide
10. straw or any flat rope
11. old paint brush
Step 2: The top and bottom shell
use a sheet of A4 paper as a guide. put it over the ring binder then cut away using a metal ruler. pieces should equal the A4 paper's dimensions. a ring binder has two sides, so you also get two "shells" for your target. remember to use a cutting mat or another piece of ring binder, or anything that would protect you and your work table.
Step 3: Stacking them up
find a table or any flat surface that's connected to a wall. stack your papers horizontally placing the shells on both ends.
using a straw or any flat rope, tie it around the stack to initially compress the stack, pulling it tightly before you make a knot at the stack's corner.
Step 4: Gluing the spine
like a book, we need to make a spine on the "back" side of the stack. the purpose is to hold one side permanently, and to stop arrows (just in case). it would seem like you're making a very big book. get your rubber cement and pour it on. use an old paint brush to fairly smooth the rubber cement on the back side. the paper would absorb most of the first application, so pour some more.
lay down the cloth and watch it absorb the rubber cement. you may use an empty water bottle as a roller. don't use your hands, unless you wanna get sticky all over. this normally sets for a few hours. i had it set overnight to have a good cure.
Step 5: Bracing
using the packing tape, secure the sides of the stack by taping it around the whole thing. you may also remove the straw/flat rope while doing this. but you may also leave it there, it makes no difference. it may be a bit wobbly so be careful not to lose the whole stack.
Step 6: Compression
find a wall. lie the stack down and using your knee, push the stack against the wall with all your might. while compressing it, tape each side using a duct/filament tape. this should be strong enough to keep the compression. do it on all four sides.
one done with the duct/filament tape, get the packing tape again and using your fore arm, knee, or foot... push down the stack even more to compress it further, pulling and winding the packing tape around it. but do not do this on the front side (the business end). you'll be making a sturdy rectangular stack out of this procedure.
you may test it by hitting the sides with your fist or foot. if it gets out of shape, then it's not compressed enough. compress and tape it again, then test again. if the shape retains or you feel like you're hitting a brick wall, then you're done compressing it.
Step 7: Waterproofing
just a safety precaution in case moisture is around. wind the remaining packing tape around the stack (not on the front side).
Step 8: Finishing up
cut out the straw/flat rope and the duct tape from the front side, the ones that you have used earlier as a brace.
Optionals: you may add decals or designs. i printed out some archery related photos from the net, posted it on the top, back, and sides... then used the clear packing tape to protect them from moisture (...and yes, Jessica Biel is really smoking hot).
Step 9: Shooting the darn thing
print out a target face of your choice and post it on the front side of your target using adhesive tapes. i print mine on A3-sized papers... as i've mentioned, two A4s can make one A3.
admire your work.
here are some test shots i made using my Mathews Conquest 4 and Easton Platinum Plus 2314 arrows.
Step 10: Alternatives and finale
and here are some shots from my previous (unposted) DIY target... made out of old "phone books", using the same procedures. yup... phone books are good, no need to make the spine. one advantage: when a part wears out, loosen up the tapes using a cutter, then replace with a new phone book. do the same bracing and strapping procedures... and the fun continues.
I hope this helps in case you need an idea for a cheap DIY target. comments and suggestions are welcome. thanks for your time!
keep on shooting!