Introduction: How to Make a Cool Cardboard Crossbow

Picture of How to Make a Cool Cardboard Crossbow

This is a free cardboard version of a $50 crossbow, made from junk, designed to fire drinking straws. I designed and made this model myself, with my kids and we had great fun with it. You'll need a rubber band, a couple of wire coat hangers, a wine bottle cork, a couple of old ball point pen barrels and some corrugated cardboard. Free templates for the wood pattern can be found at dadcando, where there are a few other projects that you might be interested in.

Step 1: The Shape of the Crossbow

Picture of The Shape of the Crossbow

Download the template from Make a crossbow

Step 2: Cut Out Card and Stick Together

Picture of Cut Out Card and Stick Together

Using the templates, cut out the card and stick together, making sure to put the cork in with the trigger when you are half way though sticking the layers together.

Step 3: Use Wood Effect Paper Inkjet Printout

Picture of Use Wood Effect Paper Inkjet Printout

Use wood effect paper inkjet printout to make the crossbow look realistic. Sorry these instructions seem so lame, I made a printout of the full instructions with templates and wood effect area which you can get from Make a Crossbow as a pdf. However, you can also enlarge them up from these images here on Instructables and print them out from your web browser window. Enjoy...


ariesells (author)2013-11-20

Made this the other day and I got crossbows on the brain haha, and I found this site that gives pretty good reviews for anyone interested

sanagol (author)2011-08-27

iv made the crossbow without the template and it still works well and i also added some extras on it like a longer rail and a cover on the rail to stop it from falling

shadow123456 (author)2011-08-26


macboy98 (author)2011-07-01

Hey KaptinScarlet, could u pls make us a wooden samurai sword

li789 (author)2009-06-27

dadcando is not free howd you get it then

KaptinScarlet (author)li7892009-06-27

It used to be free, but I couldn't afford the server and general running costs so now I charge for individual project but it's only £0.95 each or £9.95 tyo belong for a year and get access to all the projects. The money I get in goes towards the costs of running it but they still don't cover them fully.

iLikeCoolStuf (author)2009-01-31

dadcando is no more free

I have to pay for the server and all the other costs of running it somehow, it was that or stop doing it. It's not exactly expensive though.

I just signed up for dadcando. It's a great site! Today it wasn't there... what's going on? Will you be back soon?

It's all back up and running now... phew that was a close one, a technical hitch between the domain name registrar and my server... boring, but all fixed now, sorry for the down time.

Hi, thanks for emailing me here... I am so sorry I have no idea what is wrong. The email stopped working this morning and I sent in a support ticket and this evening the site goes off line. I have contacted the web server host and they are working on it at full speed. rest assured we will be back on line soon, hopefully in a few hours. sorry to mess you about, this is the first time this has happened to dadcando... boy I hope it's the last. Glad you like it BTW, great to have you as a member. thx Chris

i make shooting things (author)2007-05-12

Did you actually build this or did you just find it? pictures of your end product would be nice

It's mostly a repost, but a FREE repost from a PAID site... TAKE THAT, "THIEVES"!

lllalllo (author)lllalllo2009-01-04

Also, he's the copyright owner, and can do what he wants with his work.

sorry to all i should not have assumed he had just copied pictures from some one else's work

hey, it's really no issue, I'm glad you're on the look out for that kind of nasty practice. I put a lot of work into my projects and since i have started charging a small fee for them to help make ends meet and pay for my site upkeep, it has been depressing seeing my work copied wholesale by others and posted up on other sites, which has happened a few times. So thanks for the vigilance and happy making stuff!

KaptinScarlet (author)lllalllo2009-01-06

Hey guys, It's mine. I drew it and I run and make everything on dadcando. I put this project here as my first instructable to see if I could get people interested in my other stuff. In those days I didn't understand about instructables . Then I got the bug and for some of my projects I made special instructables. That was when you didn't get pdfs at the end of the instructable. Now I keep doing new stuff on dadcando and if you like it you can pay a small fee to join for a year and get all the projects free or you can buy individual ones and for the ones that are on Instructables, look upon them as a bonus!

Happy making

Apologizing would be nice....

Hi, these are my own pictures of the thing I made. and if you follow my instructions and use the templates that I have provided then yours will look like this (I'm a designer and I took these phots and used photoshop to drop the image onto a white background and put in the fake shadows. I designed it one weekend with my brother-in-lae helping with the trigger mechanism. One thing that could be betterin it is to use a ball point pen spring behind the trigger (inside the stock, so that the trigger automatically returns to the cocked position. If you have a look at my web site you'll see that I have made more stuff from junk on there. Are you going to make one, if so I'd love to see a photo.

serdar (author)2007-08-27

MY CROSSBOW IS 100 TIMES BETTER THEN YOUR CARDBOARD CROSSBOW AND paulm's crossbow is good but not as googd as mine i'll post a pic later

mg0930mg (author)serdar2008-12-25

If it's so much better,make an instructable. God! No proof, and that's your only post.

KaptinScarlet (author)serdar2007-08-28

100 times better at what?

McGyver2 (author)2008-10-24

I made a smaller version of this and turned it into a crossbow pistol and then later made a bigger one big to the point were it has to sit on my shoulders and it can fire real crossbow bolts with twice the force... thanks for the cool instructable!:)

KaptinScarlet (author)McGyver22008-10-24

you just gotta show us a picture

McGyver2 (author)2008-10-24

keep up the good work and for the record when i scanned the net i didn't find anything that looked like this crossbow.

KaptinScarlet (author)McGyver22008-10-24

thx, I do my best to be original! Glad you like it

suppi (author)2007-05-16

i like the idea and it would be nice if you upload your own image if the finish product...

KaptinScarlet (author)suppi2007-05-16

Thanks, glad you like it ... these pictures ARE of my finished product, the one I made, and they are pictures that I took with my little 4megapixel camera. I took them and just retouched out the background using photoshop, these are my drawn instructions to. If you go to, you'll see loads of other projects that have similar instructions and photos. Cheers for the post, Chris

I saw that at and I made it...

Yeah I saw, and uploaded some great pictures... thx, great to have you as a member of the dadcando crew as well.

Geordiepom (author)KaptinScarlet2007-10-26

Amazing. Two people have now accused you of using other people's images/ideas. Neither has had the manners to apologise when it's pointed out that this instructable was produced using your own (considerable) skills.

KaptinScarlet (author)Geordiepom2007-10-27

thx, but that's life I'm afraid. generally the instructables members are amazing people, so really I have no complaints at all. But thx for the support.

paulm (author)2007-06-07

not really an instructible. my crossbow is wooden and draws at 1m

sparetimer (author)2007-05-30

ohh.. i see

sparetimer (author)2007-05-30

wer da hell do i get the cut out sheets?!

About This Instructable




Bio: Eldest of five, son of two doctors, 10 years in Graphic Design and marketing, then retrained as a Biomedical Materials Engineer, don't ask me ... More »
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