Introduction: How-to Make Your Own Catapult From Recycling in 4 Easy Steps.

Picture of How-to Make Your Own Catapult From Recycling in 4 Easy Steps.

You can buy your own catapult at your local Walmart for around $10.00 USD but it is more fun to build it yourself. I built mine for free since all the components I used are from recycling materials...

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

For the slingshot, try to get a V shape branch from a tree like depicted on the picture. You'll also need to large and robust rubber bands and four smaller ones. Finally I use a 1ft vinyl baseboard piece for the sling but you can use what you have such as an old leather strip from a shoe, belt etc.

Step 2: Sling Preparation

Picture of Sling Preparation

Cut the two large rubber bands and cut the vinyl base into the shape depicted on the picture.

Step 3: Sling Assembly

Picture of Sling Assembly

Take one large rubber band and bind it very tightly to one side of the vinyl sling using one smaller rubber band. Repeat the operation for the other side.

Step 4: Attach the Sling to the Slingshot

Picture of Attach the Sling to the Slingshot

Once the sling is together, attached it using the same technique as the previous step to the slingshot using the two remaining rubber bands. And you're done !


16kuokhc1 (author)2011-12-24

Where do we get the wood in HK

bwells2 (author)2011-09-26

How far does the slingshot go?

35Timmy (author)2011-08-21
okay you can make one cheapper than $10 in americain or canadian take for example this slingshot
for example the tee connector used in plumbling costs within $2.5 or less and the elastic $2.5 not including tax,tools and ammo unless you get into fastenners than it would cost another $2.5
here i will even throw in a video
dkiss (author)2011-03-31

To all the people saying it's a SLING SHOT, IT'S NOT!!!!

A sling shot is a thing you use to SLING stuff. It's a piece of leather held on 4 corners/2 sides by string/sinew and used to SLING rocks by spinning it around like a lasso and releasing the rock, thus it is called a SLING SHOT. This is a CATAPULT, because it CATAPULTs things, it doen't SLING them! Get it!?

I have been trying to find a video on sling-shots but I can't find it past all the people who can't understand this simple concept.

animeman819 (author)dkiss2011-05-15

Actually, It is a slingshot. What you're referring to is a sling. A slingshot uses vulcanized rubber to propel an object. Depending on where you are from, it is called a slingshot or a catapult. If you want to find some videos, try searching for slings, not slingshots.

35Timmy (author)animeman8192011-08-20

yeah but you can still use nonnatural rubber like this one
or you can even use a elastic cloth like the kind on clothes

35Timmy (author)dkiss2011-08-20

yeah you need science first of all a elastic stores energy just like the leather that twists the energy both of them store energy then release it like a spring same with the elastic  
from torque,torsion,compression and elasticity
for more info go to these links please give equal credit to the links and follow there disclaimers,terms of use and policys,laws and regulations of your area

doctor strange (author)2011-04-28

i have never seen anything as interesting and as constructive as a catapult.

christpher (author)2011-02-22


botboybart (author)2010-12-16

i had one of those jaru toy sling shots when i was a kid , my mom burnt it because my sister shot her self in the face with it

ttguy (author)2010-11-04


nutsandbolts_64 (author)2010-05-31

lol, I thought it was a catapult catapult. It was actually a slingshot. I understand that other cultures use the words "catapult" and "slingshot" interchangeably (correct me if I'm wrong). Just put something up there that it's a slingshot so that people won't get confused between "slingshot" and "catapult".

Otherwise, better than my last attempt!

alex4646 (author)2010-05-30

*cough* slingshot *cough*

otherwise very nice.

mikaelthemycologist (author)2009-10-02

in the UK and similar cultures catapult is their word for slingshot.

oh ok then! well, technically a slingshot is a type of catapult although not a pure bred catapult it still is

hate to get you wrong there, but mikaelthemycologist (did i spell that right? :D) is right... haha funny i used to think that "planes" were small private cessnas and sailplanes, and "airplanes" were the big airliners. I corrected my teacher that way one time in first grade. Now i look back... :P epic fail :D

threeme2189 (author)2009-10-06

you start the chain from the leather strap. stick one (or 2 or 3, for a thicker chain) through the hole on the strap, "fold it in half, and stick another one (2,3...) through the loops that the two folded ends make etc. when the chain is long enough attach it to the stick with another rubber band.

threeme2189 (author)2006-06-13

this is how a real slingshot looks like its about 10.5 inches long, made it myself.

Walker (author)threeme21892006-06-14

Here's a photo of a "real" slingshot (UK:"Catapult"). This bad boy is capable of hurling a waterballoon a quarter of a US mile and can be found on the Internet. Or you can make your own using surgical rubber tubing and a nylon pouch. Mine takes three people to operate: two strong young men to hold the ends and me to pull back the pouch and launch paint balloons.

Or just buy Backyard Ballistics by William Gurstelle and make one yourself

Pivnic (author)Walker2006-12-14

"a quarter of a US mile" would that be nautical miles or landlover miles?

dominic.tarr (author)Pivnic2006-12-24

well it couldn't possibly be nautical miles, because the US does not own the sea does it? so how could a nautical mile be US?

lllalllo (author)dominic.tarr2008-10-30


loler (author)2009-07-06

very awesome instructable!! I'm making one right now! lolz... thanks for the instructable!! =}

Jdogg095 (author)2009-03-03

can someone make a small easy to make trebuchet. i cant find a decent one

smileys (author)Jdogg0952009-06-24

I had one I made with a counterweight and all.... but I took it a part already -.-

smileys (author)smileys2009-06-24

this is not the one I made but if this were made out of card stock it might work

slingman98 (author)2008-12-15

thank you this really helps with school work and for fun thanks whoever you are :)

bob the builder #2 (author)2008-06-16

dude that's a slingshot, not a catapult.

actually they are called catapults.they have a lot of names

Anton1995 (author)2008-07-08

Check out my slingshot HERE

threeme2189 (author)2006-05-30

that slingshot is for babies. the instructions are good but the slingshot just isn't robust enough. the stick needs to be much thicker and the rubber bands (about 20 of them) need to be attacked to a strong piece of leather in a pretty complex way that i have no time to describe. how far can that thing launch a marble? 20-30 feet?

Are you being mean or kind?

popomaster (author)threeme21892008-03-23

i made my own using 6 rubber bands and it shoots a nice 200 feet. i shot a very round rock across a field in my neighborhood. but i want that rock back :( it was really round so it was really accurate. :(

maybe you should look into the word "ballista" if you want something your talking about... the ruber bands are used to gain rotational torque, rather than leniar pull, and thus, far, far more force is gained in the long run... plus ballista bows are more fun...

dominic.tarr (author)threeme21892006-12-24

i'm not sure what method you are thinking about but i would recomend using a sheet bend. it's basicially as bowline, except instead of forming a loop by tieing one rope back onto itself you tie two different ropes together

tomtrollkiller (author)2008-06-21

i tried to bind the bands together but it bacame loose. I made 1 similer and probabaly stronger mine goes 84 feet. (i measured)

LINGLING (author)2008-05-10

i can never find a branch with a halfway decent fork in it what other materials could u use???

Mr. Smart Kid (author)2007-04-10

this is a sling shot

I think you will find that a sling shot is one type of catapult.

The others are the medieval Ballista and also the device that propels a plane off an aircraft carrier.

The Ballista was invented by the Ancient Greeks and then used by the ancient Romans. dont challange me on this one as i have done a lot of research.

Ribs (author)Mr. Smart Kid2007-07-20

slingshot, catty, catapult same difference. how far can this thng shoot Btw.

popomaster (author)Ribs2008-03-23

i dont reccomend building it this way. this way wont get you any distance. attach multiple rubber bands to each other. like on each side of the stick, attach 3 rubber bands. than attach 2 rubber bands to the big group of rubber bands. it will make it shoot very well

pharoah (author)Mr. Smart Kid2007-05-02

I have to agree here, catapults are from the middle ages.

Shifrin (author)2008-01-02

This sick, but I think you meant Sling Shot...

fluid (author)2006-09-21

we used to make slingshots all the time when I was a kid. Intead of trying to find the Y-shaped branch we'd just bend up a wire hanger from the closet, and "duck tape" around the handle. If you don't have surgical tubing, you can use a bunch of rubber bands knotted together. My neighbor also made a crossbow out of a baseball bat that would shoot steel rods into a tree!!!

TheMadScientist (author)fluid2007-07-22

think thats fun do ya? take your bb gun, (needs to be air powered) and muzzle load it with a bamboo skewer. for added effect, pump it about 3 times the reccommended times, and put just enough tape around the skewer that it makes a nice tight fit in the barrel. even go so far as to push it down with another skewer if the tape is too tight... I can plat one of those babies into drywall with a 30+ year old, redone about 5 times over lead paint job, trees, the plywood siding on my shed, my friend's old computer screen (fun, but make sure the screen is the old tube type, not new lcd type). also have used it to play long range darts with a cork board, thats great... but don't aim it at people, really... my friend was able to get a squirrel with it, so it can easily pierce human flesh...


gotja (author)fluid2007-09-15

lol i do it that all the time (but not with a baseball bat but a pvc) well maby cuz im only 13 but im now tring to make a paper cross bow i made one before it went about 60-65 fps wich is decent for a PAPER CROSS BOW but i had to throw it away cuz we moved TT_TT

i make shooting things (author)2007-08-23

your sling design looks like it would shoot bigger stuff than mine but i think my frame would be a bit stronger but yours dose that the classic all wood design nice job

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