Picture of Pocket Sized Minty Catapult
This is my entry for the pocket size contest. This neat little catapult will launch mints or other fun projectiles in a medieval and discrete manner. It only takes about 10 minutes to build, and is really fun. Enjoy.
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
All the materials and tools you need for this project can be found around your home.


Tin (I used an Altoids Gum tin because it was small and compact)
Coat hanger
Rubber bands
Electrical tape (any tape will do)
Small piece of cardboard
Measuring spoon (or something similar)
Paint (optional)


Wire cutters
Hot Glue

Step 2: Freshen your breath...

Picture of Freshen your breath...
Get you tin ready, whether that means eating the mints/gum, or giving it a good cleaning as you will be adding glue soon.

Step 3: Making the tension arm....

Picture of Making the tension arm....
Cut a piece of wire hanger to your desired length. This will vary depending on the size of the tin.

You are going to bend the wire to fit as flush as possible in the tin, and have two notches on each side to hold the rubber band in place (see picture)

I used a pair of pliers and a small vice to get this step done. You may need to try a couple of times to get it just right.

Step 4: Cutting Spoons?

Picture of Cutting Spoons?
Take your measuring spoon and cut the handle to the desired length. I found plastic spoons to be the best option as they are quite light. You'll want the spoon to be approximately 80% the length of the tin to allow for movement.

Step 5: Holding the arm in place...

Picture of Holding the arm in place...
In this step we are going to make an insert that will fit over the spoon and in between the rubber band. This will allow for adjustments to the length of the catapult as well as aid in winding the rubber band.

To do this, cut a small piece of cardboard and wrap it around the base of the spoon. While still on the spoon, wrap a couple turns of tape for added strength.

IMPORTANT: Do not tape the cardboard to the spoon; you want to be able to remove the spoon. You want it to be snug but allow for movement.
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cspurlin1 year ago
I don't understand how you keep the rubber band twisted..? Or do you just twist it with the small cardboard thing in and then insert the spoon?
emilolip2 years ago
I know it said to turn it the "right" way but which way does that mean?
other than that my catapult seems cool, but it just doesn't work... :(
emilolip2 years ago
I know it said to turn it the "right" way but which way does that mean?
other than that my catapult seems cool, but it just doesn't work... :(
madmea233 years ago
When I made this catapult, it didn't fire very far, I'm not sure if I did something wrong or if it just doesn't fire very far...
try winding the spoon part up.
Oh, it's you again! hello.
aronmills2 years ago
awesome and minty
miky195225 years ago
im having a very hard time getting the rubber bands on
how are you putting them on? all at once or 1 at a time? if all at once, dont. if 1 at a time, try using tweezers.
wait it looks like you live in the uk because of the plug in the glue gun so were did you buy altoids
I live in the UK and I found them in a pharmacy by chance... So have a look around and you'll run into them soon enough. Hopefully.
Poundland sell them - if you have one near you.
Umm...can you use a blinder clip instead?
bfk3 years ago
Congratulations on your contest win. This thing is totally cool, and I'm off to get a tin of Altoids:)
Mauigerbil3 years ago
Wow. Me gusta. I would use this to launch them in mah mouth. lol
rzheang3 years ago
couldnt find any altoids.
nice post
you can get the mints at a guardian drug mart
scooter76 (author)  rzheang3 years ago
Tons online for sale, but I tend to put the word out and friends keep hold of them and pass them on to me..... All the best.
snipir3 years ago
This is absolutely adorable!
oanderson4 years ago
Love this, even better when you use a stationary tin, and just for those of you like me who don't have a hot glue gun, you can just use thick duct tape along the bottom, I put a roll of cardboard covered in duct tape along the bottom, that worked great as a break.
scooter76 (author)  oanderson3 years ago
post some pics, would love to see others take on the project. Thanks for the positive comment. All the best.
here are my two catapults, as soon as I saw the comment, I took the photo :)
scooter76 (author)  oanderson3 years ago
Thanks, with inspiration from this, I build a larger one from scratch out of meccano really powerful, I took it into school and it flings a mint imperial across the classroom, really powerful. I'll get some photos if you like.
Can you use the foaming gorilla glue if you don't have hot glue?
scooter76 (author)  A flyin muffin3 years ago
Should work fine. give it a go.
taking it in school might be fun
hit the teacher or principal!
unrealtron4 years ago
Were I live there are no altoids.... But nice post!!
me neither but i used an eclipse tin the long one with a lid on the small side and put a long spring stuck it to a card board rectangle then loaded it in and gave it to my friend.... he opens it.... BAM! The cardboard piece and spring whack him in the face!
mason01905 years ago
Maybe beans would make better ammo? They 1)are more aerodynamic and 2)more can fit inside the tin.
your rite
scooter76 (author)  mason01905 years ago
i used Altoids as the ammo since I was using an altoids tin. The options for ammo are endless. Try one out and post some pics.
thetaco1013 years ago
Darn! My mom just threw my Altoids tin away I'll have to get some soon to make that.
wito314 years ago
im going to use this to fire sneezing powder
nice dude
I just made this, and its FRICKIN amazing!
tim14 years ago
I thought of something, for the spoon to be powerful enough to go kinda far, it would pop the lid open, wouldn't it?
oanderson tim14 years ago
It takes a lot more force to open the tin, but the spoon still has a lot of force
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