Picture of The Paper Trebuchet
Moving on from my original Paper Catapult, this is an only slightly more complex model.

Rather than using counterweights like the later versions, I decided to use muscle-power and make a traction trebuchet.

Again, it's just a single sheet of A4, but you need two cocktail stick this time.

(I have posted this without a firing video because certain members have been nagging me to get it posted. I will do a video as soon as I can.)

Step 1: The Template

Picture of The Template
Paper Trebuchet template v3.jpg
As is my preference, I drew the design by hand, in ink, on 5mm squared paper, referring back to the Paper Catapult for the base and frame. I made a couple of mistakes, but I include a scan of the original drawing for completeness' sake.

More useful for you, dear reader, I have also included a re-drawn PDF and JPEG of the template. Use whichever you desire (the JPEGs are probably the easiest to re-size, should you need to).

Print the template out on either normal 80gsm printer paper, or light (120gsm) card. If you print or photocopy to a size larger than A4, then I recommend using card instead of paper. If you use card but make it smaller, then careful scoring of crease lines will be required.

You will also need two cocktail sticks, gluestick, a paperclip, stickytape, pliers, sewing thread and small weights such as nuts or modelling clay.
paper trebuchet
Kiteman (author)  goingforthewin2 years ago
Thanks, although, personally, I prefer my original paper catapult.
chubawabu3 years ago
Great instructable as always but needs a video.
Yooy163 years ago
Hi ya Im making this for a math class and it needs to fire a certain range. how far does this shoot?
Kiteman (author)  Yooy163 years ago
You know, I'm not really sure (I haven't made this again since posting, because I much prefer my original Paper Catapult) - there's a certain amount of skill involved in releasing the ammunition "just so".

Certainly it hit the wall of my shed (and the ceiling, and the wall behind me...), So I would say plan on around 8-12 feet.
Yooy16 Kiteman3 years ago
Thank you very much tht is great news. Almost everyone in my class has used your plans for the paper catapult, so keep up the good work!!
Kiteman (author)  Yooy163 years ago

You could all post a report of the results!
Partex4 years ago
I don't understand how to fire ammunition will you please clarify.
Kiteman (author)  Partex4 years ago
Tie the ammunition onto a loop of thread.
Hang the loop over the paperclip.
Pull the tab, the arm flips and the ammunition flies.
hi, its me again! umm kiteman, is there any other medieval weapon you made out of paper???
thanks, kiteman! This is a really awesome instructable because it is a real help with my 7th grade castle project!!!! :D XD
Kiteman (author)  ZoroThePirateHunter4 years ago
Excellent, I'm glad it helped.

Kiteman (author)  ZoroThePirateHunter4 years ago

(Who is "Pplz"?)
"pplz" is "peoples"for short
im with flanimal, you should really put up a video:D
What are the ranges?
Are they like. Epic range.
And what does the shooting look like?
Kiteman (author)  Jimpiedepimpie4 years ago
Define "epic". If you are four inches tall, then across a room is fairly epic.

Look like? Pull the tab, the arm flips, the ammunition flies...
SaberSaver6 years ago
wow this is so cool if only i knew how to get the template printed, lol, oh well, very cool.
Kiteman (author)  SaberSaver6 years ago
You don't have access to a printer??
I do but I always have the worst luck with computers, I think they hate me, or maybe I just cant understand them.
don't try linux :P
danbaha5 years ago
This shoots very far for it's size! Nice work! Airsoft bb's work well.
Kiteman (author)  danbaha5 years ago
Thank you.
nickodemus5 years ago
Nice work! I'd like to try this soon.

And, slightly unrelated...  Is that what a soda tab looks like in the UK?
Kiteman (author)  nickodemus5 years ago
Thank you, and, yes, it is.

There's two types here in Australia, one looks similar to the British version.
zexy beazt5 years ago
 itz 2 flimzy
Kiteman (author)  zexy beazt5 years ago
Try it - it works rather well.

(You could also try using proper English as well - it's a site policy.)
Ah, so you're adding onto the war game with your shed(s) and Kitemen infrantry. What will you add next Kite man?
(I have concluded that your Kite man, not Kiteman. And thanks for teaching me how to make small text. Perhaps there is still time to make you in to Kiteman)
how do you make small text?

I can only make it this small.
add this before and after your text.
add what?
comma comma shift+ six comma comma shift+six
comma comma shift+ six comma comma shift+six like this

,,+6,,^lik thiz
Um testing
dombeef dombeef6 years ago
dombeef dombeef6 years ago
like this? hello?
like this? see?
Yes, like that.
like this?
Yes you are

i don't get it

you wouldn't....
you have to have had the email sent to you.

I'll try to tell you with words:

comma comma carrot comma comma carrot

so it looks like this (without quotes)

well, that last part didn't work. but yeah, you can tell from my words.

I wonder if you could pair a carrot and that...

is it too tiny to read?
zoom in on that.
ha, you can barely make it out when fully zoomed.
you can just copy and paste it into your adress bar -_- it says lala right?
si. pero es muy peqeno. there should be a tilde on the n, but I don't know how.
i added that x 2 lol lol
that dot near lol says lol! i put comma comma carrot comma comma carrot comma comma carrot comma comma carrot comma comma carrot comma comma carrot
does this work?
I'll try yours.

I'm trying it here.
me too
i think this is it I have concluded that your Kite man, not Kiteman. And thanks for teaching me how to make small text. Perhaps there is still time to make you in to Kiteman how??

 anyway, now i have a catapult and trebuchet
Photo 3.jpg
 .{{{Does this make it smaller?}}}.
I am soooo going to try this!
knektek5 years ago
about how much newtons or grams of weight can this hold?
Kiteman (author)  knektek5 years ago
I've never tested it to find out.

The best answer would be "a few grammes" - nuts and bolts, that kind of thing.
GianniMora5 years ago
you should put up a video:)
cocktail sticks are the same thing as toothpicks, correct?
Kiteman (author)  Future filmaker6 years ago
Similar, but toothpicks (I think) are smaller. Cocktail sticks are the things they poke through olives in bars, or through lumps of cheese and pineapple at tacky parties.
can you buy cocktail sticks? and where?
Kiteman (author)  the poodleo6 years ago
I buy them from my local supermarket - they tend to be in the bakery section, near the paper bun (muffin) cases.
Nothing like a fresh-killed muffin. =D
Kiteman (author)  Lithium Rain6 years ago
I got a pleasant surprise the other day - I had a "triple choc" muffin, and the third chocolate turned out to be a big dollop of sauce in the centre of the muffin - warm and gooey!
Oooo, nummy! :)
Kiteman (author)  Lithium Rain6 years ago
See - how is this "not fitting in"?
ah, got it
I dont get how to fire it
Kiteman (author)  Electroinnovation6 years ago
The string goes around the curved part, under the bottom cocktail stick and out the back - tug the string and the arm flips.
so it is not at all a trebuchet is more like a catapult because the trebuchet works with weight at one end and the projectile in the other end
i geuss you and i will be nerds 2²ever...
Kiteman (author)  MrMystery966 years ago
hippyland26 years ago
i like the launch it : the paper catapult better but i like the idea
MrMystery966 years ago
well done, as usual from the all mighty kiteman. although, i thought a trebuchet used a counter weight AND a traction setup to hold, load and fire. anyways, once again, your talent has made us all happy. so long and thanks for all the fish.
Kiteman (author)  MrMystery966 years ago
Ah, call it Makers' license...
pie R []ed6 years ago
I taped all the way to the base of the curved part and found that if the arm stopped there it flung the ammo constantly in the highest ark possible.
Mothys6 years ago
the trebuchet is awesome
Mothys6 years ago
that didn't work
Mothys6 years ago
Mothys6 years ago
Ehek6 years ago
ach you didn't show which way the other end of the throwing arm was... i made it upside down :(
Kiteman (author)  Ehek6 years ago
Other end? I thought it was clear from the photos. Sorry.
bowmaster6 years ago
Hi! I'm a bunny and I'm very small!!
Kiteman (author)  bowmaster6 years ago
Hi, I'm a boot and I'me very large. >STOMP<
Poor bunny :( I like this trebuchet by the way :D
I'm a steel bunny. I broke his foot.
Kiteman (author)  MoeMonkey6 years ago
dombeef6 years ago
"I have posted this without a firing video because certain members have been nagging me to get it posted. I will do a video as soon as I can.)" Like Me! lol!
Crap, right after i finished i realized i didnt have any toothpicks
Forgot to say great instructable... i hit post comment to fast
Jdogg0956 years ago
can u use duct tape
daniel19936 years ago
My 10 year old son had to make a trebuchet for his homework so we thought the paper version was a great idea. We decided on a slightly thicker paper and instead of using a paper clip, we cut down a small plastic spoon. We also used sticky tape as well as glue as my son didn't think it would be strong enough with just glue. We tried it out, firing some blutack and WOW!!! it works. My son can't wait to take it to school on Wednesday.
Kiteman (author)  daniel19936 years ago
That's great - maybe you could post a picture?
tengaman6 years ago
i made alot of the originals but can u put in the size for 8.5 by 11 also known as letter paper i dont mean to seem rude but i want to make the right size so can you?
Kiteman (author)  tengaman6 years ago
If you click the i in the corner of the second image on step one, you can download a jpeg of the template.

That can be made any size you want - just remember to keep the proportions the same, or the parts won't fit (ie resize it, don't stretch it).
pyro13246 years ago
I made it in carp board paper size A-1
Kiteman (author)  pyro13246 years ago
A1? Any chance of a picture?
it kinda fell apart.

i took a rock and tried to fire not a good idea!
Kiteman (author)  pyro13246 years ago
fork me36 years ago
wow awesome much? i love the original catapult. and all that is required is your paper design and a printer. excellent work!
jayro7076 years ago
Kiteman (author)  jayro7076 years ago
Thank you!
dombeef6 years ago
Very nice! I might just have to make this.
dombeef dombeef6 years ago
And 5 Stars
Gjdj36 years ago
Really cool! I can't wait to make one of these. 5 stars.
kelseymh6 years ago
The two images in the intro are great! I have done the same with a couple of my projects (see my living room Web page). Did you make the rendering before or after you completed the assembly? Or did you arrange the loop and pull tab to match the drawing?
Kiteman (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
I actually drew over the photo in CorelDraw, then copied and pasted the drawing into Photoshop Elements, which I used to add the shading and colour.

There are probably easier ways of doing it, but that's what I'm comfortable with.
Ah, okay; thanks, Kiteman! For the drawing, I wonder if SketchUp supports doing both a 3D rendering, and then "unfolding it" to get a first-pass at the paper cutouts. Your method produces much better looking (more realistic) drawings, I think.

Shameless self-promotion For a couple of my projects (our living room and Madeleine's crib) I did the drawings first, as design concepts, and then made the photos (or photo-collage) afterward to match.

Kiteman (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
I've never used computer software to originate a net, it's always by hand. It's weird - when I want to make something like this, the actual design process, bar any small aesthetic tweaks, all happens in my head, the finished product and the net both sort of "appear" at the same time. I can "watch" the net fold up into the finished item, and vice versa, in my head, before I commit pen to paper. Sometimes, it is so clear I can use ink instead of pencil, I am so confident it will work.