Introduction: Mabel's Grappling Hook From Gravity Falls


Mabel was my favorite character in the show Gravity Falls, and I've always really liked her grappling hook. I've actually tried making grappling hooks a few times in the past. Some failed- though the last one worked very well. It was only about the size of my thumb and so it didn't really look like a grappling hook despite how well it worked. This time I've decided to sit down and get more real with this attempt. I would try to actually make it look like Mabel's grappling hook but make it work effectively as well. This may not carry actual 12 year old girls, but it can shoot at least a meter or so away, effectively hook itself onto many different things, and is quite strong!

Step 1: Cutting the Out the Main Shapes

Firstly, I drew and cut out the main parts for the grappling hook.

2 handle shapes and its walls (I scored the 2 walls so that I can glue it to the gun's curvy sides), the trigger parts and its walls, and a long rectangle shape for the long part of the gun.

Step 2: Assembling the Handle

Now to glue these parts together. Here's a tip: glue the shiny side of the cardboard in with the plain side on the exterior so it'll be easy for the paint to stick on for when you paint the whole gun later.

It should be easy finding where each piece goes and gluing it in place. For the scored walls of the handle I just curved it into shape as I glued it on the handle sides.

After making the handle and making the trigger, I centered the trigger onto its spot on the handle and glued it in place.

Step 3: Building the Gun's Long Part

That long rectangle of cardboard from earlier will obviously bend around a lot if I don't add anything to it to keep strong and supported, so I used popsicle sticks to fix that problem. It'll keep it especially sturdy and in shape for when I add the shooting parts onto it later.

I glued 3 popsicle sticks side by side onto the cardboard, then snipped 3 cm off each of 3 other popsicle sticks. The long parts of those 3 sticks I glued side by side on the rest of the cardboard, the short parts were glued in the front, end, and in the middle/on top of all the popsicles.

I then made a box shape around the rectangle so the shooting parts would have an even surface to go onto.

Note: I actually continued the top of the box shape down the whole rectangle shape's length but I didn't take. Though, I kept the walls the same as in the picture instead of extending them too because that wall-less space is where the gun's handles fit in.

Step 4: Adding the Long Part to the Handle + Making the Shooting Parts

Before making the shooting parts, I glued the long part to the handle of the gun. I also cut out 2 more long strips of cardboard and glued them along the length of the long part to guide the , leaving enough space in the middle for the cylindrical popsicle stick I had that I would turn into the grappling hook.

You can use a wider rubber band instead of what I did if you have one, but since I didn't, I cut 3 rubber bands and slid them through a bead. The bead is the part that will smack the grapping hook and send it flying.

I then cut two 2 cm pieces off a popsicle stick and glued them to the ends of another popsicles stick. Since Mabel's gun has that nice cylindrical roof on the top of her gun which is what I did, there'll be no space to easily stick my fingers in the gun to grab and pull back the rubber band when I want to launch the grappling hook. To solve that, I'm using this to pull back the rubber band.

I then chose a small plastic tube that was just wide enough so that the grappling hook and some rope would fit and still have a comfortable amount of space to slide in and out easily. I centered and glue that to the front end of the gun then used glue and duct tape to secure the ends of the rubber bands on both sides of that tube.

I then hooked the popsicle stick thing I made earlier to the bead-and-band part and glued the two together.

Step 5: The Spool, the Hook, the Roof

To make the spool for the grappling hook I cut about 1 cm of an old marker cap and about 6 cm of the front end of the marker. This allows the user to simply uncap the spool from the gun and rewrap the rope onto it before making another shot.

To make the grappling hook, I bent 3 wires and glued them onto the cylindrical popsicle stick. After trying some shots to find how far the gun could shoot, I measure that much rope plus 20 or so cm more and I glued one end to the end of the grappling hook.

To make the cylindrical top of the gun I measured and cut 2 toilet paper rolls so that they were the right size and shape on the gun, which I then glued onto the gun. I made sure the rolls weren't too close to the shooting parts on the gun so that they wouldn't ruin the performance of the gun's shots. Mabel's gun had a small curved piece under the main part of the gun which I made using a bit of another roll and glued that a little above the trigger.

I also cut out a 5 cm wide cardboard donut shape for the front of the gun, making sure the hole is big enough for the grappling hook to be able to shoot out easily.

Afterwards, I made a tiny cardboard roll and glued it under that special curved piece and glued the marker cap to the bottom of that roll. That extra cardboard roll gives more space for the rope to fly off the spool rather than if the cap was glued directly onto the gun.

Step 6: Finally, Improving the Look

Last of all is making it look right. Or righter.

I added another toilet tube to the front part of the gun and glued it on so it looked a bit better than before. I also cut out 2 more of the handle shapes and glued them on top of the original ones so they especially seem to go over the cylindrical part of the gun just like Mabel's gun.

Then, I painted the whole gun black and waited for it to dry before wrapping the spool up with rope, loading the grappling hook, and smashing things- because that's what Mabel does!

The gun is complete!

Mabel also yells "GRAPPLING HOOK!" before shooting, so don't forget to do that.


Here's a short video of it working!

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