Introduction: Make Your Own Shuriken Throwing Stars Our of Paper, CD's, Wood, and Super Sharp Metal

About: I like to make things that go fast and explode. Even better if it's steampowered and pimped out with LED's.

One day as I was watching some uber-cheesy kung-fu movie, I had a thought: Wouldn't it be cool if I had some dangerously pointy, throwy things? Which lead me to googling for how to make my own stars. What turned up was a page on how to make simple paper throwing stars. (I'll show you how to make those, too.)
Even after that, my thirst was not satisfied, so I scrounged around my house for some material that would serve my needs. Pretty quickly I realized that old CD's were perfect for this project.

The Cd's weren't dangerous enough, so I made some out of metal.
You can go to Home Depot and cut your own out of some duct metal, they're quick and I don't really think they need another Instructable.

You can get "blank covers" in the electrical section in many stores. They are high quality aluminum disks that make GREAT shuriken. They sink into trees up to the center. (Poor tree! :P ) Seriously, if you weight one of those suckers, get a good throw in, they'll make that sweet *THOK* sound and stick a good inch or so in.

Yet Another Update:
Perhaps I should clarify a bit more what these "blank covers" are. They're round pieces of metal, maybe 4 or 5 inches in diameter. (I don't have any on hand to measure for sure). They are used as covers for electrical boxes. Apparently, what metal they're made out of varies from store to store.

At the local Wal Mart, I found "Electric Box Covers - Blank, Round" (3 dollars for 4 discs of galvanized steel). At Home Depot, they appeared to be made of aluminum, and were sold in packs of 2 for 4 dollars.

Personally, I'd buy the ones from Wal Mart. They're a bit weightier than their Home Depot cousins, and they cost a bit less as well.

Ah, here's phyco_ninja's Instructable on cutting out metal shuriken from electrical box covers. He uses a Dremel tool, rather than shears or tin snips to make his cuts. Note that he doesn't start out with a completely round piece of metal. It's perfectly fine to use box covers of that shape.

Again, no throwing pointy things at people / animals / property!

Step 1: Paper Throwing Stars

My Paper Shuriken Guide

The link above is an excellent and detailed guide on how to make paper throwing stars from either one or two pieces of paper. I learned how to make a good two-piece in under ten minutes.

Continue on to learn how to make stars from old Cd's.

Step 2: Materials for CD Shurikens:

I hope that those of you reading this will appreciate the time and effort that went into this project (not much, but still.) It took a little bit of trial and error to find the right way to do this. Anyway.....

....The Things You'll Need:

Old CD's, try to find some that are scratched, damaged, or ones that you'll never need again.
Scissors, any straight-cutting pair will do, but try to use a cheap pair, as they wear out after a while.
A wastebasket, (I'll explain later)
A permanent marker, (one that writes on CD's)
A ruler or straight-edge
Ten minutes to waste. (Less than the time taken to read this Instructable!)
Optional: A razor blade for sharpening the edges (It seems to improve the aerodynamics a bit. It also makes you feel pretty cool. :P )
Also Optional: Some tape and a couple of coins.

Step 3: Getting Ready and Common Sense:

Okay, before I tell you how to make the dangerous things, I've gotta tell you to not throw them at animals or people. But if you absolutely must have a shuriken duel with your friends, get some eye protection and don't use the really sharp ones. I know a guy who got a half inch cut across his eye, luckily he didn't get hit anywhere that wouldn't heal.

Before you start cutting, you're going to need to draw a design on your CD's with the marker. I use a simple and easy to draw four point design, but there are many possibilities. (You can sample some of them below.) First I draw a line all the way from one end, through the middle, and to the other side. Then I draw one at a 90 degree angle to the first through the middle, splitting the CD into four sections.
The next part is a little hard to explain, but you can see it in the second picture below. Now, from where one of the lines meets the edge of the circle, connect that point to where a line perpendicular to that one meets the inner circle. Then repeat on the other side, and for all of the four sides. It should look like the fifth picture when you are done.

Step 4: Cutting Out Your Stars:

The scissors come into play in this step. This part is simple, just cut along the outermost edges of the design and you will have a star. The parts that you are cutting off should come off in wedges, like below. Once you are done cutting, you could just finish there, but there's a bit more you want to do.

Warning: Nothing earth-shattering here, but: The labeling and stuff on top of the CD will come off and get everywhere, so it's best to do this over the wastebasket you may or may not have brought along.


It appears that many people have experienced a problem with the CD splintering while cutting. Personally, I never had this problem, but maybe I just got lucky.

If one simply sits the CD in a container of hot water prior to cutting, it softens the plastic, and can help with the splintering problem. The water does not need to be boiling. Think of the temperature of the water in a nice not bath. That's right around what you're aiming for.

Step 5: 5 Hints, Tips and Tricks for Your New Toy

The first thing that I do after I've cut one out is shave off the labeling with the scissors. Just scrape it along and the stuff will come off. This way, you get a nice clear shuriken, and you can see the design from both sides.

Second thing:
Sharpen the shuriken with the razor if you wish

Third thing:
I sometimes do this if a shuriken doesn't turn out quite right: Put "plus signs" of scotch tape on the shuriken (both sides) So that when it breaks, the pieces won't go flying all over the place. This might interfere somewhat with the aerodynamics because it covers up the whole in the middle, but it shouldn't matter much.

Fourth thing:
Something I had trouble with when I started was that I couldn't get the thing to fly straight. It would curve the the left sometimes and other times would move all over the place, zig-zagging / flopping crazily. To solve this problem, I followed the advice on Wikipedia on throwing a shuriken. You have to keep your wrist stiff, concentrate on flicking it away, and you have to be smooth with the shuriken. It just takes practice. In three days, I could be reasonably accurate at 15-20 yards. Just about accurate enough to hit a person.

Fifth Thing:
Weight. You can weight the star down with a couple of washers, quarters, etc. It helps with some people.

Oh, and check out my wicked skills with my "human head target" in the pictures below. It's a cardboard box on top of a lamp with a smiley face, if you can't tell. There's a bunch more slits in it from my other hits. I think this is pretty good, even if the distance is only 7 yards. I mean, try it for yourself if you aren't impressed.