Introduction: Paperclip Archery

This is my first Instructable so please, not too much criticism.

Welcome to Paper Clip Archery 101.

School classes boring you? Why not make a Paper Clip Bow and Arrow set! Easily adaptable depending on the amount of pain you wish to inflict and the final result is very discreet for most school environments (and even offices like I currently use mine in).

In this guide I'll show and explain to you how to make the basic design and ammo, modifications for levels of sting, and various of the design. I'm making it out to be way more complicated than it is, it's just a Elastic Bow and Arrow / Crossbow Set :P

PLEASE NOTE: Images will be posted to accompany this Instructable in the next 24 hours.

Step 1: Requirements

You will need:

1 x Elastic Band
1 x 30cm/12" Ruler
1 x Roll of Transparent Cellotape
1 x Box of Paperclips
1 x Pair of Plyers

Step 2: Making the Ammo

To make your ammo, take a paperclip from the box and unfold it so its a long piece of metal with the hook at the end. Use the flat part of the plyers (most likely the tip) to straighten out the length as much as possible, it helps with the dynamics and looks good.
For variations see The Variations section.

Step 3: Making the Bow

To make the bow, simply take your 30cm ruler and stretch the elastic band from one end to the other. For a classroom environment you dont really want to be causing real harm, so I'd suggest using an elastic band thats roughly 10-15cm long when laid flat. This is to reduce the amount of 'twang' noise that you get and to reduce the zipping noise that some paperclip designs make whilst they are travelling through the air.
For variations see The Variations section.

Step 4: Testing the Bow

To test the bow, simply hold the ruler in the middle with your middle finger and thumb, and use your index and little finger to push up either end slightly. This will cause the elastic band to lift off the surface of the ruler and allow you to twang it. Pull the band back a few inches, hopefully the band will have enough friction at either end of the ruler to not slide off. If it does, you can use some cellotape to keep it there.
For variations see The Variations section.

Step 5: Aiming Your Weapon

Excellent! You now own a fully functional, yet discreet Classroom Projectile Launcher. Now you just need to know how to aim it properly. If your in the classroom and you're looking to annoy someone then you'll most likely want to look like it wasnt you who did it. The best way to do this is to aim it like a cross bow - hold it in the way that you held it to test it with your hand flat on the desk. Lightly lift up the ends of the ruler so allow access to the elastic band. Hook the paperclip in the centre, aligned with your hand and arm. Pull back an inch or two, depending on the distance it has to cover and let go. As soon as you let go of the paperclip rest your hand flat again to unbend the bow and go about your normal business to go undetected. Another way to do it is to put the bow upright on your desk.

Step 6: Variations

Making the Ammo: Variations

One problem with using paperclips, whether they be made of metal of coated in plastic, is that there is a lack of friction. This means when you pull back the paperclip once it hooked, you will only be able to pull it back so far before you lose grip and it misfires. This can be countered in 2 ways. One way is to use the plyers to bend the end of the clip 0.75cm away from the hook, allowing you to pull it back without the guide snagging on the band as it is fire. The only problem with this is that sometimes the paperclip will veer off slightly andl rotate in the air. The other solution is to use electrical tape (or some more cellotape) to wrap up the end of the paperclip to give some more grip. 3 or 4 wraps should do it - this also gives weight to the clip and adds force.

Making/Testing the Bow: Variations:

To make your bow tighter without changing elastic bands, simply hold onto one end of the ruler (pinching the end of the band) and stretching the band. Then pinch the other end and let go of the ruler and band at the other end. Just tie a knot in the band at this point and your ruler will be stronger. You could always use the cellotape to pin down either end of the bow after stretching it out. If stealth is your main priority, you should try to get a ruler that matches the colour of your elastic bands.

Step 7: Done :D

Congratulations, you have successfully completed Paperclip Archery 101.

I have to warn you that paperclips do sting and on occassions they will rotate in mid-air so becareful not to aim in someones face incase the sharp end comes around and gets them. In general aim away from the face, eyes, mouth and ears. However the back of someones head is fine.

Also, be stealthy. If using in a classroom environment always be warey of the teachers location and range of vision :P

Have fun, expect a video up of this in action this week.