Intro: Amazing Toothpick Darts
This is a very simple and easy to construct DFO - or Dangerous Flying Object. All you need are toothpicks, scotch tape, and a straight pin or needle (and perhaps a pair of pliers). Construction takes almost no time at all... and within minutes you can have a toothpick dart arsenal on hand and ready for action. Be warned, these darts are dangerous and may very well stick in walls, doors, skin, eyeballs, etc. They will easily fly across the room, down the hall, or if you are outside perhaps even 50 feet or more. My brother and I made tons of these growing up, much to our parents' dismay. But they can definitely provide hours of fun and the basis for many games and challenges!
Step 1: Prepare the Pins
If you are using sewing needles or pins with metal pin heads, no preparation is necessary. If using pins with the plastic balls on the end, we need to remove the ball. Using a pair of pliers, simply mash the ball flat. Roll the pin slightly and mash again. After squeezing the plastic ball several times the pin should easily separate from the plastic ball.
Step 2: Affix Pin to Toothpick
For each dart, use roughly an inch of scotch tape to attach the pin or needle to the toothpick. If using straight pins with a metal head, don't worry about the lump that is caused by taping over the head of the pin - it may look funny, but it will not adversely effect the usefulness of the dart.
Step 3: Add Tail Fins
The scotch tape will also be used to create the tail fins. This time pull off about a 3 inch piece of tape (or just a bit longer than the toothpick itself). Start by rolling the tape around the toothpick on the end opposite the pin. Then pinch the tape back on itself to create the fins. Each dart should have three fins and each fin should be no wider than your fingernail. If you end up with more tape than is needed for the third and final fin, just overlap what is left onto the neighboring fin. The extra tape won't effect the flight effectiveness. If you come up short then either your fins are too wide or you didn't pull off a long enough piece of tape - just pull off the dorked up fins and try again. Check out the photos to see what it should look like. Once the fins are on properly, your dart is ready for action.
Step 4: Enjoy Your Darts!
Now enjoy your dart arsenal... but do it safely. If you create a dart board from an old pizza box or other scrap cardboard - your mom will appreciate it. I know my mother did not appreciate all the holes my brother and I left in walls and doors around the house when we were young. It is amazing how well these things fly. And the construction does not need to be perfect or look pretty... If you get the pin attached and 3 fins on the back - it should work great.