DIY Archery Target - Used A4 Sized Papers




The office had lots of scrap/used A4-sized papers lying around. I decided to save them from the shredder and make a cheap and easy archery target out of these. The idea is to stack them up and compress them, enough to stop your arrows.

A3-sized papers would be better, you can make a bigger target from those. But since A4 is widely used in the office, i don't need to be choosy... since it's free anyway. ;)

So here goes...

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Step 1: Materials

1. lots of A4-sized papers. stack them up until they're tall enough to equal the length of an A3-sized paper (two A4s makes one A3).

2. old ring binders/file folders (or a strong, thick cardboard)

3. cutter

4. cutting mat (optional)

5. rubber cement

6. cloth from old t-shirt of whatever you could find

7. 2-inch duct tape or filament tape (those with fibers)

8. 2-inch packing tape (the strong, clear types are preferred)

9. metal ruler or anything straight that would serve as a cutting guide

10. straw or any flat rope

11. old paint brush

Step 2: The Top and Bottom Shell

use a sheet of A4 paper as a guide. put it over the ring binder then cut away using a metal ruler. pieces should equal the A4 paper's dimensions. a ring binder has two sides, so you also get two "shells" for your target. remember to use a cutting mat or another piece of ring binder, or anything that would protect you and your work table.

be careful.

Step 3: Stacking Them Up

find a table or any flat surface that's connected to a wall. stack your papers horizontally placing the shells on both ends.

using a straw or any flat rope, tie it around the stack to initially compress the stack, pulling it tightly before you make a knot at the stack's corner.

Step 4: Gluing the Spine

like a book, we need to make a spine on the "back" side of the stack. the purpose is to hold one side permanently, and to stop arrows (just in case). it would seem like you're making a very big book. get your rubber cement and pour it on. use an old paint brush to fairly smooth the rubber cement on the back side. the paper would absorb most of the first application, so pour some more.

lay down the cloth and watch it absorb the rubber cement. you may use an empty water bottle as a roller. don't use your hands, unless you wanna get sticky all over. this normally sets for a few hours. i had it set overnight to have a good cure.

Step 5: Bracing

using the packing tape, secure the sides of the stack by taping it around the whole thing. you may also remove the straw/flat rope while doing this. but you may also leave it there, it makes no difference. it may be a bit wobbly so be careful not to lose the whole stack.

Step 6: Compression

find a wall. lie the stack down and using your knee, push the stack against the wall with all your might. while compressing it, tape each side using a duct/filament tape. this should be strong enough to keep the compression. do it on all four sides.

one done with the duct/filament tape, get the packing tape again and using your fore arm, knee, or foot... push down the stack even more to compress it further, pulling and winding the packing tape around it. but do not do this on the front side (the business end). you'll be making a sturdy rectangular stack out of this procedure.

you may test it by hitting the sides with your fist or foot. if it gets out of shape, then it's not compressed enough. compress and tape it again, then test again. if the shape retains or you feel like you're hitting a brick wall, then you're done compressing it.

Step 7: Waterproofing

just a safety precaution in case moisture is around. wind the remaining packing tape around the stack (not on the front side).

Step 8: Finishing Up

cut out the straw/flat rope and the duct tape from the front side, the ones that you have used earlier as a brace.

Optionals: you may add decals or designs. i printed out some archery related photos from the net, posted it on the top, back, and sides... then used the clear packing tape to protect them from moisture (...and yes, Jessica Biel is really smoking hot).

Step 9: Shooting the Darn Thing

print out a target face of your choice and post it on the front side of your target using adhesive tapes. i print mine on A3-sized papers... as i've mentioned, two A4s can make one A3.



admire your work.

here are some test shots i made using my Mathews Conquest 4 and Easton Platinum Plus 2314 arrows.

Step 10: Alternatives and Finale

and here are some shots from my previous (unposted) DIY target... made out of old "phone books", using the same procedures. yup... phone books are good, no need to make the spine. one advantage: when a part wears out, loosen up the tapes using a cutter, then replace with a new phone book. do the same bracing and strapping procedures... and the fun continues.

I hope this helps in case you need an idea for a cheap DIY target. comments and suggestions are welcome. thanks for your time!

keep on shooting!

- Reden

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    40 Discussions

    i believe it would, however i am concerned about how heavy the arrow would hit it. if you could stack up a lot or maybe place a more denser material either at the front or back for a more effective stopping power.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Couldn't you just use sheets of styrofoam? Easier to paint and more durable. :) It would also be more eco friendly, since you only use 1-10 sheets of foam, depending on thickness. You can also shoot sharp points into foam without blunting. (As far as I know)

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    styrofoam's okay, but i think it won't last long. also it's gonna be a bit messy too... with fragments being blown around. :)


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    hi Tim.

    roughly about 8 reams, so that's 500 sheets x 8 = 4,000 sheets.

    wow... i didn't know that. never did pay attention on how many i've used. glad you asked!


    i actually have a version of that here:

    however, scrap A4 paper is more available than old phone books and there's an endless supply from the office. i've already made 4 from A4 papers against 1 using old phone books. :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I think I'm going to try this, but I'm just going to strap it down and maybe use some duct tape.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    nice. please let us know of the results.

    i thought i needed to strap it down too, but it's really solid and the weight alone prevents it from flinching no matter how you shoot it. ;)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Simple idea, yet ingenious.

    However, definitely only an archery target for target tips. Paper and cardboard are murder on any sharp edges (knives, axes, barbed arrow tips).

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    If you are a hunter, you would want to try shooting at least one of your broadheads for practice. Broadheads can make an arrow fly differently than a field point. You need to know if there is any difference in point of impact for when the shot counts.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I have phone books in a box and sometimes I shoot right through them, but I'm shooting them page on not sideways like here. I have to give this method a try. Thing looks terribly heavy though.