Paperclip Catapult (improved)

Here is a nice little catapult to make on a rainy day, at the office, or in school, and it can launch any small item of choice.(wads of aluminum foil, paper, tic-tacs, or even thumb tacks. Maybe not.) I got the idea from this 'ible. The original 'ible was great, except it didn't have anything to hold the ammo, which made it a little difficult to use. This 'ible fixes it.

I am not responsible for anything you do with this. Just try not to hurt anybody, got it?

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

- Paperclip
- Tape
- Aluminum foil (for ammo)
- Scissors
- Pliers (optional, but it will make things a whole lot easier)

Step 2: The First Bend

Pull up and bend the inside loop, it should look like the picture.

Step 3: Second Bend

Now, make a second bend near the top of the little lever we just made. I hate to break this into two steps, but it's easier to explain this way.

Step 4: Third and Final Bend, But Not the Final Step.

I took this photo from a different angle, so the next bend was easier to see. Bend part of the piece we just bent into a 90 degree angle.

Step 5: Making the "basket"

Use strips of tape to form the basket. It is easier to form around the paperclip if you take a long strip of tape, then cut it length-ways.

Step 6: Loading and Launching

Rest a ball of aluminum foil (or ammo of choice) in the basket, press down on the very top of the lever, and let your finger slip off the edge in one quick motion.
Now go annoy your co-workers with it.

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    16 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I made it in about 5 minutes, it was super easy and quick. The little piece of aluminum I used went approximately 8 feet. It measured 97 inches, which is incredible for such a tiny paperclip. This is a fun and easy thing to make for when you're bored.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is my favorite kind of instructable--simple materials, high ratio of fun to construction effort. Thanks for posting it.

    3 replies

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, nice weapon, it is helpful at school, but I already tried every angle and it wont work, what can I do????
    P.S. And it is a regular large metal clip.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Really? I thought I was the only person who did this kind of stuff. Glad to see I wasn't the only one.

    Were you using a paperclip with a rubber coating? (like in the 'ible)
    It might be better to use one without the rubber. I just used the yellow one for ease of use.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Or it might have been the angle it was bent at. The wider the angle, the farther out it would fly, where as if it were a smaller angle, it would fly almost straight up in the air. Try bending it like diagram B, (in the picture) rather than diagram A.

    Paper clip angles diagram.png

    You could do that, or you could just buy some without the rubber. You could probably find some at OfficeMax.(USA) If you live in a different country, I don't know where you could get them. But, yes, if you don't have any without the rubber, just strip it off.