This instructable explains the 'basics' of making yourself a home-made crossbow. Feel free to experiment and comment!
Step 1: Materials
For this crossbow, you need some rubber bands, a clothespin, a ton of pospicle sitcks, some skewers or straight, small peices of wood and a peice of wood about 45 cm X 10 cm X 2 cm. It doesnt really matter exactly. As tools you need a saw and some wood glue.
Step 2: Cut the Wood
To cut your wood you need your wood and a saw. First you measure about half way up and an inch in and cut to those. I have an extra cut due to a failed aiming system.
Step 3: Make the Bow and String
All you need to do to make your string is to have your string (about 6 feet or so) and cut it into thirds. Then with that you make a braid by doing the over-in technique (have all three pieces together at once and take an outside peice and cross it over the middle piece to make it he middle piece and repeat with the other side). Then make a loop with a larks head knot and attach it to the side of the bow.
Then onto the Bow. You need your popsicle sticks, wood glue and tape. Take your first popsicle stick and glue them together overlapping. Then let everything dry. Then you need to just start adding on popsicle sticks with tape at the weekest points and where it may bend more to stiffen it.
Step 4: Make Your Cocking and Aiming Devices
For this step all you need are the straight wood skewers or peices of something. You get out your wood glue again and just glue the skewers on the very edge of the top. If you use pointy skewers you have to make sure the point is facing away from the side with the cut in it so the string will slide easily accross the breaks.
For the aiming device you have the clothespin and rubber bands. Put the clothespin on the back of the piece if wood. Then simply put all your rubber bands around the head or jaws to increase pressure on the jaws.
Step 5: The Arrow and Firing!
All you need for the arrow is a straight dowel or garden stake. Then point it with something if you wish and attach the "feathers" which i made out of paper.
Then if you really want to get a long rubber band and put the rubber bands to ends around the bow that's on the wood already. Then have the two center points on the rubber band on the back so it holds the bow in place a little. I never use that because it's just easier to hold with my fingers.
When you are ready to fire,string your bow with the peice of string, then place the bow on the front so it is in the corner of the cut you made. Then pull the string back so it is held by the clothespin. Then place your arrow in front of the clothespin and point and shoot.