Mighty Tiny Slingshot




About: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is Sam and I'm a community manager here at Instructables.

This is a fun little toy slingshot you can make in just a few minutes.

When I was a kid, we made these out of used 35mm photo film canisters. Since film canisters have become quite scarce these days, this is an updated version that uses a piece of PVC instead.

You can discreetly turn many small items into high-velocity projectiles with this thing, like pencil erasers, airsoft BBs, and spit-soaked wads of paper.

Go ahead and make a few, and let me know what you think!

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Step 1: Materials

All you need are three things:
  • 1 inch of either 1" or 1 1/4" diameter PVC (I used 1 1/4")
  • A party balloon
  • Some tape (I used electrical tape)
If you have a film canister, you can use it instead of the PVC. Simply cut the bottom off with a utility knife.

Step 2: Sand the Edges of the PVC

I used a sanding attachment on my rotary tool to quickly knock down the sharp edges on the piece of PVC. This is not necessary, but it makes holding the PVC ring in your hand a bit more comfortable.

Step 3: Cut Balloon in Half

Cut the balloon in half, like in the photo. You could use scissors, of course--I just used my rotary cutter because it was handy and quick.

Step 4: Position Balloon in PVC

Set the PVC down and tuck the balloon piece into it so the balloon hangs out over the edge about half way down the PVC pipe.

Step 5: Tape Balloon in Place

Wrap a piece of tape around the PVC to hold the balloon in place. That's it!

Just drop a projectile into the bottom of the balloon through the PVC, pinch the item with your fingers, pull it back, aim, and let it go.

Just don't shoot anybody's eye out, okay?

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    82 Discussions


    3 years ago

    They make these commercially now - called the "Pocket Shot" - $25.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    For best quality I use the finger of a rubber glove, and pipes, like you used, the front end of a bottle or a toilet roll all work.


    2 years ago

    Widely known as "Pea Shooters"... not entirely uncommon:)


    4 years ago

    Man this brings me way back to elementary school. We used juice container that we bought for $0.25 and a balloon.


    4 years ago

    I used a scotch tape canister instead of a pvc pipe

    I hate to be the party pooper but 'friends' in high school in 1987 made something similar to this with pvc pipe and a finger from washing-up glove (quite thick rubber glove).
    They shot small plastic pellets. similar to beans from a bean-bag in size only hard.
    Whilst on school camp in Kings Creek, Central Australia (basically the middle of nowhere) I was accidentally shot in the eye and had to flown to the nearest hospital (some 200kms away) on the Royal Flying Doctors Service.
    The pellet missed my pupil by mere millimetres and I narrowly missed being blinded. Whilst I know that anything on Instructables comes with an unspoken 'at your own risk' policy, I am wondering if there need be a parental style warning with many of the projects herein.....?

    3 replies

    I agree with you. This is not a thing you should shoot at peoples' faces. It should be handled just like BB and airsoft guns, as it is equally dangerous.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    sorry to be an even bigger party pooper, but back in the 80's we were using condoms and film canisters to shoot things at relief teachers, schoolyard bullies and bus drivers ;D


    4 years ago on Introduction

    HAHA......this is awesome. I need to build a few and test the destructiveness of different projectiles.


    6 years ago

    Anything tubular would work. You could try a piece of stiff cardboard tubing (like from an aluminum foil roll), a 35mm film canister (with the bottom cut off), a metal pipe, or any number of other things. Good luck!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    i cant believe i didn't think of that! what a great idea!

    i used to make very powerful and small slingshots but they are all so hard to load, because they use those thick red rubber bands and it shoots sticks and pencils.

    Perhaps a miniscule Laser Pointer on the side for aim, a small bag on the opposite side for ammo, and something to clip it to your belt with in the middle? Hmmmm...


    7 years ago on Step 5

    This looks like a great time! I wonder what would happen if you used bigger diameter pipe and bigger balloons... Tennis ball cannon methinks.