Paper Catapult

About: Your local sugar loving teenager.

I love catapults. They're my thing. I also like origami. Therefore, origami catapult. It took quite a while to brainstorm this, but then I had a breakthrough at a girl scout event. Ever since then, I have made catapults when I was bored. In that time, I feel that I have perfected the catapult formula. The key things to do the following:

  • Use thick paper. It has more bounce.
  • No squishing. Once it is squished, it will not work.
  • Hold tightly. If you don't grip the bottom, the whole thing flips upwards.
  • DO NOT USE IT TO ANNOY PEOPLE. You don't want to get hit with tiny paper balls, and neither does anyone else.

Let's get started!

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Step 1: Supplies

  • Index card
  • Scissors

Step 2: Squareify!

Fold your index card so that it makes a 45º right triangle. Then fold the hangover down. Unfold, and cut off the hangover so you have a perfect square.

Step 3: Make a Square Base

Fold the square diagonally both ways so you have an X across the paper. Flip over and fold in half both ways. Flatten to a square base. Flip.

Step 4: Fold Points to the Center

Fold the outside point of the square to the center line. Repeat on the other side. Unfold.

Step 5: Flatten

Open up the first layer of the square and fold in along the pre-made creases. Then fold the inside of that fold to the edge. Repeat on other side and flatten.

Step 6: Fold Points to the Center Again.

Fold the outside point of the square to the center line. Repeat on the other side. Unfold.

Step 7: Finish

Open the first layer of the square. Bring the edges up to the top.

Step 8: Video

If you get confused at any part, I suggest watching this video. Seeing it actually happen can work wonders.

Step 9: LAUNCH!

YAY! Now you can launch paper! I suggest using the leftover part of the index card for your ammunition. Just scrunch it up into a little ball. Here are some tips to make your launching better:

  • Use lightweight ammo. The paper is only paper.
  • Press on the bottom of the catapult.
  • Go back far.
  • It actually goes pretty far if you do it right. I have launched paper halfway across my classroom in school and hit people in the head by accident.

Also, it can work as a bookmark. So you can launch paper from your books. And the video is in slow motion.

Go forth and launch!

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