Popsicle-Stick Catapault




About: I will share whatever I made! I will not be on here that often anymore, but I will check in when I can.

Using popsicle sticks and hot glue, this Instructable will show you how to create your very own easy to make catapault. This is my signature design and I made it all in just 15-20 minutes !

Ensure to add extra glue to segmented pieces to reenforce its structure and to prevent it from breaking on a launch.

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Step 1: Items You Will Need!

Listed items- You can pick this all up at your local craft stores for about$5-15 including the hot glue gun. Clear out a spot to get building!

.Popsicle sticks (coloured or non-colored) (new or used)

.Hot glue gun or anytype of woodglue, elmers, gorrilla etc.

.Glue sticks to the right temperature of gun. (multi-temp is used here, low and high are also available)

.A foil pie pan... my cheap way to catch the dripping glue. Yes, the pie was good:)

.Scissors, shears... dont use the good pair you own cause it could damage the blades.


.Previous picture- I used plastic practice golf balls as ammunition, but anything from marshmallows to rocks will do.


Step 2: Building the Base

Start out with 4 sticks and place them like so in the picture.
On top of that take 4 more sticks and glue them together to form a rectangle shape.
Be sure the 2 sticks on top are centered and in the middle of the connection.
Take 1 more stick and place it about an inch away from just one previous glued stick.
Take 1 last popsicle stick and cut one end off it (about an inch- like the pic)
SAVE THE LONG PIECE.. set it aside for it will be used later  and glue the smaller part of the stick on top centered and in the middle of your 2 sticks that were glued close together previously.
Refer to the pictures for help!

Step 3: Building the Sail

Yay! You completed the base of your catapault. Now were making the sail, do not use the 3/4 piece stick in this step.

Start the sail with 2 sticks, and glue both inside of the middle of the base. 1 on the left 1 on the right.

Next take 1 stick and place it in the center of the two posts you just made to strengthen it. Be sure to have the stick glued on the opposite side of the little 1/4 pieces facing itself braced against the posts.
Then take 2 more sticks and glue 1 at the top of the posts.
Take the last stick and glue it next to the top of the sail.
It should be braced against the posts on the SAME side you added the last stick on the bottom.
Flip over the catapault, and add extra glue to the 2 sticks that are connected.
Flip the catapault right side up and go to the next step, Sail? DONE.

Step 4: Completing the Body

This is the completed base and sail, lets add extra support to the entire body structure.
First take 4 sticks and glue them diagonally, crossing overtop the endpoints of the middle stick that was previously glued to the base, and to the very top of the sail. (support beams)
Then take 1 last stick and cut it in half. (diagonal cuts make this step easier but i just made straight cuts)
Glue the 2 halfs on the sail posts and thier corners to the support beams you made previously like in the picture. (This will hold the arm)
Finally, add 1 of your rubberbands to the 1/4 piece, loop a wrapped knot like in the picture.
BODY IS DONE! Next Step?

Step 5: Building the Arm (part 1)

Nows the time to build the arm of the catapault! You will be making the basket in this step.
Set aside the body and replace it with the 3/4 piece you saved. You will be using this segmented stick soon.
Cut 3 more sticks in halfs (you now have 6 pieces plus your 3/4 part)
Glue all 6 pieces together side by side like in the picture.
Now glue your 3/4 sick to the center of the 6 sticks you just glued together.

Step 6: Building the Arm (part 2)

You will be finishing the basket this step and the staff.
Cut 2 sticks into thirds. (one inch off the ends of the sticks and you should have 4 small pieces and two big pieces.)
I just tossed the 2 small pieces in the scrap for other projects, they wont be needed unless you find a way to use them here.
You now have 4 pieces, 2 small (rounded on 1 end) and two big.
Glue your 2 big pieces at the very end of the basket like in the picture.
Add your 2 small sticks to the sides of the 2 big sticks you just glued, thus making a basket.
Optional- If you want to make your catapault's basket bigger, add extra sticks to it to hold bigger objects.
Take a whole 1 stick and glue it on top of the 3/4 stick, the end touching the basket like in the picture.
Grab 1 more stick and cut the end off about an inch (make a 1/4 piece) Glue these two pieces like so in the last picture.


Step 7: Completing the Arm

You just finished the arm's basket and staff! Congrats! Now to complete the entire arm with a rod.
To finish this arm off, add 1 whole stick to the middle of the 3 previously glued sticks and pieces.
Be sure to have the rod centered the best as you can, it will create a better launch.

Step 8: Assemble the Catapualt

You finished your catapault! :D The last thing to do is assemble it and prepare it for the first launch!
Simply attach the body and arm together according to the picture shown, and stretch the rubberband over the basket and braced above the 1/4 pieced against itself.


Step 9: Launching Your Completed Catapault

Grab an object for instance a practice golfball, load it into the basket and slowly pull the arm back by the top of the basket.
LET IT GO! Tada! Now have fun trying to find the object and do it again! THANKS FOR BUILDING A  POPSICLE-STICK CATAPAULT!
Im hoping to make more gadgets out of popsicle-sticks!

1 Person Made This Project!


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17 Discussions


4 years ago on Introduction

I have to say that this tutorial was very easy to follow and fun to make. I adapted it to use as a project for a middle school class that I was student teaching. The kids loved it! Keep up the good work.


7 years ago on Introduction

i just fixed mine and it works like a dream. you may need to lengthen the axle though... try using a pencil instead of a popsicle stick.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I am going to have to say around 20-30 sticks. Im not certain because this is my design and, I built it with as few popsicle sticks as I could to save for other projects. Hope you have enough!! :)


Reply 7 years ago on Step 9

Build it and see! Mine on average shoots the pong balls about 20 feet.


7 years ago on Step 2

hey can I use some of these pictures? I'm using this catapult for my science fair project, and it would be nice to have some of these pictures for my research paper

1 reply