How to Make a Homemade Catapult

My husband found this book called Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare. He decided it would be perfect for our kids. I’m not quite sure they need encouragement to build catapults and crossbows using pencils and rubberbands, but I think he was excited to try the plans as much as the boys. Earlier this week, we got out the book and learned how to make a homemade catapult using pencils, rubber bands and a plastic spoon.

How to make a homemade catapult

How to Make a Homemade Catapult

This was much easier to build than I expected. All we had to do was gather our supplies and follow the directions.

Materials Needed

5 pencils
2 ink pens
a handful of rubberbands
a plastic spoon


We created a triangle out of 3 pencils and rubberbands.

Homemade Catapult

Then we connected 2 more pencils and attached them to the first triangle build. The 2 ink pens became side stabilizers. The book suggested using a bottle cap and a knife. They wanted me to cut little holes on each side of the bottle cap and then use it to pull back and launch the ammo. But I couldnt’ get holes cut in the bottle cap. So instead, we just pushed a spoon through the rubberband center.

We picked a few berries off the closest tree and our homemade catapult was ready.

My son and my husband were both super impressed. Now I think we’ll be trying some of the other weapon designs next week.

luke's catapult

Luke with the finished catapult

About the Book

We’ve come a long way from the Peashooter Era: with the advent of modern household products and office supplies—binder clips, clothespins, rubber bands, ballpoint pens, toothpicks, paper clips, plastic utensils, and (of course) matches and barbeque lighters—troublemakers of all stripes have the components needed to build an impressive, if somewhat miniaturized, arsenal.

Toy designer John Austin provides detailed, step-by-step instructions for each project, including materials and ammo lists, clear diagrams, and construction tips, for mayhem-loving MacGyvers. The 35 devices include catapults, slingshots, minibombs, darts, and combustion shooters. Build a tiny trebuchet from paper clips and a D-cell battery. Wrap a penny in a string of paper caps to create a surprisingly impressive “bomb.” Several of the projects even include variations where combatants mount laser pointer sights to their shooters to increase their accuracy.

You can order Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare from Amazon.


Have you ever built a homemade catapult? Got any great tips? We’d love to hear!

I use Amazon affiliate links. That means if you click on my link, I will receive some small compensation.

About Sharon Williams

Sharon Williams is a mom of 3 who loves to read, travel, take pictures, work in the flowers and spend time with family. When she's not blogging, she's probably out enjoying life so she'll have something fun to blog about tomorrow!


  1. says

    Now that is a great way to spend the summer! What a fun thing to make and play with. My son would have loved one of these when he was younger. I love that it is so easy to make with things I actually have on hand.

  2. says

    This looks like a fun summer project to do with the kids. Am definitely putting it on my list of things to do. Maybe even the popcicle snake in the comment. Let me know if you try that one.

  3. Andrew says

    Awesome! I wish there were instruction books when I was a kid! lol. I bet he would love to make a popsicle stick snake bomb, that was one of my favorite things to make!

  4. says

    Who would have thought there is a whole book on such a topic! I love all your photos and how happy your son clearly is with the project! I think a few of my kids would love making pencil catapults too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>