How to Make a Children's Toy Crossbow
How to make a simple toy crossbow
The crossbow is a weapon mainly used in hunting or target shooting, although it has been used as a weapon in warfare since ancient times. The earliest recording of a crossbow used in battle, dates as far back in History as 6 BC.
The crossbow was a silent killer and could be classed as the first sniper weapon because the user could hide out and fire it at the enemy in the prone position.
An updated version of the bow and arrow, the crossbow fires small arrows or bolts over a much longer distance and with greater accuracy.
The crossbow I will be showing you how to make in this article is a fun children's toy and it only takes around 5 minutes to make.
An old Chinese crossbow
William Tell is probably one of the best known crossbow users, he famously shot an apple placed on his sons head.
What you need to build a crossbow
The crossbow we are building will shoot clothes pins or dolly pegs, it can shoot a dolly peg for a distance of around 20-25 meters and it can be used for shooting targets such as tin cans. Please note for safety reasons that this crossbow can be quite powerful and should not be fired at another person.
What you will need
- 1 x wood cut off 2 inches by one inch 3/4 feet long. (The stalk or barrel)
- 1 x wood cut off 2 inches by one inch 2/3 feet long ( The limb or Bow)
- 4 nails or screws (To hold your crossbow together)
- Elastic bands (To fire your crossbow)
- Dolly pegs or clothes pins (the bolts for firing)
You will also need a hammer or a screwdriver depending if you are using nails or screws.
Building your crossbow
- Take the longest piece of wood and and the shorter piece, and place them together in the shape of the capital letter T, the shorter of the wood pieces making the cross of the T.
- Use two of your nails or screws and secure the two pieces of wood together in the center of the T where the two pieces of wood meet. (as shown in the picture above)
- Turn the T over so that the longer piece of wood is at the top.
- Concentrating on the shorter piece of wood that makes the cross of the T, about an inch from both ends insert a screw or a nail around three quarters of the way in to leave enough room to add your elastic bands.
- Tie five elastic bands together into a string and stretch them between the two screws, (see picture below) attaching either end of the elastic bands securely around the screws.
Your crossbow is now ready to use.
Elastic Bands stretched between 2 screws or nails
Fun fact about crossbows
The police force in China are known to carry crossbows in their line of duty.
How to use your Crossbow
Now that you have made your crossbow it is time to try it out, using your crossbow is even easier than building it all that you have to do is take a dolly peg or a clothes pin and put it on to your elastic bands with the elastic band between the two legs of the dolly peg, pull the pin down the barrel of the crossbow, take aim and when you are ready to fire let go of the peg.
Tighten or loosen the elastic bands as required for more power.
My son with his new crossbow
Do not fire at animals or people
This crossbow is a fun toy to play with, it is great for shooting cans or other inanimate objects and you should never fire it at humans or animals, it is quite powerful and can fire a peg for around 30 meters and will cause bruising if someone is hit at close range.
Decorate your crossbow
The world is your oyster, you can leave your crossbow plain or you can paint it or put stickers on it to personalize it to your taste.
When your friends see your crossbow they will probably want to make one too, so make yours stand out from the crowd and decorate it in anyway that takes your fancy.
© 2006 James Paterson