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How to Make a Children's Toy Crossbow

Jimmy is Scottish and has a dry wit, which some may find difficult to appreciate. He enjoys educating others with his various grooming tips.

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

An early Chinese Crossbow often used in battle.

An early Chinese Crossbow often used in battle.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. Turn the T over so that the longer piece of wood is at the top.
  4. 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.
  5. 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


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

I made this crossbow for my son and he plays with it almost as often as he is on his PlayStation.

I made this crossbow for my son and he plays with it almost as often as he is on his PlayStation.

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.

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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 Jimmy the jock


joshyboy!123 on December 29, 2010:

don't have any wood looks good anyway want to build it but i cant

VivekSri on June 24, 2010:

You seemed to cross the thin line! Great information and great place to share your hub. Must be fun hub-bing...them

leidan125 on May 09, 2010:

why do i need 4 pieces of elastic? how do i connect them

somebody happy on March 13, 2010:

Hey, thanks Jimmy!!! Your directions are so great and easy to follow!!! I got so fun playing with it!!!

Thanks :P

StevenCavendish on November 04, 2009:

Awesome hub. I'll check out your other hubs.

The Freak on August 24, 2009:

this is ok, but have some more detail, a groove wont take long to fire OTHER things, and use elastic or string. not rubber bands. if this is a kids toy, then pegs are not good, coz their mums will wat the pegs, think a little.

He on August 23, 2008:

Thanks for g8 idea

Demi on May 04, 2008:

Emmmmmm.... didn't want to know how to make a big one just wanted to find out how to make a small wooden peg firing matchstick one to fire at people whilst at school meh nvm thanks for making this anyway jim

tracy on April 22, 2008:

This is the best site for figuring out how to build a simple machine without going through all the trouble of all this bull on the other internet sites. THANK YOU!!!

You Saved My Butt!!!!!!!!!!

Amelie on April 10, 2008:

omg thank you jimmy ! I have to do a crossbow for school :) you save me :)

Blizzard Gaming Forum on February 13, 2008:

Awsome...just simply awesome.... seriously going to be doing this soon...

zack the warroir on February 12, 2008:

nice but ill stick to my long bow

burn-fat on November 17, 2007:

Now this is cool. Thanks for a great father and son project

van helsing on October 23, 2007:

wow these work so good

u guys have all got to try these!

and u can auctualy make them in like 5 mins w000000000000000000000t.

Van helsing on October 22, 2007:

yo tysm!

jimmy,ur the best i needed to know how to make a crossbow for my costume this year (vampire hunter) dude neverwould have been able to make it with out you -Vanhelsing

Zompirewolf on October 15, 2007:

it may b a kids toy but if u want 2 upgrade it ur gunna hav 2 use a flexible piece of wood and instead of a rubber band use strong string.

Marye Audet on August 31, 2007:

Showing this to my son..he has made several bows and wsa looking for instructions for a cross bow..thanks!

maddie on August 23, 2007:

Steve on July 13, 2007:

Hey Joe: He said it's CHILD's toy! Lighten up!

joe on July 01, 2007:

that crossbow must not fire very good because i have been making for 20 yews and rubber band are by far the wrost thing to use

paul on June 01, 2007:

this is NOT a crossbow. the wood tiller does not bend (adding to psi power of bow) and your string is an elastic instead of string... also tied elastic. ALSO no firing mechanism... what are you 8? buy some supplies and build a real bow and spell your instructions properly.

piccy on March 24, 2007:

these are so good!

i made one in like 10 minutes :D

Jimmy the jock (author) from Scotland on November 10, 2006:

what you hang your washing on the line with....jimmy

hey dude on November 10, 2006:

what are clothes pegs

Jimmy the jock (author) from Scotland on November 09, 2006:

lol if you build this onethe only kick you get is the fun factor.....jimmy

Fayme Zelena Harper from Lucerne Valley, CA on November 08, 2006:

I only shot a crossbow once. That sucker had a kick to it. I think I'll stick to my long bow.

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