A crossbow is a weapon that has a horizontal bow mounted on a frame/body which is called a stock. They can be made out of metal or wood or any other suitable material and are used to fire projectiles (usually arrows) at a target. They can be used for fun target practice, getting into character for a themed party or school play, or even more serious activities like hunting.
Making your own crossbow is easier than you might imagine and definitely handy, especially as you can use this knowledge in fixing your DIY crossbow if issues ever arise. Depending on the tutorial, you’ll need some wood wok and metalworking skills, although the tutorials are mostly beginner-friendly.
Browse through this list of DIY crossbow ideas, pick one that best suits your needs and hold nothing back in building it; adding your own personal touches to the design you chose.
Table of Contents
1. How To Make A PVC Crossbow
How to make a PVC crossbow is outlined in this tutorial video and a link to a refinement of this process is available in the description section of the video, alongside a tutorial link on the same thing but with more outlined detail.
You’ll need woodworking tools to start with and some plywood. A groove is made on the surface of the wood for the arrows, using a drill and a series of holes are then created for the firing mechanism. The PVC pipe is what the rope is attached to that makes the curved font of the crossbow.
2. Simple DIY CrossBow
A simple DIY crossbow that needs just a saw, knife, and drill to build, it is perfect for holiday fun projects with family and friends. You can make your simple crossbow anyhow you want it; big, small, painted, designed, etc., it is totally up to you to decide. This tutorial shows you every step in making a DIY crossbow, from fashioning out the plank up to the shooting.
3. How To Make A Crossbow
Learn how to make a crossbow using a broken chainsaw bar and wood. Select your lumber (usually plywood) and carve it out into the shape as seen in the tutorial video. This video tutorial uses some heavy machinery and it is advisable that you follow every precaution as set out for each tool, in order to avoid accidents and other mishaps. You might also want to build this alongside someone with some experience in woodworking.
4. DIY Pocket Crossbow
This DIY pocket crossbow is a handy tool for causing mischief that you can carry around as it is much smaller than a regular crossbow. The pocket-sized popsicle stick crossbow is made from inspirations drawn from the book “Mini weapons of mass destruction 3”; pretty cool right?
5. DIY Crossbow Pistol
In 6 steps, the process for making a DIY crossbow pistol is outlined, including pictures in every step to make following the process easier. The tutorial can be used as a guideline to make a crossbow using any materials, not just the specific ones listed in the instructions. The first step is making the bow and the string; the bow was made from poplar while the string was a mini bungee cord.
6. How To Make A Crossbow
Using supplies from recyclable material and the local store around you, you can learn how to make a crossbow effectively. The crossbow body is fashioned out of wood (a pine board in this instance) and kept at a length of not more than 1 meter, the reason being that anything past 1 meter will lead to the PVC bow shattering. Next, you’ll need to map out the area for the trigger and cut it out without splitting the wood by using a chisel, a drill, and a wooden rasp.
7. DIY Pencil Crossbow
Grab a pair of pencils and build this DIY pencil crossbow. You’ll need safety goggles when sawing or doing any cutting, and also when firing the device. Materials needed include 2 pencils (1 unsharpened and 1 sharpened), a rubber band, pliers, a small saw, eye goggles, and an Exacto knife.
Before you begin, prepare your pencils by prying off the erasers using the pliers and making a notch on all unsharpened ends of the pencils i.e. both sides of one pencil and one side of the other pencil. All that is left is carving out the notch for the arrow rest, stringing the bow, and firing away; using the sharpened pencil as your arrow.
8. Building A PVC Crossbow
Building a PVC crossbow will require some woodworking tools, 2 x 4 plywood, arrows, PVC pipe, and string. The first step after gathering your necessary supplies is to draw out the shape of the crossbow body on the plywood and cut it out.
Next, you’ll be fashioning the trigger, making the arrow rest, and affixing the PVC pipe as a bow. For better strength and stability in the PVC pipe, you can put in fiberglass rods (e.g. driveway markers) or heat the PVC with a heat gun and mold or flatten it.
9. Homemade Crossbow
This homemade crossbow DIY is simple to build yet super powerful and fun to have. The tutorial shows you a step by step of materials required and how to put them all together.
Although the carving of the crossbow body was not shown, you can take out time to go through the entire video first before you begin anything, that way you have a clear picture of what is required to make it work and how. Unlike most of the other crossbows, this DIY homemade crossbow makes use of a spring in its trigger which makes it more reliable.
10. How To Make A Crossbow
How to make a crossbow is outlined in 10 easy DIY steps in this instructable. Tools and materials required include a drill/manual borer, PVC pipes and PVC bends (dimensions indicated in the link), gloves, hacksaw, meter, 3 meters of rope, cutter, clamp, 2 pulleys, wood trunnion, a 1-meter strap, etc.
11. How To Make A Crossbow Trigger
This DIY teaches you not to make a crossbow, but how to make a crossbow trigger. Getting the trigger right is important for your crossbow as that’s what determines if your arrows or projectiles will fly or not.
It’s pretty much straightforward, requiring just a couple of parts, 1 tension spring, screws, a bit of aluminum or wood (just make sure it doesn’t bend. From here it’s just a bit of coupling and screwing and you’ll have a badass crossbow trigger to fit into your crossbow.
12. How To Make A Crossbow From Popsicle Sticks
This is perfect for a mini crossbow you can put into your pocket or have fun with it at the park without looking dangerously armed or like you got lost on your way to a medieval-themed party. How to make a crossbow from popsicle sticks tutorial makes use of about 4 popsicle sticks, rubber bands, twine, super glue, pliers, and a drill. It’s a perfect setup in the end that wouldn’t be scary to give the kids as a toy.
13. How To Make A Crossbow
Albeit not in English, this tutorial comes with subtitles and shows you how to make a crossbow without using heavy machinery or expensive materials. The crossbow being made is a pistol type crossbow which is noiseless, reliable, and easy to use. Carbon steel was used alongside wood in crafting this piece.
14. DIY Crossbow
Understand the basics of DIY crossbow making with this tutorial where dry bamboo is used to fashion out a crossbar. You’ll need a bamboo pole, a sharp knife or cutter, and a string.
First, you split the bamboo pole vertically and scrape out the outer part of the pole as seen in the video; this makes it more pliable for you to bend into a bow. The assembling after that is straightforward and easy to follow step by step.
15. DIY Knex Crossbow
Gorgeous to behold but a bit complex to put together if you don’t follow the steps clearly, this DIY Knex crossbow boasts a range of about 30ft for flat shots and 40ft to 50ft for angled shots! You’ll be making everything from scratch, from the bow to the rail and all.
You can agree with me though, that the finished product is definitely worth all the stress and more. Just be sure to follow all the steps in the pictures and you shouldn’t have any problems.
In making a crossbow, regardless of which DIY you choose, remember to follow all safety precautions during the crafting and when handling sharps. Be sure to not let children you wouldn’t trust with a matchstick handle these crossbows as they can be lethal, whether they are made from pencils or Popsicle sticks.