How to make a paper projectile: 10 steps (with pictures)

How to make a paper projectile: 10 steps (with pictures)
How to make a paper projectile: 10 steps (with pictures)

All prankster schoolchildren dream of making perfect paper planes, but the more ambitious prefer the more formidable equivalent: the projectile! To make one, you have to fold a strip of paper tightly so that it can be sent to an unsuspecting comrade at high speed. Whether you want revenge for a dirty trick a friend gave you, get the attention of a friend across the classroom or arm yourself for a projectile battle in the playground, they are easy to build and propel. All you need is a workbook page, a rubber band, and a joker mind.


Part 1 of 2: making a projectile out of paper

Make a Paper Hornet Step 1

Step 1. Take some paper

Take the first sheet you find. Most projectiles are made from a simple workbook page, but you can also use a Post-it, cardboard, candy wrap, magazine page, etc. Any sheet you have on hand can be folded up to make a shot.

  • You can improvise from virtually any collapsible material you can find, including card stock, newspaper, or aluminum foil. If you don't have a normal sheet, use a little imagination!
  • Thick, glossy papers add weight, which increases the distance and speed the projectile can reach.

Step 2. Make a strip

Cut or tear a thin strip in the paper. If you want to get clean edges, cut it out with scissors. If you're in a hurry, just tear it up. Cross the sheet in the direction of the width so as to obtain a strip of approximately 20 x 4 cm.

  • Fold the paper and run over the fold with your fingernail before tearing the strip so that the torn edge is straighter and cleaner.
  • By dividing the sheet into four or five individual strips, you can craft several projectiles at the same time.

Step 3. Fold the strip

After cutting or tearing it, fold it crosswise several times making equal sections. You can either fold it in three or fold it in half twice so that it is very compact. The more you bend it, the farther the projectile will go and the stronger the impact.

The goal is to keep the original width of the strip by bending it to reduce its surface

Step 4. Roll it up

Instead of bending it, you can roll it up on itself to make a thin tube. Some people prefer this method because it saves time and eliminates the need for careful folding several times. Winding the paper before folding it into its final shape also results in a more compact projectile, which means it will propel itself better.

  • If you stock up on ammo for a friendly battle with your comrades, this technique can help you save time.
  • Be careful, projectiles made this way hurt much more.

Step 5. Continue folding

Once you've folded or wrapped the strip, turn it around and fold the resulting strip or tube in half crosswise. Make sure the two ends are aligned. Then fold the paper in half again crosswise. The number of times you can fold it depends on the size of the original tape, your strength and patience. Continue until you have a V-shaped projectile that is 2-3 cm in length and folded very tightly.

  • When you're done, you can wrap chatterton around the paper to make it stronger. This will prevent it from unfolding and will weigh it down. You can't make a much more powerful projectile!
  • Each time you fold it, the paper will become more compact and difficult to fold. The advantage is that the reduced size and the more density will help it to propel itself efficiently.

Part 2 of 2: throw the projectile

Make a Paper Hornet Step 6

Step 1. Take a rubber band

Find something you can use to throw the projectile. Any rubber band will do as long as it's not too small or old and brittle. Test it by pulling on it to see how much it stretches. The more it stretches, the farther and faster the projectile will go.

  • For the best result, try getting one of those wide, colorful rubber bands that you use to tie bunches of vegetables like carrots at the supermarket.
  • Elastics that are old, dry, or with signs of wear tend to break unexpectedly. If this happens and you catch the rubber band in your face or eyes, you could hurt yourself.

Step 2. Insert your fingers

Slide the tips of your thumb and forefinger through the ends of the elastic. Pass one end around your index finger and the other end around your thumb. You will use your hand as a slingshot to launch the projectile.

  • Make sure the elastic is flat against your hand and is not twisted.
  • Keep those fingers steady when pulling the projectile back to get more power with the elastic.

Step 3. Install the projectile

Take it with your free hand and position the fold in the middle horizontally against the elastic so that the ends of the paper are facing up and down. Make sure the paper stays folded neatly before trying to propel it.

If the last bend you made isn't perfectly straight and centered, the projectile may not go in a straight line

Step 4. Pull it back

Take the two ends of the projectile on either side of the elastic and pinch them together. The elastic should be wedged between the two sides of the piece of paper and the two bands should be wedged into the fold for maximum power. Fire the projectile back until the rubber band is as tight as possible.

Do not over tighten the elastic, as it may break

Step 5. Let go

Look between your thumb and forefinger to aim at the target you want to hit. Make sure your palm stays up to prevent the elastic from snapping against the fragile skin between your fingers when you let go. When you aim your target well, release the projectile. Try practicing on stationary targets before using projectiles in a battle with friends.

  • Let go in a quick motion to avoid slowing it down.
  • When propelled at high speeds, paper projectiles can hit very hard. Be careful, because if you touch a fragile part of someone's face, you can hurt the person.


  • If your projectile is small, don't worry. On the contrary, small projectiles are often faster and go farther!
  • The longer the elastic, the further you can stretch it, which will increase the speed of the projectile.
  • The size of the paper and the number of folds don't matter as long as you get a clean shot of the right shape with no sticking out.
  • Try different materials to find the one that goes the deepest and has the most power.


  • Never aim for someone's face. If the projectile hits a person's ears or eyes, it can be very dangerous.
  • In general, the tighter the paper when folding or winding it, the better. However, if it's so tight that you can't fit the crease in the middle of the projectile, you may need to loosen it up a bit.
  • Do not target a person who does not willingly take part in the battle. It's a fun game, but you shouldn't hurt someone.

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