How to Build a Catapult

There is nothing complicated about trying to build a catapult. By following these simple guidelines, you will have one ready in no time at all.

Equipment and Tools Required

Gather the following materials:

  • sticks (3 pieces, 12 inches long; you can use wood if you like)
  • small sticks (4 pieces, 6 inches long)
  • angled sticks (2 pieces, cut them at a 45 degree angle)
  • rubber (the one made for slingshots)
  • thumbtacks or screws
  • hooks (2 cm)
  • container or basket
  • metal pole (six inches long)
  • glue

Note: the 12 inch and 6 inch sticks can be changed. What is important is that the small pieces are half the size of the big pieces.

Making the Frame

Start to build a catapult by creating the frames. Take one of the 12 inch sticks. Fasten this on the 45 degree stick using the screw and glue. Set this at the end of the long stick. Take another long stick and link it with the longer one. You will end up with something that looks like an “A”. Make another one and place them side by side, vertically.

Use the screws / nails and glue to connect the two. Do this by gluing the small sticks to the end of the large ones. Put a piece of wood or stick on the 45 degrees sticks. Screw it in place. Finish this segment by gluing the shorter ones to both sticks.

Creating the Launcher

The next step to build a catapult is to make the launcher. Hold a piece of the long stick. Make an opening 3 inches wide. This is only a gauge. The important thing is to make the hole larger than the steel pole. Get one of the hooks and fasten it about 2 inches to the end of this structure.

Take the container and attach it to the stick. It should be connected before, not after the hook. Get the steel pole and put it in the hole you just made. Also plug in the pole into the two vertical sticks. If it is loose, you can tape it. Put another hook on the foundation. Be certain that it aligns properly with the other hook.

Testing and Launching

Now that all the parts are in place, it is time to test it. If you build a catapult according to these instructions, you just have to fasten the rubber to the hook. Stretch and connect to the other hook and let it fly.


To make sure that everything works out, check the alignments carefully. In particular you should cut the sticks to a 45 degree angle. If you do not slice it to this angle, the structure will not be able to stand up.

The basic principle is the same but there are different designs. The Romans used them frequently and so did other cultures. Look at various types. See how you can incorporate them into your own creations.

If you are going to build a catapult, you should try to be imaginative too. As long as you stick to the fundamentals, it will work out just fine.

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