How to Make a Pistol Out of Cardboard

Toy guns are a natural part of many people's childhoods. Buying a plastic one can be expensive, and most of them don't shoot any kind of projectiles. You can easily make one out of an old cardboard box that launches rubber bands, and the design is easily customizable to fit just about any style of handgun.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard Box
  • Heavy Books
  • School Glue
  • Marker
  • Scissors Or Utility Knife
  • Elastic Bands
  • Bright Orange Tape Or Paint (Optional)


Draw a gun shape onto the cardboard with your marker. Make it about actual size with any of the features that you want. You can trace another toy gun or an image.

Cut that image out of the cardboard with your utility knife or scissors. Cut carefully because this piece will become your template.

Trace the gun template four more times. If there is a logo on the outside of the box, you should flip the cardboard so the logo will be on the inside when you assemble the gun.

Draw a line across the gun barrel a little over halfway down on two of the gun parts. Draw it about the inside of the barrel, then angle up about 2 inches away from the rear of the gun. See Resources 1, using the middle pair of cutouts as a guide.

Draw a line across the barrel on one other part, in the same place as the one you drew in Step 4. Draw this line straight across the back, then draw a small hook about 1/2 inch from the muzzle of the gun. This is the top piece in Resources 1.

Cut the remaining gun parts out of the cardboard, cutting the half-barrel pieces you drew in Steps 4 and 5. Trim them as necessary to make sure the butts are all roughly the same size and shape.

Glue all the pieces together, lining up all of the gun butt pieces. Place the complete gun pieces on the outside of the gun, and the hook piece in the center, with the other two pieces between each.

Wrap it in elastic bands or cover it with something heavy. Leave the gun for at least 10 minutes, ideally more, to dry.

Loading and Firing

Wrap some spare elastic bands around the gun butt for storage.

Load the gun by hooking a rubber band to the hook in the center of the gun, and trailing the elastic in the channel created by the other pieces. Pull it around the horn on the back until ready to fire.

Aim at your target, pull the elastic off of the horn, stretch it and release.

Reload with one of the rubber bands from the handle. Repeat the previous step.


  • If the elastic isn't firing very far, you may need to bend the top channel a little wider. You could also make a sixth and seventh layer with a widened channel.


  • Don't aim the gun at people or animals. If you plan to use the gun outside, you should wrap or paint the tip of the gun bright orange. This indicates that it is a toy gun