How to make a blowgun and paper darts

Last month I made some blowguns and paper darts with my nephews Luca and Renzo (8 and 7 years old) in Hoofddorp. We had good fun and I decided to make a little how-to video on how to make these things. (The video is in Dutch but has English subtitles).

Materials

  • About 1 m PVC electrical tube per blowgun, diameter 5/8 inch or about 1.6 cm (you can get this real cheap at most hardware stores, 2 m costs about €0,35)
  • Hacksaw, sandpaper and measuring tape (if you have to shorten the PVC tube)
  • Paper magazine and scissors (for the paper darts)

Paper darts

It turned out that that rolling the paper darts was a bit to difficult for young kids so you might have to make a bunch for them. When I was a kid, I would also use common snowberries (Dutch: sneeuwbessen) for ammunition but they only grow in autumn.

You can experiment with different types of paper and strip sizes for the darts. Most will work but some paper makes stronger darts than other paper. The darts stay well formed over many weeks (which is impressive I think because the only thing holding them together is some spit 🙂).

Me rolling paper darts

Blowgun

You can modify the blowguns with colorful electrical tape and extra tubes, creating visors, dart holders etc. It’s a nice way for each kid to personalize their blowgun.

And make sure they don’t shoot in each other’s eyes!

Luca, Renzo and Sienna shooting paper darts with their self made blowguns

Target

If you use a soft target, you won’t damage the tips of your paper darts so you can reuse the darts a few times. I found out that an old net curtain, with an archery target face attached with safety pins, works well. If you blow hard, even at 18 m you will penetrate the target.

An old net curtain, with an archery target face attached, forms a soft target saving your paper dart tips so you can reuse the darts a few times

Links

Some extra (and dated) info I found on the web on blowguns and paper darts: The Paper Dart Site

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