DIY Darts (Perfect Preparation for the Zombie Apocalypse)

The books you own and leave out around your home say a lot about you.  I wonder exactly what our visitors think when they see this book on the toy shelf:

Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction

Funny, no one wants me to host playgroup anymore …

Our more cautious visitors might want to stay away for just a little while, as Eli pulled out the book on Saturday morning and asked if we could make something.  After narrowing the choices down to the ones for which we had materials handy, he chose long darts (I had to steer him away from the mini flame throwers, what with the burn ban and all – you know we’re all about safety here).

They were relatively easy to put together.  A little too tricky for a 4-year-old to accomplish himself, but Elena was able to make one without any assistance.  The throwing part though?  Let’s just say Eli can do it well enough that a) he get a bulls-eye b) we moved darts into the garage and c) he’s going to be a bar darts prodigy well before he can see over the bar.  Overall, they’re quick to put together and surprisingly sturdy.

If you have a tinkerer in your house, I highly recommend this book.  There are definitely projects in here that don’t require fire or needle-sharp objects that will still be thoroughly entertaining for kids and adults alike.  Beyond darts, you can choose from a variety of launchers, bows and slingshots, catapults, and targets.

And now, for those of you who like to live dangerously, here are instructions to build your own long darts:

DIY Dart Supplies

Materials:

  • 4 toothpicks
  • Masking tape
  • 1 small metal pin
  • Thread
  • Clear tape
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
1.  Using masking tape, tightly wrap 4 toothpicks together to form a square bundle.  Leave about 1/4″ of the front end of the toothpicks unwrapped, as well as about 1/2″ of the back end.

DIY Darts

2.  Wedge the pin into the front center of the 4 toothpicks.  A pin with a small head or ball works best.  Once you have it wedged in there, tightly wrap the front end of the dart with thread.  Continue to wrap it until the pin is nearly immovable.  We found it easiest to anchor the thread under the masking tape and then to wrap it with clear tape after you’re finished winding the thread.

DIY Darts

3.  Use the card stock to make the dart fins.  The cardboard that cereal boxes are made from works great, too.  Cut out a 3-in x 1 1/2-in rectangle.
Fold the rectangle in half to create a double square (the square will be two layers thick).

DIY Darts

Use scissors to cut out a triangle shape from the folded card stock.  Remove the extra material from both sides (this is trash).  When finished you should end up with two triangles  of the exact same size.  The triangles should be separate, not connected at the tip.

DIY Darts

4.  Place the two cardboard triangles side by side.

DIY Darts

On the first triangle, cut a small slit from the top point of the triangle to about halfway down.    On the second triangle, cut a slit from the midpoint of the bottom edge to about halfway up the triangle.

DIY Darts

Slide the two triangles together to form the rear fin of the dart.

DIY Darts

5.  Slide the rear fin assembly into the 4 toothpicks on the rear end of the dart so that one fin is wedged between each toothpick pair.  The pressure of the toothpicks will hold the fin in place.  Your darts are finished and ready for throwing!

Zombie Dart Target

As much as we joke around, we are serious about dart safety.  Darts have a dangerous point and are not meant for living targets.  Zombie targets drawn with chalk on the garage wall are totally fine, though, and probably a wise way to prepare for the impending zombie apocalypse (100 points for the brain!).  You can print out a dartboard template here if you don’t have a dartboard.  There are a few available in the back of the book as well.


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