Here’s a fun homemade toy that can shoot a ping pong ball, and the best part is that this one is safe enough to use inside!
Pull back the inner cardboard tube, let go, and watch the ball fly!
To make one, you will need:
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- One 2 inch diameter mailing tube. We used these Duck brand mailing tubes.
- Two empty paper towel rolls
- Duct tape
- Two extra long rubber bands. The ones we used are 7 x 1/8 inches.
- Hole punch
Step 1: Stuff one paper towel tube inside the other so that they overlap by an inch or two and secure them with duct tape. Wrap duct tape around both ends to reinforce the cardboard.
Step 2: Use a hole punch to punch two holes (across from each other) on one end of the paper towel tube.
Step 3: Attach two rubber bands to the mailing tube, luggage tag style. Our tubes came with pre-made holes in just the right places! If your tube does not have any holes, make some with a nail or a drill.
Step 4: Insert one rubber band into each hole on the paper towel tube. Use duct tape to attach them in the middle of the tube. (We experimented with different ways to do this without tape, but it was impossible!)
Step 5: Once the rubber bands are attached with duct tape, cover the end of the paper towel tube with duct tape.
Step 6: Pull up on the paper towel tube and lower it down into the mailing tube.
To shoot, drop a ping pong ball inside…
Pull back on the paper towel tube…
And let go!
This project was inspired by this toilet paper roll slingshot on PBS kids. We wanted to make it larger to be able to shoot ping pong balls as I’m not a fan of shooting marshmallows in the house… they get sticky and they get lost! The smaller version would shoot pom pom balls, though, so if you don’t have a mailing tube you mights want to check out the PBS version.
Deb Pearl Dec 11, 2017
I have been wondering what kind of crafts I could do with my kids, and this ping pong shooter looks like a lot of fun! I like how just pulling the inner tube will send the ball flying. Thank you for all the steps on how to make it. Having different colored tubes would be fun to try too.
Just Paper Tubes Ltd Dec 12, 2017
Your blog is very informative to read and you explain everything very well with your writing and images. I learn many knowledgeable things from here. Thanks for sharing it.
Christine Farnham Dec 13, 2020
Great toy! I used a cable tie to connect rubber bands inside paper towel tube.
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