Cut out the Hoop
Draw a box template onto cardboard. It can be any size you want! Just, make sure it is large enough to catch your projectiles, but small enough to be supported by the dowel. We made one that is 2″ x 2″ x 3″
Fold the Hoop
Lightly score the four sides where the flaps meet the bottom of the box and then fold all the sides up.
Put the Hoop together
Hot glue the sides together. If you would like to reinforce our basket, wrap it in duct tape!
Make the Backboard
Cut out another piece of cardboard for your backboard. This too can be any size that you want, as long as your dowel can support the weight. Ours is 5″ x 7″. Center your cardboard basket along the bottom edge of the backboard and stick it on with hot glue.
Roughen about 2 inches on one side of the dowel with a craft knife (this makes it stick better.)
Attach Backboard to Pole
Glue this rough side to the center of the flip side of the backboard. Make sure it stays in place by adding a cardboard tab over it.
Prepare your Court
Mark a dot about one inch from the edge of your largest piece of wood. Make sure it is centered. Then drill a hole over this dot. This will be your “court.”
Glue in your Pole & Basket
Put some hot glue into the hole and push the dowel into it. Make sure your basket faces the right way (towards the other end of the wood!)
Assemble your Launcher
Place a 4″ strip of tape on your table, sticky side up. Center your spoon’s handle on the strip, with the end almost halfway down. Cover the bottom half of the duct tape strip with your medium-sized block of wood, leaving a small gap between the wood and spoon. Lay another 4″ strip of tape, sticky-side-down, over the tape, spoon, and wood
Attach Launcher to Court
Attach your launcher to the court with two rubber bands.
Place Block under Launcher
Loop a rubber band over one end of the smallest piece of wood. Then pull the other end of the rubber band underneath the largest piece of wood and loop it over the other end of the smallest piece of wood. Make sure the spoon is resting on top of the smallest piece of wood.
Calibrate your Launcher
Load up your ball (aluminum foil, marble, pom pom, pebble, etc) onto the spoon and bend it back to launch! If you miss the basket, slide the blocks around until you find the sweet spot. You can also try turning the wood under the spoon so that it is taller, or using a different object under the spoon altogether.
Decorate your Catapult Game
Last but not least, decorate your court, hoop and launcher!
Play a game with your friends or family! See who can sink the most baskets!
Your safety is your own responsibility, including proper use of equipment and safety gear, and determining whether you have adequate skill and experience. Power tools, electricity, and other resources used for these projects are dangerous, unless used properly and with adequate precautions, including safety gear and adult supervision. Some illustrative photos do not depict safety precautions or equipment, in order to show the project steps more clearly. Use of the instructions and suggestions found in Maker Camp is at your own risk. Maker Media, Inc., disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.