Last week I made something for my kids that they enjoyed so much I may have just ensured they will nominate me for mother of the year. ;)
The idea for this slingshot came from a book my son received for Christmas called The Curious Boy’s Book of Exploration. I made a few modifications and decided to share how I made it with you. The book actually called it a catapult, but we think it is more of a slingshot than a true catapult. Whatever you call it, it is fun.
- Old Blue Jeans
- 8-10 feet of Latex Tubing
- Sewing Machine
- Boards or Posts
- Tennis Balls
1. Cut off one leg of the blue jeans measuring 11 inches from the hem up.
2. Overcast or serge around the raw edge of the jeans. Fold the edge under 1/2 inch and pin in place.
3. Sew around the folded edge of the jeans using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Do not sew the end closed, you just need to sew around the edge. You may have to take off your accessory case on your sewing machine to sew the hem.
5. Slide the tubing into the into the the blue jean “sleeve”. Center the knot and push the tubing to the top and bottom of the blue jeans. Pin the blue jean “sleeve” so that you have a rectangle in the center.
6. Sew a rectangle in the center of the blue jeans like you pinned in step 5.
7. On each edge, on the side with the knot, sew a couple of lines of stitching diagonally near the tubing. Do not sew the tubing. I think you can see what I mean from the picture.
This step was added after testing out the slingshot. The knot wanted to slide out. By adding the extra stitching the knot stayed inside the blue jeans.
Now comes the fun part.
I had wondered where to use our slingshot. My brother came up with the idea of screwing some 2×4 scraps to our clubhouse deck. This ended up being the perfect idea.
We slipped the loops of tubing around the boards, made sure the blue jeans were centered, and put a tennis ball into the slingshot.
Then we pulled the slingshot back…
…and let ‘er rip.
The balls went super far and everyone was so excited to have a turn. From the clubhouse deck, which is probably 7 feet in the air (which means the sling shot was higher than that), most of the tennis balls went to the trees you see in the picture above. I didn’t use a tape measurer, but I think it is at least 50 yards.
My kids loved this and have played with it many times in the past week. We bring it inside each evening, but I think it could stay outside.
So, what if you don’t have a clubhouse with a deck? Well, you could put 2 posts in the ground or even 2 sturdy sticks.
Don’t want to buy as much tubing as we did? Use a smaller amount and put the posts, sticks, or boards closer together. This will probably make the balls go even farther, so be aware of that if you don’t have a large yard.
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