20 Kick-Ass DIY Weapons for Your Survival

When it comes to self-defense and survival, there are 4 categories of weapons that I’ve identified. Layers of self-defense, if you will.

Layer one is having firearms. handguns, shotguns, and rifles. These are a prepper’s best friend and almost never fail you.

Layer two is alternative survival weapons. Bows, slings, darts, and many more can save your life when you have no guns at your disposal, regardless of whether they are confiscated by the Government, stolen from you, or even wrestled from you by angry mobs and thugs.

At the very least, it’s always good to have a good folding pocketknife as part of your everyday carry kit as a back-up weapon.

Layer three is the focus of this article. We’re going to talk about making veritable weapons out of seemingly innocent items, some of which are probably lying around your house or backyard as we speak.

Lastly, layer four is all about the “part-time weapons” you can use as a last resort to defend yourself or escape an attacker. These aren’t really weapons, they’re just used that way in context.

I bet you’re really anxious to find out about these DIY weapons so let’s stop beating around the bush. Here’s a list of homemade weapons you can make right now with tools and very little work.

paper brick wikipedia

photo: Wikimedia Commons

#1. Paper Bricks

Paper bricks are also known as Milwall bricks, after the English soccer club, Milwall F.C., whose supporters… needed a way to express themselves.

Contrary to what you might think, it doesn’t involve any bricks. The entire thing is made out of rolled sheets of newspaper

How to Do It

Take a few sheets of newspaper and stack them on top of each-other.

(Optional: Soak them in liquid so the resulting weapon is sturdier.)

(Optional: Add coins in the middle of the sheets so the weapon is heavier.)

Fold or roll all of the sheets inward to form a cylinder.

Bend the resulting fold in half and glue the loose ends together. You can use duct tape to do that.

Optionally, you can add a handle to the end that is secured with DT for a better grip.

#2. DIY Tasers

I came across this great video that shows how to build them, take a look:

The Most Complete DIY Taser Tutorial On YouTube

#3. DIY Spears

This one is easy to do. All you need are a good knife (not your primary one, of course, as you’ll reserve that for more important tasks) and a piece of wood to attach it to using duct tape or paracord.

What kind of wood should you use? Pine, maple, and oak are all good options, however, don’t use branches that are already on the ground, those will have already rotted and will break easier.

#4. DIY Blowguns

You will need: a PVC pipe and a hacksaw (to cut the pipe), tape, paper, and nails.

First, use a hacksaw or even construction string to cut a piece of PVC pipe that’s half an inch in diameter and 30 inches long.

The paper is folded and then cut and rolled in the shape of a cone around each nail. To make the two stay together, use some of that tape.

One end of an “arrow”, opposite the tip of the nail, is going to be too big to fit into the pipe. Simply place it inside as much as you can, make a mark on it and cut the end off using a pair of scissors.

As a quick alternative, you can even make a blow gun from duct tape:

DIY duct tape blowgun
a DIY duct tape blowgun with a paperclip as a dart

Here’s the full video on how to make a PVC blowgun:


#5. DIY Pepper Spray

You will need a way to make the pepper spray solution as well as a container to spray it in the bad guy’s face.

Now, making the spray is not that hard as there are various “recipes” you can follow.

For example, you could mix chili powder and rubbing alcohol. You can add black pepper to give your attacker a nice coughing fit too, even ammonia or bleach (fair warning: they could go blind if you use this on them).

Mix them thoroughly, use a spoon or something to crush the chili really well. Then leave the mixture overnight (some people prefer boiling it instead). Before you put in into the spray container, you need to strain out the actual chili powder, or else it’s going to clog the bottle when you use it.

#6. Primitive Club Tools

First, cut a relatively thick piece of wood 15-20 inches in length. Cut it right from a tree as the dead branches you will find on the ground are already rotten. Once you have your piece of wood, scrape the bark away. Next, find an oval stone that’s also relatively flat.

There are two ways to do this. Either you make a hole on one side of the branch or you can split the branch in half at one end and stick the stone in-between.

In both cases, the final step is to tie rope around the rock to secure it tightly in place.

Baloon Slingshot Assembled

#7. Balloon Slingshots

You will need:

  • a standard balloon
  • a plastic bottle
  • tape
  • a small dart, such as one made of rolled paper and a nail
Baloon Slingshot Disassembled

Cut the balloon in half and cut the bottle around its neck area so you’re left with no more than 1-3 inches.

Put the balloon inside through the cap and stretch its end (the one you’d normally use to blow it) over the cap, then secure it with duct tape or an elastic band of some sort.

And you’re pretty much done, except for the dart. I already told you how to make them earlier on when we talked about blowguns, so I’m not going to repeat those instructions.

To use it, simply put the DIY dart through the cap and, with your other hand, stretch it towards you as much as you can and then let go.

Here’s a video showing you how to do it:

How To Make A Balloon Sling Shot!


These devices are used to disable wheeled vehicles or even to deter a person on foot from getting too close to your bug out location or camp. You can make your own caltrops from all kinds of materials including paper clips, sharpened wood, nails, and pre-formed pieces of sheet metal.

#9. Kubaton

This is a blunt force cylindrical object, usually attached to a keychain, which is then used to jab soft parts of an attacker’s body to cause pain, injury, and disorientation that allows you time to get to safety.

Kubatons consist of metal, polymer, or wood depending on your needs and available materials. If you have the tools and some time, you can make a kubaton using melted milk jug plastic:

How to Make: a KUBOTAN out of Milk Jugs

But the video below shows you how to quickly make your own kubaton from a dried out sharpie marker, a keychain, and some heavy tape.

Gear: DIY "Poor Person's" Kubotan (see description)

#10. Negan’s Baseball Bat

You’ve probably seen some version of this diy weapon used on TV, especially if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead. It’s basically a baseball bat with the end wrapped in barbed wire. The barbed wire inflicts additional damage that a plain baseball bat doesn’t do.

#11. Homemade Stun Grenade

Stun grenades are a non-lethal weapon designed to cause your attacker to be distracted. Also called a flashbang, thunderflash, or flash grenade, the video below shows you how to make a smaller one from a toilet paper tube, golf balls, a bolt, firecrackers, and some duct tape.

How to Build a Prop/Airsoft Stun Grenade

#12. Pummel Pipe or War Hammer

There are multiple ways to make your own pummel pipe or war hammer depending on how you want to be able to use it. Below is an example of a very detailed DIY war hammer which could do some serious damage in a SHTF confrontation.

#13. Flamethrower

If you have expired or empty fire extinguishers lying around, you can turn them into a flamethrower to use as a weapon in a SHTF situation:

How to Build a Mini Flamethrower! TKOR Makes The Best DIY Flamethrower Using A Fire Extinguisher!

#14. Throwing Stars

There are a wide variety of materials you can use to make throwing stars including CD’s, wood, and sheet metal. Throwing stars can be more reliable for beginners because you don’t have to be as accurate, you have more than one side which can hit your target.

You may want to make throwing stars from a template for defense or make simple ones from branches for hunting as shown in the video below.

#15 Shiv or Knife

If you’ve ever seen a prison-based movie or TV show, you’ve seen the damage a DIY shiv or knife can do to an attacker.

The great thing about a shiv is that you can make one from just about any type of material you can find including wood, bone, metal, plastic, etc. You can even make a shiv from a can as shown below:

How to make a Can Shiv

#16. BullWhip

The use of the bullwhip as a weapon dates back as far as 3,000 B.C. in both the Egyptian and Chinese cultures. It’s an attack weapon with ultimate flexibility of attack angles.

With knowledge and practice, even young people can learn how to use a whip for self defense. The video below demonstrates how to make your own bullwhip from paracord and few other easy to get materials.

How To Make a Paracord Bullwhip FAST, CHEAP, EASY!!!

#17 Tomahawk from Saw

A tomahawk is an age-old war weapon that was used to inflict damage on enemies. With the right tools, you can make your own tomahawk using a wooden handle and a modified saw blade as detailed in the video below:

Making a Saw Blade tomahawk

#18. The Bolas

The bolas is a traditional hunting weapon used by the Spanish who hunted from horseback and threw the bolas, a construction made of interconnected cords and weights, to entangle the legs of their prey.

With practice, the bolas can be used to catch a wide variety of animals, including birds. These are easy to make and not difficult to learn to throw.

Heavier weight bolas could also be used against a human attacker to take them down before they get to you. The video below shows you how to make and throw a bolas.

How to Make a Bolas

#19. Shepherd Sling

The shepherd sling is a weapon used to throw a projectile at a target or attacker. The biggest advantage of using a shepherd sling is that it extends your arm length which means you can throw your chosen projectile much farther than you could with just your hand.

Another advantage of the shepherd sling is that you can use a variety of materials as projectiles including stones, golf balls, grenades, and really any other weighted item which means you won’t run out of ammunition. It can be made quickly and easily from a 6 to 8-foot piece of paracord as shown in the video below:

#20 Paracord Monkey Fist

The Monkey fist is typically made using an approximately 1-inch steel ball wrapped in paracord and attached to a keyring. It can be carried in your pocket and is with you wherever you take your keys.

One advantage of the monkey fist is that it can be used to train with in your spare time to strengthen your wrists and arms. But the monkey fist can be used for self defense too!

Final Word

Well, those were it. I hope I’ve really given you the motivation to actually go ahead and make some of these, especially since most of them won’t cost you a penny.

If you’ve made or used any of the survival weapons on this list, I’d very much appreciate it if you leave a comment below. It would also be nice to describe the steps, the tools, and any tips, tricks, and mistakes you may have.

DIY weapons pinterest image

updated 08/23/2019 by Megan Stewart

7 thoughts on “20 Kick-Ass DIY Weapons for Your Survival”

  1. Weapons improvised from home and yard! How about these. In tool shed: any broken handle from yard tools. As a club to swing, or maybe to throw. Before the boomerang there was a weapon called a bunny club. They were easy to just find, or maybe manufacture in the woods. They work just like a boomerang, so size should be to your liking. You need to be able to throw it with force to a distant target. But it should be heavy enough to knock down that duck or goose that’s trying to get away. Can be curved like a boomerang, or straight. It won’t come back on it’s own either way. (Unless your target is human and you didn’t knock him out) small piece of rebar or axle from your old tricycle. A shovel handle, or mop handle works well and can be cut to size. I make old world slings out of shoe laces and boot laces(I have to cut these in half or they are too long to control effectively). Any weight like a couple golf balls, or D batteries, or shot glasses in a sock make a good hand to hand combat weapon. Toolbox weapons are often quick and effective as well. A screwdriver can put an attacker on his heels pretty quickly, as well as pliers. Grab a hold of any loose skin in reach with pliers and squeeze like there’s no tomorrow…

  2. So basically some of these items not a lot of people have I mean like I really would want a bullwhip but I don’t have a nail that long or paracord so there really is no way to do that.

  3. About the baseball bat- I once took a self defense class that had everyone think of how to make a weapon out of everyday materials. What I came up with was an idea for what looks scary as, and is easy to make. All you need is a bat (or stick), thumbtacks, and strong, sticky tape. I found regular electric to be the best. What you do is push the thumbtacks into the sticky side of the tape about 1/2 inch apart, and over both ends make an X. Then, start wrapping the tape around it sticky side down while pushing thumbtacks in it as you go. Be sure to leave enough space near the ends so you can hold and swing it comfortably. What mine ended up looking like was a bat shaped spiked porcupine, something you wouldn’t want to try to grab at either end. You can use whatever else instead of tacks, as long as it sticks up through the tape that holds it down. Be creative!

  4. I attached bottle caps to the top quarter of half a broom handle and made a paracord grip at the other end , Works great as a bat type weapon and the bottle caps are spikey ,

    1. The other half of the broom handle I made kabutan x2 , but to give them a little something extra , I drilled holes in the end and sunk in a screw which I anchored in place with resin , , the opposite end a drilled a hole through and added a paracord wristlet , so it can hang from a belt or your wrist

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