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 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.
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:
#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:
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.
#7. Balloon Slingshots
You will need:
- a standard balloon
- a plastic bottle
- a small dart, such as one made of rolled paper and a nail
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:
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.
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:
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.
#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.
#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.
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:
#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:
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.
#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:
#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.
#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!
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.
updated 08/23/2019 by Megan Stewart