Defending yourself in a pinch may mean the difference between life and death. And when you’re not able to use proper weapons to do it, you may have to resort to improvised weapons.
While some of these can be made in a pinch, others have more laborious (yet still easy-to-make) designs. If you’re looking for some DIY projects for your Sunday afternoons, the homemade weapons below, you might like the projects below…
#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
A DIY spear is easy to do. All you need are a good knife, 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 pepper spray 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, and 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 it 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 a 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 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.
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…
#11. Homemade Stun Grenade
Stun grenades are non-lethal weapons 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 that could do some serious damage in an 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 an SHTF situation:
#14. Throwing Stars
There are a wide variety of materials you can use to make throwing stars including CDs, 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.
#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 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 a 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 bola.
#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.
#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!
The bow is one of mankind’s oldest ranged weapons, and still one of the best. After we graduated from throwing rocks and then spears, the bow came shortly after and it revolutionized warfare. As a personal weapon, it offered an unbeatable combination of range, accuracy, and penetration, and it was only supplanted by the firearm.
Bows still have many advantages today, especially considering that shockingly affected improvised ones can be made from common materials.
A flexible piece of PVC pipe, an industrial rubber band, workout resistance bands or bungee cords, and some improvised arrows made with dowel rods, sharpened circuit board arrowheads, and fletching made from manila folders or plastic sheeting will prove to be surprisingly effective.
The only disadvantage is that crafting the bow will take some time, and this is not a weapon you’ll be able to whip together quickly in a pinch.
A sap is an impact weapon, sometimes a synonym for a blackjack, and other times a distinct category of weapon unto itself.
Saps are usually short, semi-flexible weapons with a flat head that is shaped something like a beaver’s tail, although sometimes they are nothing more than a sack made of durable material. In either case, the head is filled with loose aggregate or media that provides weight and also spreads out the forces of impact when striking.
This media can be anything from glass beads to powdered lead, washers, coins, or any other heavy, dense material you can come up with.
Once very popular police weapons, they are enjoying a renaissance as self-defense weapons once again. In action, saps are shockingly effective, especially with blows directed at the head or other hard targets on the body.
Using nothing more than a sturdy leather pouch or nylon bag filled with change or small washers you can quickly come up with a weapon that will deliver a devastating knockout blow.
The best part is that the components used to make the sap are often completely innocent by themselves, meaning you can have the parts close at hand without raising any eyebrows.
And start thinking through other options for crafting a sap: anything that is durable enough to contain the filler, has room for your hand, and won’t come apart on impact is more than good enough to make a sap that will get you through a fight or two.
#23 Spiked Fist Load
A fist load is any object or purpose-designed weapon that is held by a clenched fist and used to increase the effectiveness of punches. This is done either by providing a degree of protection for the hand, a smaller surface area for concentrating the force of a strike, or increasing the damage that a punch can do in general.
Often these are close combat weapons with an unsavory reputation, but they are small, extremely portable, and highly discreet. There are also very easy to improvise, making them a great option for our purposes.
Everybody’s heard of the old trick of grasping a roll of quarters in the palm of the hand when punching in order to greatly amplify the impact, but today we are taking this trick to the next level. Using that same roll of quarters, or possibly roll of nickels depending on the size of your hand, we’re going to add some vicious spikes by using a couple of common nails.
To do this, simply grasp the roll of coins and then carefully Mark the spot on the roll that rests between your index and middle and middle and ring fingers. Remove about six coins from the stack, and then shimmy them around to make space at the marked spots on the roll.
Drive the nails through the roll in the empty spaces so they protrude between your fingers. If you have time and opportunity, wrap the roll with duct tape to reinforce it. Now when you deliver a punch it will have a vicious bite!
#24 Broken Bottle
Sometimes, the simplest is the best! The old standby for every barroom battler and parking lot warrior, anything from a beer or cola bottle to a larger wine or liquor bottle can be turned into a hideous slashing weapon simply by busting the base end off, grasping the neck and then going to town.
Alternatively, you can leave the bottle intact to strike with it initially, breaking it on the attacker and then following up.
Keep in mind that there is a pretty good risk of injuring yourself when using such a weapon, so put on a glove to help protect your hand if you can and have time.
#25 Loaded Umbrella
No, I’m not talking about some crazy James Bond or CIA gun that looks like an umbrella. I’m talking about loading an umbrella with weights to turn it into a sneaky and devastating first-strike club.
All you need are some wrenches or narrow but hefty lengths of round pipe stock and some duct tape or heavy-duty zip ties. To craft this weapon, open the umbrella and then lash the weights around the central shaft. Place them near the far end and then work your way down if you have extras.
You’ll probably need to pop the arms loose of that central slider piece depending on the design of your umbrella because it won’t close when modified this way.
Lower the arms over the shaft and then secure them with the rap or leash, whatever you call it, built into the umbrella. No one looking at it will tell that it has been modified, but it will pack a terrible wallop when used as a club.
Keep in mind, your typical umbrella won’t stand up to this kind of abuse, so the stronger the base unit is the more mileage you’ll get out of this weapon.
A flail is nothing more than a weight for striking attached to the end of a rope or flexible tether. One great example is the medieval weapon of the same name.
An improvised and infamous version is a length of sturdy logging chain, used by gangs and bikers for decades. You could make a hasty one out of a sturdy leather belt with an impressively large belt buckle.
Use your imagination: click a padlock onto the end of a bike chain. Drop a billiard ball into the end of a long sock. A sizable rock lashed around a length of paracord.
Whatever it is, whirl it to build up momentum then swing for the fences and the force generated on impact will be out of all proportion with the simplicity of this weapon and the size of the weight.
My dad was military. My grandfather was a cop. They served their country well. But I don’t like taking orders. I’m taking matters into my own hands so I’m not just preparing, I’m going to a friggin’ war to provide you the best of the best survival and preparedness content out there.