How to make a paper gun that shoots - a step-by-step guide

Much prettier than plastic and more fun to make, too!

homemade paper guns

This easy how to make a paper gun step-by-step guide doesn't take long to master and only uses three materials you probably already have at home. 

Much nicer than plastic toy guns, these paper alternatives are both fun to make and fun to play with. Plus, anything to stop the constant clutter of plastic toys spilling out of the toybox is a blessing in our eyes.

A great craft for kids to help you with, you can make a paper gun using any colour or pattern of paper. Let the kids choose their favourite colourful prints and paper for the craft. Children love how quick and easy a paper gun that shoots is to make and playing with the craft afterwards is a bonus that should keep kids entertained (at least for a little while).

There are lots of fun things you can make from your stash of colourful paper, like a paper boat, a homemade fortune teller and these fun paper plate masks projects. So check out our other craft ideas to see what you'd like to make next.

How to make a paper gun

To make a paper gun you will need:

  • A4 paper in your choice of pattern or colour
  • Scissors
  • Rubber band

Step-by-step guide on how to make a paper gun

Step 1

Turn the piece of A4 paper so that it's landscape and fold in half.

Hands folding a piece of paper in half.

Step 2

Open out the folded piece of paper to reveal the crease in the centre. Now fold one edge of the paper into the crease line. Repeat folding the same side into the centre.

An orange piece of paper folded into the centre

Step 3

Now repeat on the opposite side, folding the opposite edge into the centre line. Once folded to the centre, fold the paper in half along the original crease line the create a slim strip of folded paper.

A folded orange piece of paper.

Step 4

Repeat steps 1-3 so you have two folded strips.

Two coloured paper strips

Step 5

Open out one of the folded strips and fold in half in the opposite direction. Open out again, refold along the original centre crease.

A woman's hands folding orange paper.

Step 6

To make the handle of the paper gun, use the second strip of paper to line up with the centre crease. Now fold the first strip of paper down at a 90-degree angle on the left side.

Two pieces of paper being folded together.

Step 7

Repeat the fold on the right side.

A woman showing how to make a paper gun

Step 8

Fold the handle in half along the centre crease. Now fold the second strip, the barrel of the gun, in half.

Now fold the second strip in half

Step 9

Sandwich the handle of the paper gun, the first paper strip, in between the folds of the barrel paper.

Secure the paper together

Step 10

Then push the ends of the barrel papers underneath the folds of the handle. This will be a tight fit, so push slowly.

Push the ends of the paper gun through the handle

Step 11

Once pushed through, keep pulling on the paper ends until the middle folded section fits snugly together.

A homemade paper gun on a table

Step 12

Use a pair of scissors to cut out notches for the tip of the barrel and the top folds of the paper gun.

A paper gun and some scissors on a table

How to make a paper gun that shoots

Perhaps a toy to play with outdoors, you should now have your very own homemade paper gun that shoots. To make your craft shoot, place an elastic band or hair tie in the notches. To fire the elastic band or hair tie, pull on the bottom fold of the paper gun where a trigger would be. The elastic band should ping off.

Attach an elastic band

Esme Clemo
Craft Writer

Esme is Future's resident craft expert, working across titles such as GoodTo, Woman&Home, Woman’s Weekly, Woman, Woman’s Own, Chat, Now, Pick Me Up and The Craft Network. Successfully turning her sewing hobby into a career, she's adept in a number of crafts, including sewing, papercraft, calligraphy, embroidery and printing.