How to: Make DIY Boomerangs from Recycled Boxes

created at: 01/24/2012

Cheap styrofoam toy-store boomerangs have given generations of Americans, children or otherwise, the mistaken impression that building and throwing boomerangs is very difficult. This flies in the face of reason: Using less-than-ideal materials, human beings have been building, throwing, and catching boomerangs for more than 11,600 years. Boomerangs are absurdly easy to make–this is an ideal project to keep kids busy in a pinch. Learning to throw one is just a little tricky, but most of the trick is in properly tuning the boomerang.   The easiest boomerangs for beginners to craft and throw are quad-bladers. Project 18 from my book, Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred includes two quad-blade designs. The first is a poster-board fast-catch boomerang. Fast-catch boomerangs usually have more than three wings and are characterized by a tight flight pattern and quick return. This boomerang can be made from an old cereal box, beer cartons, or similarly stiff poster-board. It’s ideal for indoor boomeranging, and also good for juggling (catching and tossing two boomerangs in sequence so that one is aloft at all times). The second design is a slightly heartier cross-stick boomerang, made from light corrugated cardboard (i.e., a pizza box) and suitable for outdoor use. Cross-sticks, as the name suggests, are made from two separate wings connected at the hub, rather than being cut from a single piece.

Either boomerang just takes a few minutes to make; more importantly, the downloadable project includes clear, detailed instructions on tuning and throwing the boomerangs.

1) Download the free project: Project 18: Cardboard Boomerangs

2) Make the crafting go even faster with these downloadable print-n-trace boomerang templates.

3) Questions? Get help online at the Snip, Burn, Solder Blog

4)  If you like this project, then check out my book Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids http://nostarch.com/snipburn.htm  Order directly from the publisher using the coupon code “SHRED”, and you’ll save 35 percent–plus they throw in the ebook editions for FREE (take that, Amazon!)

DAVID ERIK NELSON is the author of Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids.  You can find his book in many actual bookstores, order online from Amazon (where it’s on backorder), or get a copy immediately from the publisher (No Starch Press: http://nostarch.com/snipburn.htm)–where you can use the coupon code “SHRED,” save 35%, and get the ebook editions for FREE!

The Kindle edition of his Nebula-nominated novella Tucker Teaches the Clockies to Copulate is now available for immediate purchase and download at Amazon.com 

Find David online at davideriknelson.com, or as @SquiDaveo on Twitter.