How to Make a Homemade Archery Target

Having a sturdy, well-made archery target is an invaluable possession for a beginner or amateur archer. There exist a wide range of archery targets that can be easily constructed with basic household items.

This article will explain how to make a simplistic but practical target consisting of compacted pieces of clothing serving as the face of the target, enclosed by a wooden frame, and held together in the front by chicken wire.

Prerequisites for the Process

How to Make a Homemade Archery TargetBefore beginning you will need to acquire the following materials: two eight foot long 2×12 kiln dried boards, burlap or tarp, chicken wire, wooden screws, a saw, a staple gun, and discarded clothing which lack hard objects such as zippers or buttons.

The target when completed should measure approximately five feet in height and the shooting area should encompass nine square feet. The 2×12 kiln dried board can be purchased at any hardware or lumber store; this material will prevent any damage to the target from rain or temperature.

You can also spray the boards with an oil based product like Minwax to protect the wood in the outdoors.

The Process

First, you are going to want to cut the 2×12 dried boards into two sections, a five foot length section and a three foot length section.

Next, cut a small rectangular hole into one of the three foot long boards. This can be done with a radial arm saw for extra precision; however any standard hand saw will do. The rectangular hole needs to be large enough to insert the pieces of the discarded clothing into the frame of the target.

The main target frame will consist of the five foot long boards forming the vertical sides and the three foot long boards forming the top and bottom. In order to fasten these boards in place, place four screws at the intersection of each of the boards.

Now that the frame is complete, wrap a netting of chicken wire with a width of three feet around the front and back of the wooden boards. You can use a staple gun to secure the netting to the wooden boards on the bottom and sides of the frame. Make sure to use a generous amount of staples to prevent the chicken wire from being detached or loosened from the wooden frame.

Once the chicken wire is secured to the wooden frame, insert the discarded clothing into the rectangular hole at the top of the frame. Any sort of clothing will do, including shirts, sweatshirts, and jeans, but make sure the clothing lacks hard objects like zippers or metal, since these could potentially damage your arrows. Keep in mind that stiffer clothing like denim will typically do a better job of stopping your arrows, but will also be tougher to pull the arrows out from.

Place the clothing into the frame in layers, making sure that the stuffing is as densely packed as possible to provide an optimal entry area for the arrows. Furthermore, you can keep the stuffing of the frame from bulging out by placing wires around the netting at intervals you find appropriate.

After you have filled the target with stuffing, next you will want to cover the face of the target with a tarp, which will act as the frame of the target. Attach the tarp to the front of the target over the chicken wire using the staple gun again. Weed barrier fabric and ground cover cloth also work well because of their soft texture and durability. Whatever material you use as a frame, it can be easily torn off and replaced whenever it has deteriorated.

Use the remaining wood to attach two, three foot long boards to the back of the target with wooden screws. These boards will serve as stabilizers to keep the stuffing in place. If you want, you can paint concentric rings with alternating colors on the face of the target to give yourself a destination to aim at. You now have a homemade device for practicing and you no longer need to buy an archery target.

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