There is nothing worse than poor-quality nerf darts. They’re inaccurate, wimpy, and plummet to the ground immediately upon firing.
Accurate and far-flying Nerf darts are the foundation of a good time, and in this guide, you’ll learn how to make your own DIY Nerf darts at home without the need to buy foam.
The beautiful benefit of making your darts is that you can customize them to work better in specific Nerf blasters. For example, the biggest problem facing the accuracy of powerful Nerf Guns is darts that are too light.—as a result, they curve in random directions.
So get your scissors and nerf blasters ready and let’s get crafty!
- You might also like: The Best Nerf Guns of 2024
How Long is a Nerf Dart?
The first step to making your own nerf darts is planning out the size of your dart.
Below are the dimensions of the most common Nerf darts.
Standard Nerf Elite Dart
- Length: 2.8″
- Diameter: 0.5″
- Inner Diameter: 0.35″
- Length: 3.65″
- Diameter: 0.75″
- Inner Diameter: 0.5″
- Length: 3.65″
- Diameter: 0.75″
- Inner Diameter: 0.5″
If you have some Nerf darts on hand, you can also use them as a template to make more—in which case you don’t need these measurements.
How to Make Nerf Darts Out of Paper
Paper is an easy and cheap way to make still and highly accurate nerf darts. Best of all, you can make them in any color and pattern you like. So let’s get started!
What You’ll Need:
- Colored electrical tape
- A Nerf dart to copy
Step 1: Make an Inner-Diameter Template
The first and most crucial step to making your own darts is making sure they fit the plunger. If they are too big, they won’t get a good air seal, but if they’re too small, they won’t fit at all.
The best way to ensure that your darts are the perfect size is to make a template from an original nerf dart. Roll up a piece of paper and stick it into the end of a dart, then slowly let the paper expand until it is the same diameter as the inside of the dart, then pull it out and tape it.
There you have it! A perfectly-sized template of the inner diameter of your nerf dart that we can use to roll hundreds or even thousands of new homemade paper darts!
Step 2: Create the Dart Body
Now that we have our template, it’s time to make the dart body.
Cut another piece of paper to the length of your desired dart. If making standard-sized darts, this will be 2.8 inches.
To make the body roll the paper around the template, you made in the last step and place a piece of electrical tape around both ends of the dart body.
Note: Be sure to roll the paper tight to ensure that the dart is as stiff as possible!
Step 3: Create the Dart Tip
To finish off the dart, wrap two pieces of electrical tape around one end of the dart in a cross pattern. You want to be certain there are no gaps between the paper and the tape—failing to create an air-tight dart will result in poor performance.
You can get creative here and make flathead darts, pointy darts, or something of your own creation.
Congratulations, you have made your first dart! Now it’s time to test our prototype!
Step 4: Test the Dart and Make Adjustments
Load your newly crafted dart into your blaster and give it a few test fires. Take note of its performance and of any quirks that stand out.
If you’re running into problems, check out my homemade dart diagnostics section below!
Step 5: Scale Up Your Operations
Once you get your darts performance how you like it, it’s time to scale. Spend the next few hours cranking out hundreds of homemade darts, and you’ll never have to worry about ammo again at your next nerf battle!
Diagnosing Homemade Darts Problems
Are your darts not performing? Here are some things you can try to fix them!
Dart is Curving: Curving darts is typically a result of a flexible dart body or a dart tip that is too light. Try rolling a thicker dart body or use thicker paper. If the stiffness of your dart isn’t the problem, try adding a little more weight to the tip of your dart.
Poor Dart Distance: If your darts are only shooting a few feet, they probably aren’t sealed off or air-tight. Try making a new dart with a tighter seal around the dart tip.
Tips for Making Great Custom Nerf Darts
When making your own homemade nerf darts, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips:
1. Make Your Darts Stiff
There is nothing worse than using a Nerf sniper with inaccurate darts.
The key to an accurate and far flying nerf dart is its stiffness. If your dart is too flexible, it will bring to wobble while airborne, and eventually, that wobble will steer it in another direction. When making your darts out of paper, use strong and thick ply paper and roll it tightly.
2. Prototype Your Nerf Dart Tips
The overall distance and accuracy of your homemade blaster darts will be determined mainly by the quality of the tip. If your nerf dart tip is too light, the dart will flail in every direction and won’t travel very far. However, if the tip is too heavy, the dart will be accurate but won’t travel as far.
It might take a little experimenting to make the perfectly balanced dart, so before you make hundreds, test prototypes. Also, Nerf guns use a variety of firing mechanisms and shoot at different velocities. You might find one type of dart works well in one blaster and poorly in another. Test your darts in the guns you plan on using them in!
3. Use Bright and Vibrant Colors
There is nothing worse than losing nerf darts, especially darts you built with your own two hands. You can avoid losing nerf darts by making them out of bright and vibrant colors.
Using green darts on grass is a sure way to lose your darts. Consider making batches of different colors so you can choose a color that contrasts the ground of your next battlefield.
How to Make Half-Length Darts
There are ways to make half-length darts at home. Firstly, you can take any full-length nerf darts and cut them in half! Or you can make your own half-length darts using paper or foam.
To make your own, use the directions above and either make them shorter or cut them down to size when you’re done!
In this guide, we’ve shown you how to make your own DIY Nerf darts out of paper.
This is a great project for kids and adults alike, and it’s a fun way to recycle old newspapers and magazines. All you need are some basic supplies and a little bit of creativity!
So what are you waiting for? Get started today and have some fun with your friends and family members. Who knows – you may even come up with your own unique design for homemade Nerf darts.
Be sure to test your darts and make sure they are safe, as the Nerf safety guidelines warn against modifications of guns and ammo.
Thanks for reading, and happy Nerfing!