Ever notice how secret agents and spies get all the cool gear? Well, now you can too! Make your own mini grappling hook out of office and household supplies, then let let loose on a top secret mission from Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

This grappling hook design was built from the new book Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction 2 (Chicago Review Press) by John Austin*. This book has over 30 mini weapons and gadgets which can all easily be built with office or household supplies, most of which I had on hand already! I chose to build a personal favourite, the grappling gun.

Project estimate:

  • Dental floss container (full), on hand or $1
  • 2 pencils, on hand or $1
  • Ballpoint pen (with removable back), on hand or $1
  • Clothespin, on hand or $1
  • Cap from large marker, on hand or $1
  • Rubber band, on hand
  • Pill/medicine bottle, on hand
  • Masking tape, on hand or $1
  • Paperclips, on hand
  • Hot glue, on hand

Total: Free and up

* I am not affiliated in any way with the Author or Publisher. The content of this book lends itself to Dollar Store items and I thought it would be suitable for sharing here.

Grappling Hooks
To make the grappling hook, start by straightening out 3 standard paperclips. Then, half each paperclip and wrap in masking tape. Using pliers, bend each wrapped paperclip into a hook-shape, refer to the picture for bend locations and degree.After all 3 paperclips are bend into hooks tape then to the ballpoint pen cap to secure them.

Launch Barrel:
The launch barrel is made from the cap of a large marker. Ensure that the cap you use is a larger diameter than the ballpoint pen. Create an opening in the closed end of the marker cap by either using a wide bore drill bit or simply cutting the end off the cap. Use caution as this part can be tricky and fingers can get hurt if you’re not careful.

Next, snip your rubber band and tape each end to the outside of the marker cap on opposite sides. Use plenty of tape to secure the rubber band in place. Lastly, wind a small amount of masking tape in the centre of the rubber band after it’s been attached to the marker cap, this will act as the catch when you arm the grappling hook gun.

Handle, Stock and Trigger:
Disassemble the floss container and set the spool of floss aside. Close the floss container and tape down the two pencils side by side on the bottom of the floss container. This will form the handle of your grappling hook gun.

Using hot glue, stick a clothespin on top of the two pencils over the floss container. This clothespin will act as the trigger.

Finally, add the launch barrel previously assembled on top the taped-down pencils, on the opposite end from the handle with the rubber band draw facing the clothespin.

Spool Line:
Using the spool of floss removed from floss container earlier, unwind about 6m (20′) of floss and tape one end to the empty pill bottle. Wind the floss around the pill bottle loosely, starting at the cap end and ending at the bottom of the bottle leaving about 30cm (1′) of floss loose. Using hot glue, glue the cap of the pill bottle onto the floss container. Ensure the pill bottle is placed appropriately to allow the spool of floss to be released without catching on the underside of the barrel.

Lastly, remove the ballpiont pen bottom and feed the loose end of the floss into the back of the pen and place the end cap back on, thereby sandwiching the floss into the back of the pen. If you’re having trouble getting your floss to stay in the back of your pen try tying a few knots in the floss and then feeding the knots into the back of the pen.

You’re all done, time to test out your awesome grappling hook!
Pull back the elastic band and feed the catch into the clothespin. Your grappling hook gun is now armed. Carefully feed the ballpoint pen into the barrel and place the end right up against the clothespin, depress the clothespin to fire your grappling hook!

I managed to get mine to fire about 6m (20′) after a little tweaking of the rubber band. Substituting materials may even yield more impressive results. Make sure you point this away from people, pets, plants, or anything breakable.

Have fun!