How To Make A Crossbow Target: 3 Easy Methods

Explore the three easiest methods to make a crossbow target at home, save money, and improve your hunting skills.
By Rebecca Rios | Updated On January 25, 2023
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make a crossbow target

Are you looking for an affordable crossbow target to improve your crossbow-hunting skills? Making your crossbow target is a great way to sharpen your hunting skills! 

With just a few basic supplies and tools, you can create a durable and customizable archery target that will help you fine-tune your crossbow and improve your hunting skills. Here are 3 easy methods to make a crossbow target at home.

Method 1: Cheap Box Crossbow Target

How to make a crossbow target at home

With your new cheap box crossbow target, you’ll be able to practice and improve your skills in the comfort of your backyard.

Supplies required

You’ll need an old plywood or particleboard, a box cutter, nails, screws, and sandpaper. Once you have all of your materials, you can begin the step-by-step process of building your target.


Measure out your materials and cut them to size. This includes cutting two pieces of wood for legs, a wooden dowel, and a piece of plywood or particleboard. Make sure to square off the leg joints for perfect 90-degree angles.

Next, assemble the target frame by attaching the corner pieces and using small nails or screws to form a rectangular shape on top of your legs. To provide extra stability, attach thick or strong twine to the outside corners and add diagonal wires from one side to the other.

You can also attach a fabric or saran wrap to the front of the target for added protection.

Finally, attach a string and arrow holder to the back of the frame using large screws and washers. Be sure not to over-tighten them.

Method 2: Foam Crossbow Target

One of the most versatile materials to make a crossbow target is foam, which can withstand numerous crossbow strikes from field points and broadheads. Building your foam archery target also allows you to customize the target’s size and foam’s density for the best performance.

Supplies required

To make your foam archery target, you will need a few supplies, including foam boards, cinder blocks, a saw, plywood, shrink wrap, a nylon strap, a banding machine, a hammer, and nails.


To create the target’s core, stack the boards on top of each other and cut them until they are 26 inches high,  14 inches deep and 26 inches wide. For a long-lasting target, choose polyethylene or ether foam with a high density.

Take two pieces of plywood and cut them to 14 inches by 26 inches each. Using this will help keep the foam target balanced and stable. Compress the foam and plywood by placing two cinder blocks on top.

Put shrink wrap around the cinder blocks to bond the plywood and foam together. Be careful not to overheat the blow dryer when shrinking the plastic. To further compress the materials, replace the cinder blocks with weights.

You can further secure the target materials by using a banding machine. Make sure the bands are wrapped around the target’s top, bottom, and sides, but not its front. Remove the cinder blocks. Make the handle with a 6-inch nylon strap and attach it to the top piece of plywood with a nail and hammer. 

The last step is to create a target on both the front and back of the target using a black permanent marker. 

Method 3: Self-Healing Crossbow Target

Creating a self-healing archery target is a cost-effective and easy solution for archers of all levels. While true self-healing materials are expensive, this method uses closed-cell urethane foam, usually polyurethane, to make a crossbow target that appears to heal when an arrow is removed.

Supplies required

To make this target, you will need insulation foam, spray adhesive, cardboard, a floor mat, and tape. You will also need a  canvas tarp, plastic, a 30 cm FITA target, and a drop cloth.


Cut the self-healing foam into eight 24” inch squares. Two pieces will be required for each crossbow target, so one insulation sheet will provide enough material for four crossbow targets. Apply spray adhesive to the back of two pieces of insulation to ensure a firm connection.

To one side of the insulation, glue cardboard and cut it into the same 24” inch square measurements. As a result, the target becomes more durable and is more resistant to arrows. Then, glue the cardboard to the floor mat. This attachment will become the front side of your crossbow target.

Bind the edges with strong adhesive tape. Usually, two strips across the stack will maintain the target’s shape. During use, wrap the target with a drop cloth or plastic tarp to catch any foam bits that fall off. Last but not least, place the 30 cm FITA target on your crossbow target’s butt.

Important Tips 

  • Between the insulation layers, insert another layer of cardboard to strengthen the target. Consider making the target larger for beginning archers, such as 3 feet square.
  • Make sure nothing behind this crossbow target can be damaged when using it. A hillside is the best place to set up the target; a fence would stop the crossbow but would likely destroy their arrows.

Characteristic Of A Good Crossbow Target

A good crossbow target should possess the following qualities:

1. Stopping Power

The target should effectively stop bolts without allowing them to pass through. To achieve this, the filling should be as compact as possible, especially if the crossbow has a good FPS.

2. Portability 

The target should be easy to move and transport to different locations for training. Plastic material is a good choice for stuffing to ensure portability.

3. Durability

The target should withstand prolonged use without degrading quickly. Compact stuffing and weather-resistant paint can enhance durability.

4. Bolt Retrieval

The target should make it easy to retrieve bolts, especially if using broadheads. Carpet pad foam is a good option for broadhead retrieval.

5. Safety

The target should be safe for bolts, avoiding using metallic components in the filling that could damage carbon bolts. If using clothes, remove any buttons or buckles that may be present.

Advantages of Making a Homemade Crossbow Target


Making your archery target can be an excellent way to improve your skills and save money. One of the biggest benefits of making crossbow targets at home is that it is cost-effective. Many materials needed for making a target are easily available, and some can even be recycled. This means that you can make a crossbow target without breaking the bank.


Another advantage of making your archery target is the ability to customize it to your needs. Commercially available archery targets often have specific sizes and shapes, but with a homemade target, you can make a crossbow target with the size and shape that best suit your needs. This can be especially beneficial if you have specific training goals or need to practice at different ranges.


Homemade targets can be disposable, so you don’t need to worry about taking care of them. As many of these targets can be made from recyclable materials, you can easily throw them away and make a new one. This means that you can focus on your archery practice without worrying about the maintenance of your targets.


Using these three easy methods to make crossbow targets, you can create a high-quality archery target that will help you improve your crossbow skills and achieve better accuracy in your hunting. Each method provides a durable and customizable target that can withstand numerous arrow strikes. 

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