Homemade Self Defense Weapons: The Best DIY Self-Defense Projects

Using homemade self-defense weapons can be the difference between life and death if you can’t afford expensive weapons. Protecting yourself and your family is a primary concern and this article will provide some examples.

What was your first response?

Don’t wait until this happens to begin preparing. Being able to react instantly can be the difference between life and death!

Whether you are walking to your car at work or protecting your family, you need to be able to defend yourself. However, weapons can be expensive.

This article will review basic homemade self-defense weapons you can make – probably with many items you have around your house.

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Pocket Stick

Pocket sticks

Also called Yawara or Kubotan, a Pocket Stick is a simple yet effective homemade self-defense weapon to carry anywhere. To get started, gather the following supplies.

  • Paracord
  • drill
  • Rod (wood or hard plastic)
  • Sharp knife
  • Saw
  • Lighter

A Pocket Stick is a simple weapon, but it can be a lethal weapon when striking an attacker.

There are multiple uses for paracord, and you can find more in the article DIY Paracord Grenade.

Pepper Spray

pepper spray for a homemade self-defense weapon

Pepper sprays are used to incapacitate attackers and give you time to gain the upper hand in a conflict.

If you think pepper spray is a weapon you can only buy, think again. You can make a Homemade Pepper Spray by following these steps.

  • Prepare a small or medium-sized pot with a lid, water, a pound of ground chili pepper seeds, 100 milliliters of baby oil, and 16 ounces of 91% isopropyl alcohol.
  • It’s important to use protective gear when preparing your pepper spray. Use protective facemasks to keep your face out of the fumes.
  • First, pour the chili seeds and alcohol into a pan and heat it. Place the lid on the pan and boil for 30 minutes.
  • Once done, strain the liquid and pour it into a smaller pot before adding four cups of water. Get it back into the stove and heat the mixture. Allow it to evaporate until you start noticing a thick liquid.
  • Remove it from heat and allow it to cool.
  • Once cooled, combine with the baby oil.
  • Place your pepper spray into a squirt gun.

Pepper spray is ideal for people who need a convenient, easily concealed homemade weapon. It can be lifesaving for people who are faced with a surprise attack.


Slingshot makes a good homemade self-defense weapon

A slingshot is probably familiar to you as a toy that you played with when you were young. This “toy” can also possess the power to be a very effective homemade self-defense weapon, and it can be made in a few simple steps.

  • Collect a Y-shaped piece of wood, 1 x 2 inches of leather, string, and a piece of rubber/surgical tubing.
  • Find or carve a piece of wood into a “Y” shape.
  • Attach each end of the rubber into the wood’s tips with your strings.
  • String them tightly and then cut the rubber’s center.
  • Punch two holes at the end of your leather and string the rubber through the holes.
  • Attach the rubber with your string.

Start with small rocks as projectiles. This little weapon can be easily carried anywhere and with some practice, it is great for fighting attackers with minimal supplies.

Fountain Pens

Fountain pens

The fountain pen is one of the most basic weapons, and it’s often used for street survival. Yes, an ordinary fountain pen, can be used to defend yourself against an attacker.

It’s important to get creative with self-defense weapons if you want to carry an inconspicuous weapon.

True weapons, such as guns or missiles, can’t be taken into government buildings, airplanes, and other protected locations. To avoid being blocked from entry, while still being able to protect yourself, take a simple but effective fountain pen.

Pens are good stabbing weapons because they target soft tissue around your attacker’s abdomen or even an attacker’s eyes if the situation is life-threatening.

Fountain pens with metal tips can become powerful lethal weapons if used correctly. If you want to make the pen more effective for self-defense, you can also file the tip to a sharper point, although you won’t be able to write with it.

Canes and Walking Sticks

Walking sticks make good homemade self-defense weapons

Canes and walking sticks are multi-purpose tools that can be used for assistance in first-aid situations and as weapons for self-defense.

These are not considered traditional weapons, which is a big plus. This means that, similar to the fountain pen; they can be taken anywhere you go.

Some canes feature a knobby end that works perfectly for cracking the skull of any attacker.

Sock Weapon is a True Homemade Self-Defense Weapon

Sock weapon

Creativity and resourcefulness are your main weapons when fighting an attacker. What is more creative than a stuffed sock weapon? It can be made within a couple of minutes, and all you need to do is put a roll of quarters into an old sock. That’s it!

You can roll up a sock and put it in your pocket or purse. When you face an attacker, all you have to do is to take it out and start swinging!

For best results, use a long sock. This allows you to hit your attacker from a further distance.

Alternatively, you can fashion a similar weapon using an old dog leash. All you have to do is attach a heavy object, like an old padlock, to the end. Either of these ideas will make an attacker step back and think twice about attacking.

Paper Crossbow

Homemade mini crossbow

This is one of the more simple and effective DIY self-defense weapons. To get started, follow these simple steps.

  • Gather your materials – regular tape, sheets of printer paper, Popsicle sticks, strong twine, a pencil, an X-Acto knife, duct tape, a ruler, and scissors.
  • Make the arms with four sheets of printer paper. Cut the papers into halves, making sure to cut along them evenly. Roll each of the four printer papers into a tube with a pencil in the middle. Ensure you roll each of the printer papers starting at the short side.
  • Get your tape and work on the tube, which should be closed at three points along the barrel. Once done, you can remove the pencil you put in the center.
  • Use five printer paper sheets for the barrel. Begin collating them before wrapping them into a tube shape using a pencil in the middle once more. Then, tape the tube in several points before taking out the pencil.
  • Begin inserting the arm supports. Start by cutting two pieces in one and a half-inch sections, and insert them into the tube’s end found on the outer portion of the barrel. Then, insert a Popsicle stick in the end, turning the outside portion of the barrel 90 degrees.
  • Begin attaching the arms before pinching the barrel’s end. Then, put the short sections of the arms on either side of the pinched end. When done, start duct taping them tightly in place. Make sure the connection you made is strong and tight.
  • String your crossbow by using a bowline knot attached to each far end. Connect it on one side before securing with tape, and then pull the string out about an inch before connecting and securing that side as well.
  • When done, start adding your trigger. Pull the bow back until it makes a square with the arms. Using a marking pen, mark the point on your barrel where your string reaches the center. Put the trigger in that spot.
  • With your knife, start cutting the hole straight through your barrel. Get a Popsicle stick, split it into two equal portions, and put it through the hole in the barrel to make a trigger. Ensure that it can wiggle back and forth and that it is long enough to reach out the barrel on either side of the hole.
  • Build the guides by cutting a sheet of paper into two sheets. Roll the sheets into two tubes. Begin flattening and taping along the trigger’s side. Cut another strip of paper into quarters. Start rolling a tube to put in between the crossbow’s arm. Get a pencil and make sure it fits into the tube easily.

*Warning: As with every article on this site, this is for educational purposes. If you decide to build this, it should be done with someone that has experience.

Paper crossbow

Although simple and effective, this is also not as easy to build or use as some other tools and techniques. I also know it is not easily hidden and would get crushed in my purse or backpack.

Using Self-Defense Skills As a Weapon

Self-defense skills

When the weapons above are not accessible, or you forget to take them with you, the best weapon left is YOURSELF. Your self-defense skills cannot be stolen or left at home. In fact, they may be one of the most useful of all weapons because no law prohibits their use when needed.

You can take classes in karate, judo, and jiu-jitsu, among others, to ensure that you always have a weapon to use anytime. If you want to start learning these self-defense techniques, you can buy DVD tutorials online and learn the basics of martial arts to use on-demand.

The rule of thumb is to hit first and strike fast and hard! You will be able to escape quickly and get help before it is too late. Your main objective is to minimize your attacker’s capacity to harm or injure you.

Purchasing Self-Defense Weapons

If you choose not to make your own weapon, consider supporting small businesses. I like to include Etsy items since 60%-70% of these businesses are small businesses located here in the US.

Final Thoughts on Homemade Self-Defense Weapons

No place is safe, even our homes. Each of us should learn how to improvise and create homemade weapons, which can protect and secure everyone we love and ourselves.

You can save some money by creating DIY self-defense weapons and using materials that you already have in your home. By learning to make homemade weapons, you’ll always have what you need.

If you think we missed your favorite homemade weapon, let us know in the comments. Please bookmark this page for reference and share it with friends who might also find it useful. See our piece on best martial arts for self-defense so you can be prepared for anything.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If the information in this post has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links in this article. Thank you.

About the author

David Dawson

David Dawson is a retired security specialist with over 20 years of experience. He worked for a secret manufacturing facilities and hospitals in Illinois. David's responsibility was to protect people in case of any disaster or cataclysm that might occur. Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to prepare and survive flood, earthquake or even war.


  • One homemade weapon that I have on my EDC is an extra sharp 3-inch nail that I have placed inside an old ballpoint pen casing. It’s undetectable enough and is sharp enough to injure any attacker.

  • While you can employ various everyday items in a self-defense situation, you must keep practicing being ready to use them to the point that it becomes an automatic response.

    It is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid putting yourself into a dangerous situation.

    By being aware of your surroundings, you may also find items in your way that you can use to defend yourself. For example, if someone is pushing you to the ground you can kick with your legs while falling, this is will shock the attacker and give you some advantage, the attacker cannot reach your vital areas, and the legs will cause more damage than your arms.

    • Most people put themselves in dangerous situations because of the law. Well, sometimes the law cannot help you against an attacker. By the time you report to the authority, the involved party will be in the wind, and you nursing some serious blow or knife injuries. So, get yourself some weapons and fighting skills, and learn how to use these weapons and skills. Know the vital places to hit, such as the eyes, nose, neck, knee, and ribs. With that said, the best and most effective way of avoiding a fight is to keep as much distance as possible between you and those who want to harm you.

  • I study Krav maga and our teacher always says that everything can be a weapon. When a home intruder comes in you won’t have the time to make a special little homemade weapon. Just grabbing a lamp and using it properly as a weapon can have great effect,

  • Pepper sprays are very important self-defense tools these days, especially to girls and women. Most of them are easy to physically dominate so keeping a spray in their stuff can save their lives. However, I’ve seen some commercial sprays that are apparently not as effective (mostly water) and others are too expensive. The DIY right here is truly a big help. Thank you, David.

    • Most commercially produced pepper spray work just fine. However, be careful with the brand you are purchasing. Of course, there are scams out there. Yet, homemade pepper sprays are cheaper and easy to make, but you have to be mindful of the ingredients and their concentrations, especially if you are residing in areas where pepper sprays are somehow restricted.

  • DIY pepper sprays are cost-effective, and most importantly, you get to control the quality of the final product.

  • use toilet cleaning solution as blaster,with added aluminum coin to oxidates with that toilet liquid solution,(hcl+al)

    • Those are good choices you have made. You should also ensure the cleaning agent you are using is able to: cut through dirt; grime and soap scum; removes soap scum without scrubbing; and removes mold & mildew stains with less scrubbing.

  • Here’s another idea, grab a knife and wrap a towel around your hand, cut through the towel with your knives, then put the knives between each finger and hold them tight. You could call this a knife glove, it’s especially useful when you’re used to fist fighting or if you’re a boxer.

  • While some people would not consider it self-defense, you can make a good homemade bow on a low budget, including tools. Also, there’s the popular homemade spear from a stick and a knife. All you need is a stick, or a broom handle, a knife and some duct tape. You often see tutorials of homemade baseball bats with nails driven through it, I especially like this one because it looks really cool.

  • When you think of weapons, the first thing that comes to mind is that they’re very useful, but they’re also a lot of fun too, especially when you can make them yourself. With the weapons presented here, you will not only have more protection, but also a fun project to do, and you can do it on a low budget.

  • That paper crossbow looks complicated to build, how much would it take to be done? I think if you want to be extremely accurate and want it to be high quality it could take a couple of days, of course, it would depend on what experience you have with DIY tools, and if you did it before.

  • The paper crossbow is a remarkably simple project, which should not take you more than 12 minutes. In the article, we have supplied you with several step-by-step images that should make the entire process easy.

  • You need self-defense weapons to protect yourself against attackers. And making your own weapons is the most convenient and affordable solution. One of my favorite is the baseball bat.

  • Self-defense is all about turning everyday objects to your advantage. Well, the baseball bat with nails is one of the favorite. What you transform into a weapon depends entirely on what you have at your disposal.

  • That’s a great idea, Damion. Also, consider a pepper spray, stock weapon, hairspray, and homemade taser.

  • My brother is quite overprotective. He always wanted me to bring something reliable for times that call for self-defense. He suggested that I make my own weapon, something fashionable, but deadly. However, as my friends mentioned, it is illegal. Thus, I want to try a fountain pen, instead.

  • Self-defense is necessary in the world we live in nowadays, not to mention all the robbery and other crimes flashed on the news. Though, there is a call for firearms, I guess I am not that confident to use any. Thus, I prefer making one of these: machete, pepper spray, Tasers, flamethrower, or a paintball gun. Which is the best self-defense weapon to engage?

  • Though, there is a need to use a weapon or make one, the efficacy of such self-defense weapons depends on both the kind and the user. One should know how to handle his/her self-defense weapon. If you fail to train with your weapon, the attacker might use it against you. Aside from that, one must select a weapon according to preference.

  • Self-defense weapons can be very resourceful when facing an attacker, if you have good knowledge on how to use them. This goes for weapons, such as pepper sprays, Tasers, and stun guns.

  • The most recommended self-defense weapons are: a taser, a stun gun, a pepper spray, a tactical pen, and a nailed baseball bat to mention a few.

  • You can transform your fountain pen into a tactical self-defense weapon. You should also consider a pepper spray.

  • I have been evaluating different self-defense weapons for weeks now; I want something effective and legal as my perfect partner anywhere I go. I have looked at crossbow, short sword, and pepper spray. Though, they appear legal in our community, each one has its weaknesses: crossbow has some downfall in terms of usage in environmental law; short sword can only be used in close fight; and pepper spray is for short range only. I am still into considering some aside from what is mentioned in the article. Are there any homemade weapons that have both effectiveness and legality?

  • You can never really run out of choices. If the use of pepper spray and crossbow is limited by law, then you can switch to a sock weapon, nailed baseball bat, walking sticks to mention a few.

  • What I used to do for the longest time is take a rubber band and a folded piece of paper so you can shoot the paper at someone. We called it a wasp because it hurts like one haha.

  • In the car or in your house you can convert carbon-dioxide-fire-extinguishers to NH3 ammonia, only take off the CO2 “o” rings and change it for ammonia “o” rings, take off the hose and sustitute witha small stainless steel tube and charge it with ammonia NH3, use a tube to get liquefied ammonia, put them in the place of the usual automotive fire-extinguishers and behind the door in the house, its best than any pepper spray, i used one to menace in orca in the gulf of tehuantepec many years ago, i was in a 21 feet boat, he wanted mi fish or else

    • Interesting. I’ve never heard of carbon dioxide extinguishers being converted to ammonia. It certainly sounds potent.

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