Best materials for homemade archery target???


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  1. #1

    Best materials for homemade archery target???


    Im trying to build my own archery target. I know there´s alot of talk about the materials that can be used to go inside as the stuffing... Cardboard, old clothing, old sheets, foam... I even came across "plastic" one time. The thing is, I´ve also read that there are some things that, with time, can damage the arrows or even bend them. My question is, what´s the best? What are some "dos" and "dont´s"??


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    On 3 acres outside St. Louis
    Go with cotton. I have had a Lifetime target I built and love it. Easy pull and holds up well. Downside is that it is getting harder to find cotton material. Goodwill and Salvation Army do not sell scrap clothing anymore, they bundle it and sell to recyclers. It takes a lot and I mean a lot of clothes to stuff a large target. I went to a fabric recycling center and they can sell you cotton cut into squares by the pound. Otherwise, you have to make sure not to use heavy cotton,i.e., denim, canvas, etc. Buttons, the strip where button holes are,and zippers must be cut off as well as pockets and cuffs or any other double layer material. If you do not I guarantee the arrow will stick. Another issue, and this is huge, is you cannot let the target get wet. If you do, it will mildew, become infe4sted with roaches and other vermin and will never dry out. If it gets wet, you have to remove everything and spread out to dry, so I suggest spraying the material with insecticide before stuffing and make sure to put on wheels or cover well if left out. Some have built a house life roof over the target if to be left out and that is best.

    All this said, once made it works great and lasts. You can also fill with plastic grocery bags which work well but this also takes many many bags. If you do not want to build a frame, find a coffee bean burlap sack (got mine at the recycling center) to stuff or use as covering. Much tougher than feed sacks and larger. Look up under Lifetime target here on AT under the DYI Forum.

    Good luck,


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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    East central MO.
    Goodwill has a store in downtown St. Louis that is called "Buy by the Pound".
    All the local Goodwills send their scrap clothes to this location. Ask at the counter and they will give you a brochure with the address and phone number.
    It is a PITA to drive downtown and I don't know why the local Goodwills won't sell you the old stuff.
    Oh well, will just keep asking around.
    I am concerned with your statement above because I had a guy at work give me five old firemans outfits, complete!
    They were of heavy material, and double lined with insulation. The pant's liner was of a material like vinyl.
    I removed ALL of the buckles, rivets, and such, but I left the cuffs.
    I guess I can expect to have to PULL a few arrows per your comment above.
    I still have about a foot and a half to go to completely fill the 4 ft. X 4 ft. target so we shall see.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I use fiberglass screen cut offs from a window shop in our town you have to pack it pretty tight but works good!

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    marshall MI
    i use plastic grocery bags takes alot of them to fill a large target but they last forever

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    So Cal

    Re: Best materials for homemade archery target???

    Lifetime targets are ok for field points. Really anything will work. Dense material is ok just no metal. They do have drawbacks though like the mildew. The covers get shot out quickly, no broadheads, no paper targets on em. Paper targets need a firmer suface to not fall off quickly. The arrows are loud when they smack those targets too. I shoot a mackenzie shot blocker with a bag target behind it. This stops any pass throughs and gives me a good paper target mount that is quiet enough for the backyard.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Amarillo TX
    what i use is cardboard stacked 16-18" thick.. it lasts a while and its free from the food markets... i usually break them down right there or ask the manager when they get a truck in and if you can get their boxes.
    I also saw one guy made one out of scrap carpet. He boxed it in with wood and said he had been using it for two years.. It showed little ware. His arrows didnt hit face on.. It hit edge ways..looks good to.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Do a search on here. There are tons of posts and pics about DIY targets with a lot of good information. You've got to keep rag targets covered from the weather, tarp, trash bag, roof. I made a target stuffed with shrink wrap and hated it. Pulled everything back out and used rags. Some people stuff feedsacks, some buy covers, some build frames with a roof, some make them out of stacked carpet, etc., etc. Just do a bunch of reading and looking at pics before you start. People come up with some pretty creative ideas you'll miss if you don't hunt for them.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Lockport ,NY
    I going to try Clothes in a cardboard box , and maybe some shrink wrap and garbage bags mixed in I am going to wrap the box with plastic wrap , I'm thinking it will keep the box from falling apart and keep it dry

  12. #10
    I work in a warehouse and collect the used shrink wrap that is used to wrap merchandise on the pallets.....I stuff boxes with the shrink wrap and use duct tape to wrap the whole box well, arrows come out easy.

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