Curious to know if you can make your own paintballs at home? If you love paintball, then you know how it feels to have to buy paintballs over and over again when you run out. While there are some paintballs that are already recyclable, they are not as affordable especially if you have to buy a lot for the whole team.
So what else can you do? Turn to DIY, of course! Here’s a comprehensive guide on how you can make them in your home without having to spend so much.
Ways to Make Your Own DIY Paintballs
There are two known ways to make safe paintballs at home – one is by doing everything from scratch, and one is by buying a few materials (the shells) from a store. Depending on your preference and your time restraints, you can opt for the latter which takes a shorter time to do, or the former which is cheaper. Nonetheless, you’ll be learning how to do both here.
As you read through, you’ll also find that you can make not-so-safe paintballs using Snap Dragons. While it isn’t illegal to use them, make sure that you protect yourself when these are used in paintball games.
Method 1: Making it From Scratch
Got a lot of time? Then making paintballs from scratch will definitely help in maximizing the time you have on your hands. For this method, you’ll need water, corn-type oil, flour, and gelatin. The gelatin you should get is the ones used in gummy bears. Those materials alone are for the shells. You also need to buy a mold for paintballs.
As for the fillers, you’ll need non-toxic paint. There are available paintballs that use toxic materials, but you want to steer clear of those so you don’t get any health hazards later on. What paint do you use exactly? Any paint is good as long as you get one that is non-toxic and biodegradable. The most common paint or dye used is made from polyethylene glycol. If it sounds familiar, then you must have read it in the ingredients of cough syrup.
The color of the paint doesn’t really matter unless you and your team have specific colors you want. It helps to know where you’ll be playing too so you can adjust the color to use.
Steps for Method 1
Excited to make your own paintball from scratch? Follow these steps to start making them!
- First, you need to mix all the ingredients needed to make the shells. You’ll be doing a hollow shell so no need to worry about the paint for now. The water, though, has to be very hot so that it gets easily mixed with the oils, flour, and gelatin.
- Mix the ingredients for a good half an hour or until you don’t see any clumps of flour and gelatin. To make sure there aren’t any solid materials, use a strainer to separate the fully mixed substance.
- Once you have the fully liquified version, place them in the molds. Make sure that the molds are of the same size as paintballs. Usually, there are molds that have the standard size.
- Place the filled molds in the fridge until it solidifies. Don’t place them in the freezer because you don’t want them to end up getting iced. Just leave them in the fridge and check from time to time if they’re solid enough.
- What do you do while waiting? Unfortunately, there isn’t anything to do but wait. If you plan on having a mixture of colors, then you can start mixing the paint. Place the paint in a syringe so it’s easier to put the paint into the mold.
- When the molds are hard enough, put two halves together by using a sealant. Don’t put a lot of sealants so the whole thing can still break upon impact.
- Using the syringe with the desired color of paint, inject the paint into the ball. Fill the ball with paint or you can try to shake it to check if the space inside has been filled. Once it’s filled, use a sealant or glue to seal off the opening. Do the same steps for the other balls.
- Once you’re done, leave the paintballs at room temperature.
Method 2: Using Store-bought Shells
Don’t have time to make paintballs from scratch? Fortunately, there are already store-bought shells that will help make a paintball a lot easier. If you will notice, the longest part of the first method was creating the shell. For this second method, you don’t have to do that. However, the downside of this one is you pay more for the shells that you will buy.
Where do you buy paintball shells? If there’s a local hobby store that has paintball equipment, then they might have paintball shells, too. However, you have higher chances of finding fabricated shells online. You can search on eBay or Amazon to find the right shells for you. And yes, they also come in different sizes.
Most shells you’ll find are made of plastic. Some are made of gelatin, but whatever material you decide to get, make sure that they aren’t using any toxic materials.
Steps for Method 2
Already have the shells that you need? Follow these steps to start making your paintballs.
- Since you already have your shells with you, make sure you break them up in halves. Store-bought shells can be opened by twisting half of the ball or just pulling each side apart.
- There are many things you can put inside this shell but for the purpose of safety, you should only put non-toxic, biodegradable paint. Put the paint color of your choice in a syringe.
- Inject the syringe into the paintball shell until you fill the other half. Fill the other half (make sure that you’re using the right half so that you can close it later on). To avoid spilling, don’t fill the two halves up to the brim. Leave some room for you to lock it properly later.
- Next, close the two halves together. This part is a little tricky because you have to try your best not to spill anything. Depending on the shell that you bought, you might need to twist the two halves until they lock or you just have to snap the two shut.
Method 3: Snap Dragons
When making DIY paintballs, the most common filling is paint. However, more extreme versions of paintball include using Snap Dragons. Wait, aren’t Snap Dragons a kind of fireworks? While Snap Dragons are harmless and don’t include any fire, they are not entirely safe when you get shot in the face.
Snap Dragons burst upon impact and they can sometimes sting. While there’s no rule that you can’t use them for paintball, it’s best to avoid shooting them directly to a person’s unprotected areas like the neck, face, hand, etc.
Steps for Method 3
How do you make a paintball with Snap Dragons? It’s pretty simple!
- First, you’ll need to have paintball shells that are empty. You can find them on eBay or on Amazon. Make sure to check the size because they have to fit inside your paintball gun.
- Remove the Snap Dragon pieces from the box and get two pieces to be placed inside a shell. Depending on the size of the Snap Dragon, you can place 2-4 pieces inside. However, take note that the more pieces you place, the higher the impact it has when it hits a person or an object. If you’re playing with kids and teenagers, it’s best to not use any Snap Dragons. If you’re playing with adults, you can place up to four.
- When the Snap Dragons don’t fit, just remove one piece until you they can all fit in the paintball shell.
- Close the paintball shell by twisting the two halves together or by just pushing them together. Make sure that the shell is tightly closed to ensure that the Snap Dragons don’t fall out and burst on your hands.
When you’re done with the Snap Dragons, it’s best to test them. Why? Testing them will give you an idea of how big the explosion is upon contact. Since these are just Snap Dragons, the explosion won’t be really big and at most, there will just be a spark upon impact.
As much as possible stay away from using Snap Dragons or any kind of firecrackers for your DIY paintballs. It’s best to stay on the safe side when making these paintballs because you don’t want to harm yourself and your opponents when you play.
Which is the best method to make your own DIY paintball? Depending on your resources and your time, the method that fits you will vary. If you have a lot of time to spare and you’re looking for the most cost-efficient method, then doing everything from scratch is better. However, if you want to save time, you can just buy made shells and just fill them with paint of your choice.