How to Make a Foam Archery Target

How to Make a Foam Archery Target

Any level of archer, from a beginner to an experienced professional, uses a practice target to fine-tune mechanics and improve accuracy. Targets can be made from a variety of materials, but a foam archery target is one of the most versatile archery targets as it can withstand numerous arrow strikes from field points or broad heads. Making your own foam archery target allows you to customize the size of the target and density of the foam for the best performance.

Stack the foam boards on top of each other. Trim the foam with a saw until the core of the target measures 26 inches high, 26 inches wide and 14 inches deep. Choose high-density foam so the target will last several seasons. The most common foams include polyethylene and ether.

Cut two pieces of plywood measuring 14 inches long by 26 inches wide. These two pieces of plywood will serve as the top and bottom of the foam target for balance and stability while shooting. Place one piece of plywood under the stack of foam and the other piece on top. Compress the foam and plywood by setting two cinder blocks on top to create a dense layer of foam.

Remove the cinder blocks and wrap shrink wrap around the sides of the foam and plywood to bond the target materials together. Shrink wrap is a polymer plastic film that shrinks tightly over the target. Use a blow dryer to shrink the plastic, being careful to not get the shrink wrap too hot. Replace the cinder blocks and add additional weight to the target as necessary to continue to compress the materials.

Use a banding machine to further secure the target materials. Banding machines are commonly used to bundle packages and materials and will secure the target for multiple seasons. Remove the cinder blocks. Wrap the bands around the top, bottom and sides of the target, but not the front.

Cut a 6-in. nylon strap to serve as the handle. Use the hammer and nails to attach the handle to the top piece of plywood.

Use a black permanent marker to design targets on the front and back of the target. You can make five small dots--one in the middle and one in each corner--on one side of the target and a personalized target pattern on the other side.


Customize the size of the target to meet your individual standards. For example, a portable target that's easy to travel with might measure 20 inches high, 16 inches wide and 11 inches deep.

Find leftover foam in packaging stores with extra packing material.


Test the durability and effectiveness of the target at a close range with field points before using broad heads.