Building DIY Nerf Darts

Do you enjoy Nerf/dart blaster battles? Step up your game with DIY Nerf Darts. Here is how to make DIY nerf darts and other information to make them work. 

Why DIY Nerf Darts:

Why… Why…. Why!!!! Well, the first reasons are that we can and it is fun. By making your darts, you can customize them for your dart blaster’s needs and your preferences. One significant reason for DIYing your darts is the potential cost savings.

What is a Stefan Dart?

Homemade darts are sometimes referred to as Stefan’s. While the internet argues over what exactly constitutes a Stefan dart, most seem to agree it is a form of a homemade dart. Even though the original Stefan darts are full length, many today say a Stefan is just over one inch long. Stefans composed of foam backer rod and some weight for the head. 

Types of Homemade Dart Heads:

The first part of this build is the dart head material choice. Over the years, many Nerfers have tried many things. The main choice is what to use for the weight to stabilize the dart in flight. Some options for DIY Nerf dart heads are:

  • #6 washers
  • metal BB’s (probably 2 per dart)
  • 1/4 inch slingshot ammo
  • 3D printed nerf dart head (Click here for more info)
  • lots of hot glue

Most of these heads work well, but all the metal must be covered with hot glue. If you opt to use glue as the weight, be prepared to use a ton of glue. 

DIY Nerf Dart Bodies:

The next part of the DIY dart is the foam body. The foam body is the easiest part of this build as all you need to do is cut it to length. For the foam, you will need to purchase half-inch foam backer rod, which some call caulk saver. You can find this at most hardware stores in lengths of around twenty feet. It will likely cost around four US dollars. If you aim for darts with 1 inch lengths of foam, a 20ft roll should result in around 240 darts.

What Guns Can Use Stefans (DIY Nerf Darts):

Most stock dart guns cannot shoot Stefans, and here is why. Stock blasters usually have a pin in the chamber. This pin keeps foreign objects that could cause injury from being launched. Another possible reason manufacturers include this pin is to make it harder to make your darts as it becomes very labor-intensive. 

To utilize DIY Nerf darts, you will need to modify your blaster, and this will take some work. With some blasters, it is easier to just twist the pins out of the chamber with pliers. As you do this, be careful not to damage your blaster chamber as it is easy to scratch or damage.

The thorough option is to fully disassemble the blaster. This is also risky as parts are easy to lose or break. Now that the blaster is apart, cut the pin off the mounting plate and reassemble the blaster. I have done this on multiple dart blasters myself, just determine if the risk is worth it to you. 

Easiest Styles of Blasters to Modify For Stefans:

  • Single-shot blasters
  • revolver style blasters
  • Shotgun style blasters like Nerf’s Rough Cut

(it is possible to mod other blasters as well for Stefans)

How To Assemble Your DIY Nerf Darts / Stefans:

  1. First, determine how long you want your dart
  2. Figure out your reason for building your darts (save money, etc.) as this may affect your design choices.
  3. Before purchasing supplies, choose which style of dart head you want.
  4. Now your ready to purchase 20 ft of 1/2 foam backer rod (or any other length you want… it just has to be 1/2 in diameter).
  5. Your last key purchase the is the weight for your dart (#6 washers, BBs, or slingshot ammo).
  6. Once your ready to assemble, cut the foam backer rod to around one inch lengths.
  7. Heat your hot glue gun (don’t let it get too hot or it will melt your foam backer rod)
  8. Put glue on one end of the backer rod and place the weight directly into the glue.
  9. While the glue is still hot apply more over the weight and glue. Cover the weight fully with glue. For added safety, you can glue extra foam over the weight (probably around 1/4 inch of foam).
  10. Now that the glues dried, inspect the dart for safety once the glue has cooled.
  11. Your DIY Nerf darts are ready! Stay safe and have fun!

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