Repairing 3D Targets The Economical Way
By Toby Trigger

Posted: September 5, 2015

That old sun beaten 3D target in your backyard with a fist sized hole through it doesn’t have to be donated to the local landfill. Instead, you can revitalize it for about $6 bucks. It’s a fun project for you and your kids and will save you money. Here’s how to do it:


  1. Wrap the target with self-adhesive drywall joint tape but leave enough of an opening on one side to fit the tip of the nozzle into. Make sure it’s wrapped tightly and secure the edges with duct tape. If the hole is really big try filling in the edges to create a base to build upon before wrapping. IMG_0278
  2. Using a can of insulating foam sealant, fill the hole by covering the inside edges and slowly letting it build up. Remember that the foam will expand a lot and there’s no need to overdo it. It’s important to fill in all the little gaps and holes from your incredibly accurate shooting if you want a perfectly smooth target upon completion.* The best Insulation foam sealant to use for target repair is the kind made for filling small gaps and cracks, not the type designed for filling large gaps because it is not dense enough to provide adequate arrow stopping properties.
  3. Once the foam filling is complete, add another wrap of the mesh tape to completely enclose the repaired area. The foam will expand and push out through the mesh tape and that’s what it’s supposed to do. IMG_0281
  4. Remove the excess foam that’s pressing out by gently scraping with a piece of cardboard. If you don’t the foam will expand well beyond the mesh and you’ll need to cut the excess off before step.
  5. After 24 hours the foam will be dry and ready to shape. A wood rasp will make quick work of the exterior spray foam insulation that leaked out through the mesh. Remove the material until it is shaped like the original. Do the rasping outside because dust particles are inevitable during this step. IMG_0282
  6. Spray paint will make the target look as good as new and can be another element of fun for kids. Blend the colors in as well as you’d like or get creative, like making a zebra colored bear or a tiger striped deer. If you don’t mind ignoring the obvious repair while shooting omit this step for even greater cost savings.IMG_0286
  7. Over time the repair will wear out just as the original target did but with routine maintenance adding a little spray foam as needed will keep the target in tip top shape for years.


One can insulating foam sealant, 20’ self adhesive dry wall joint tape, 20’ duct tape, one can spray paint

Tools: one piece of cardboard, one wood rasp

Target Care Tips:

  1. Rubbing bar soap on the first 5 inches of your arrow shaft will be less damaging on the target and will make it easier to pull your arrows out.
  2. Keeping your targets out of the direct sunlight will increase their usable life. Bring them inside or cover them if you won’t be shooting them for extended periods.
  3. Use the whole target by shooting into the rump or neck during practice sessions and avoid wearing out the ribcage.



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