Can You Make a Bulletproof Vest at Home? Here’s the Answer

Bulletproof vests and body armor is a great item to have in the case of an emergency. These vests will protect your most vital organs and keep you safe in case of a serious disaster. 

Many people love to DIY their own survival gear, but creating a homemade bulletproof vest is not one we recommend making yourself. Making your own bulletproof vest at home leaves open so much space for error that could cost you your life if you wear it during a situation where you need added protection. Take your time and save up for dependable kevlar or steel enforced vests that will keep you protected in all types of situations. 

This article will explain precisely how bulletproof vests, what they are made out of, and if homemade vests are as effective as professionally made bulletproof vests. When gathering your gear to keep you and your family protected, it is essential to take your time and do adequate research. This article should provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision for you and your family. 

How do bulletproof vests work? 

Bulletproof vests are created to take the brunt of a bullet’s impact by dispersing the bullet’s intensity and the intensity of blunt force. Between the steel plates of hard armor and the kevlar material of soft armor, these vests take the brunt of the impact of the bullet and keep you protected.

How do bulletproof vests work? | James May’s Q&A (Ep 25) | Head Squeeze  

Can I Make a Bulletproof Vest at Home?

Scour the internet, and you will find some people have attempted to make a bulletproof vest at home, but it is not recommended. When you purchase a bulletproof vest, you can be confident that all of the layers are created correctly, and you will be protected in an emergency situation. 

The same thing cannot be said if you try and put pieces of kevlar together in hopes of creating a dependable bulletproof vest. There are ways to make your own bulletproof vests, but their reliability is slim and may leave you anxious in a real emergency. 

Some people have made bulletproof vests out of fabric that houses steel plates, but making it yourself leaves way too much room for error. If you want dependable, reliable, and strong body armor, we recommend taking the time to save up money and buy some that are professionally made. 

What are bulletproof vests made out of? 

There are multiple types of bulletproof vests, and each one has its own effectiveness. 

Soft Vests

Many people choose soft vests to wear because they can protect you against hand gunshots. 

Hard Armor Vests 

Hard Armor vests tend to be bulkier but provide more protection. Hard Armor vests can protect you from hand gunshots as well as shots from a rifle. These vests are often made out of steel plates that protect you from the force of a bullet coming your way. Bulletproof vests are also classified by whether or not they are easily seen and noticed. 


An overt vest is bulky and heavy but will offer you more protection. Overt vests are harder to move fast in, and because of their size, they are easily seen by others. 


A covert bulletproof vest is concealed and harder to notice or see. If you need to move quickly and efficiently for any reason,  then covert vests are perfect for you. Covert vests are lightweight and still allow you protection any time of day.

What’s inside a Bulletproof Vest?

What are the Levels for Bullet Resistant Body Armor?

Multiple levels will divide body armor into various categories based on what they protect you from. It is important to remember one thing when you are searching for or creating your own body armor. There is nothing that is entirely bulletproof; even if a piece of body armor has been tested in the field and labs, there is always room for error. A better way to describe body armor and bulletproof vests are by saying they are bullet-resistant. Each one of the levels below was created to show precisely what bullets they are resistant to. 

  • Level II  | Made to stop a 9mm to a 357 mag bullet.
  • Level III | Made to stop rifle ammunition
  • Level IV | Highest level made to stop .30 cal

Are Homemade Bulletproof Vests as Effective as Professionally made Vests?

The short answer is no. Professionally built vests go through rigorous tests and have many restrictions and rules they must follow. Professionals create these vests, so there are typically no errors to be found. When you create or make your bulletproof vests from home, you risk messing something up and putting yourself in danger. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do bulletproof vests last?

Typically, bulletproof vests can last up to five years. If you are planning to wear the vest every day, then it may wear down quicker.

How to care for your bulletproof vest?

The material that bulletproof vests are made out of should be taken care of in order to extend the life of your vest. Whenever you are not wearing your vest, it is essential to hand them up properly. Also, clean your vest with a damp cloth or sponge and nothing more. Taking care of your vest will ensure it stays in great shape for years to come.


Many people love creating their own gear and are always on the lookout for how to DIY things themselves. While you will find multiple tutorials on the internet to make your own bulletproof vests, and you are free to do so, it is not recommended for a reliable and dependable piece of gear. While you are free to try and make your own bulletproof vest, many professional manufacturers make reasonably priced body armor to add to your gear stockpile. No matter what kind of armor you get, it is essential to remember that its primary purpose is to keep you protected.


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Kevin was born and raised in Texas and loves all things tactical. His hobbies include shooting, hunting, rock climbing, and hiking with his dog Jax.

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