Toby McGeoch, 20, had also been recognised by friends and relatives he spoke to on the way to commit the crime, and after tracking him on CCTV police raided his home.
They found the crossbow and two bolts in his bedroom and arrested him.
McGeoch’s failed raid on McColl’s newsagents in Drip Road in Stirling’s Raploch area occurred about 10.30am on January 15.
Falkirk Sheriff Court was told that shop assistant George Quayle, 38, was working behind the till and manager Kelly Syme was in the back office when the incident began.
Michael Maguire, prosecuting, said: “Mr Quayle saw a male enter the shop with his face covered by a scarf, but this didn’t cause Mr Quayle any alarm.
“He then saw the male had a crossbow in his hand, and was saying ‘give me all the money in the shop’.
“Mr Quayle stepped back from the male and told him to f*** off.”
McGeoch then leaned over the till area, still pointing the crossbow at Mr Quayle.
At this point, Miss Syme came out of the office and saw what was happening.
“Mr Quayle stepped back from the male and told him to f*** off”
Mr Maguire said: “She initially thought it was a joke, but she then heard the male saying ‘give us all the money in the shop’, and Mr Quayle told her to get back in the office.”
She did so, and activated a panic alarm, calling police, while McGeoch fled.
The court heard that not long before the incident, McGeoch had called to see a friend and told him he was going to rob a shop.
Mr Maguire said the friend told him to “go home and chill” instead, and closed the door – but noticed that throughout the conversation McGeoch did not blink.
When he was later arrested, McGeoch asked police: “Does my mum know I’m getting lifted?”
McGeoch, of Cowane Street, Stirling, pleaded guilty to armed attempted robbery.
Greg Cunningham, defending, said: “He has no recollection of these events due to the psychotic state he was in, brought about by the misuse of illicit substances.”
Sheriff John Mundy deferred sentence until June 24, and remanded McGeoch in custody.