Making Sparklers – (Improvised Hand-Held Fireworks)

When it’s time to celebrate with fireworks,
you could just buy them, or you could improvise and make your own. In this project, we’re
making these hand-held sparklers, that will burn for up to a minute, and cost less than
a penny each. For this project, make sure you have some
clothes pins, some safety goggles, and a thick pair of gloves. We’re gonna be making some simple hand-held sparklers, that are just dangerous enough, to add a little pyrotechnic
thrill to your next celebration. You may notice these sparkle sticks, are almost exactly the
same, as the slow burning fuses that we made in a different project. We used those to ignite
some homemade smoke flares, which you can see in another project video. Alright, to
get started, let’s pour 60 mL of water, into a pan set on medium heat. This white powder,
is a mixture of 36 grams KNO3, and 24 grams of white table sugar. With hot water and a
little bit of mixing, the powder should dissolve completely. Next we can mix in a few drops
of food coloring, and I chose to use 7 drops of red. At this point we’re ready to add around
12 feet of 100% cotton yarn, and this will need a couple of minutes to soak up the liquid.
When the yarn is super saturated, let’s transfer it to a cookie sheet in a zig-zag pattern
so it’s all evenly spaced. Now this goes in an oven set to 150ºC for about 20 minutes.
And at the 10 minute mark, it’s a good idea to slide a spatula, under the yarn to lift
it up, and help prevent it from baking to the cookie sheet. Remember that this is extremely
flammable and very dangerous, so make sure you use extreme caution, and have a fire extinguisher
close by. Alright, our time is up, so we can remove the tray from the oven, and leave it
to cool for another 5-10 minutes. You can see that when the yarn has cooled, it’s fairly
stiff, and holds it’s shape. To finish these up, all we need to do is snip the ends with
a pair of scissors, and these sparklers are ready to use. I went ahead and made a couple
more batches in festive colors, just for fun. Let’s test this one out, by placing it in
the end of a clothespin, just like this. When you light your sparkler, you’ll see it smoke
quite a bit, and throw off a beautifully dangerous array of sparks. The sparks are pretty hot,
and they can burn you, so make sure this is done with adult supervision. You can use one
sparkle stick to light another very quickly, and of course your clothespin holders can
be used over and over again. In my experience, this is a cheap, and gratifying way to share
a little excitement, and wonder, on these special occasions. The best part is, you can
make hundreds of them for just a few dollars. Well there’s how to make some improvised hand-held
fireworks for your next celebration. If you liked this project, perhaps you’ll like some
of my others. Check them out at

100 thoughts on “Making Sparklers – (Improvised Hand-Held Fireworks)

  1. Some quick links to a few of the materials I used:

    [✓] Spectricide stump remover:
    [✓] Sugar:
    [✓] Clothespins:

  2. Hmm. I'm pondering whether more saltpeter and less sugar would get better sparks though. Or at least reduce the smoke some. :V

  3. it's so sad that my parents don't akoys me to have any kno3 at home. I would love to make all projects, but my parents are too strict… 😩😣😭

  4. would just leave it air dry on a shelve would work? after all its just water? not sure about baking it in the oven.

  5. note: DO NOT cut fireworks with normal scissors, use a blade like a box cutter or use a pair of gardening clippers to cut fuse. cutting with scissors may cause friction and light the fuse. firework professional

  6. So for the people that act like Potassium nitrate is hard to get it is literally stump remover you can buy it at home depot lowes and Walmart

  7. Hey. When you bake this in the oven is that just to dry it out?? Could I just leave it in the sun for it to dry out?? Love the work btw!!

  8. I did this but I attached it to a rocket and held it in my hand the thing shot up and hit my house

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