How to make a firecracker – simple, cheap, homemade firework guide

WARNING: This website is for reference only. Do not try this at home. Making fireworks can cause serious injury or even death. You'll most likely need a Federal License to make any sort of pyrotechnic project.

Learning how to make a firecracker is simple, easy and fun. It doesn’t take a lot of time and only takes a little practice. We’ve outlined all the materials you’ll need along with a step by step guide on how to make them! Enjoy!


How to make a firecracker:

1First you’ll need to make some black powder or flash powder. Learn how to make flash powder here. In this guide we’ll be using black powder since it’s safer and easier to work with.
Simple combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl to form a powder.

2Using a pencil, roll some cardboard paper (or normal paper) around the pencil until you’ve formed a tube. Cut extra paper and tape the edge of the tube so it won’t fall apart.

3Cut your tube into smaller sections if needed, depending on the width of your paper. The tubes only need to be an inch or two long.

4Pour a small amount of kitty litter (clay) into the tube while the tube is vertically standing on a firm, flat surface. Then using a pencil, pack down the litter until it forms a firm plug at the base.

5Next, pour some black powder into the tube, until there is about 1in or 1/2in left. Cut a small section of fuse and place it in the top of the tube, pushing in carefully. Tape the fuse to the top.
Learn how to make your own fireworks fuse here.

6You can make a few of these tubes and attach them together to make a more traditional firecracker, or just simply light one at a time for a nice explosion!

How does it work?

How to make firecrackersBlack powder consists of a fuel (charcoal or sugar) and an oxidizer (saltpeter or niter), and sulfur, to allow for a stable reaction. The carbon from the charcoal plus oxygen forms carbon dioxide and energy. The reaction would be slow, like a wood fire, except for the oxidizing agent. Carbon in a fire must draw oxygen from the air. Saltpeter provides extra oxygen. Potassium nitrate, sulfur, and carbon react together to form nitrogen and carbon dioxide gases and potassium sulfide. The expanding gases, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, provide the propelling action. (Original article about how black powder works)