How to Make Easy Steel Wool Fireworks

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.

Looking for an easy project to try this new years eve ? This really simple pyrotechnic project is cheap and easy to create. The effect we are going for is similar to a sparkler, but you’ll see a lot more sparks and a ton more flames !


This homemade firework recipe is safe for home school science projects and even weekend boy scout projects.

As you spin this firework around the rapid oxidation of the iron contained in the steel wool is a reaction hot enough to provide a serious amount of sparks. The process results in black iron oxide (Fe3O4) and red iron oxide (Fe2O3), which is what you typically see on cars that have been around for awhile – rust.



How to make a homemade steel wool firework:

1Create a slip knot at the end of your copper wire ( or other cordage )

2Insert a few pads of steel wool into the slip not and pull tightly.

3Light the steel wool and begin to spin the wire quickly to create different effects.

Different Effects

Try spreading out the steel wool a bit before adding it to your slipknot – this will make the reaction shoot out larger sparks, but burn much faster too. You might also try pouring a bit of borax on the steel wool to try to produce green sparks.

Safety Tips

Because this doesn’t really include gunpowder or the typical setup of a firework, this pyro-project is most likely legal in your area. Always consult local laws before using fireworks. We recommend wearing eye and ear safety equipment and suggest having your parents around ( if you’re younger ). Never try to make your own fireworks without reading up on pyrotechnic theory and never use fireworks in a dry environment !