Introduction: DIY: a Pocket Sized Cotton Candy Machine!

Picture of DIY: a Pocket Sized Cotton Candy Machine!

Did you ever have a random craving for cotton candy? Wanna impress people in school? Bored and hungry in the middle of nowhere?

Fear not, i made a guide for an ultra compact cotton candy machine!

Back when i was in the 5th grade i was inspired to build this cotton candy machine but i didnt have enough parts or skill either so thank you so much bangbang007 go check his projects out! he's got some pretty cool robots and taught me how to inflate dented pingpong balls! (i can play beer pong again hehe)

I'd like to thank my friend monty for lending me his frickin awesome camera

Oh, if you guys have some time please do vote for my entry in these contests, it would really help me out a lot if i had better tools and a decent camera so i could improve on my instructables. thanks so much!

anyhow, let's get started!

Step 1: The Gathering

Picture of The Gathering



  1. Long (nose) lighter
  2. Torch/Jet flame lighter
  3. 2 small 250ml cans
  4. short metal standoff with screw and nut
  5. 3 washers


  1. A large DC Motor
  2. 2 AA Batteries
  3. 2 AA Battery holder
  4. Switch
  5. Wires


  1. Sandpaper
  2. Cutter
  3. Scisscors
  4. Marker
  5. Soldering iron
  6. Pliers
  7. Push pin
  8. Screwdriver with an assortment of bits
  9. Clay epoxy or 2 part epoxy
  10. Drill (optional)
  11. Hot Glue gun
  12. Superglue or any cyanoacrylate adhesive

Step 2: The Chamber

Picture of The Chamber

Ayt, so the parts we need for this step woud be:

  • 2 250 ml Cans
  • A screw with a matching nut
  • 3 Washers
  • Pliers
  • A Push pin
  • Cutter
  • sandpaper
  • Your Dc motor
  • Short metal standoff
  • Superglue

So, sand down the bottoms of your two cans and cut it atleast half an inch, be real careful cause aluminum cans tend to spring back and could cut you!

Using a push pin, prick holes at the corner of the can (see picture 4) then cut it off as well. then with your marker, find the EXACT center of the bottom of the can and drill a hole that the screw would fit on.

So this is the hardest part of the step....With the first half, take your cutter and try to remove as much of the bottom part as you can and then with your pliers, bend off any remaining pieces inward so you don't cut yourself.

Once that's done, install your screws and put both cans together!

With your metal standoff, secure it to the shaft of your Dc motor with some superglue. (See Picture 10)

Step 3: I See Fire (Heating System)

Picture of I See Fire (Heating System)

Ha haha hah see my reference to the song??......okay nevermind.

Anyway, in this step you're gonna need:

  • A long nosed lighter
  • A Jet flame / torch lighter
  • Screwdriver
  • Superglue
  • an assortment of wires

So you'll need to open both lighters and once they're both gutted out, see Pic 2 for the parts you'll be needing....if the part wasnt mentioned, you will not be needing it so just put it in your scrap parts for another project.

Okay, did you check out the picture? Good. so glue the torch to its housing then look at image 5, see that hole? put the main ignition wire (the black wire connected to the side of the piezoelectric igniter) through that and bend it just like in image 7.

now you will want to glue the ignition wire (the wire connected to the metal base of the piezoelectric igniter) exactly like in image 8, DON'T block the hole above it!

once that's all done, give your igniter a squeeze and see if there is a spark gap between the orch and the wire. If so, connect your silicone fuel hose to the torch and fire it up!

Step 4: Electronics and Planning

Picture of Electronics and Planning

So the electronics here are really simple, we're gonna need:

  • Your 2 AA batteries and holder
  • The Dc motor
  • The Project enclosure (box)
  • Some wires
  • A switch
  • A hot glue gun
  • And a soldering iron

So first off, heat up your Glue gun and glue the switch to the other end of the battery holder and then take your box and plan wherever you wanna install it.

Solder your Dc motor with it's corresponding polarites and solder the switch.


Step 5: The Mark (Planning and Drilling)

Picture of The Mark (Planning and Drilling) here's the kinda boring part of the process...We're gonna need:

  • A marker
  • All the assembled parts from my previous steps
  • the project enclosure
  • scisscors
  • pliers
  • and a drill

So first off, take the top half of the chamber and place it on your enclosure, make sure its centered on the box. Then take your motor and place it on the Center of the can. Dont' forget to mark it! (See images 2 and 3 for reference)

Okay now that's done, take your large fuel tank and mark the top on the side of the box, make sure there is space for the fuel adjustment. (See Picture 4)

okay, now align the fuel tank to where you marked your top and then take the bottom of the tank and mark it's hole on the other side of the box. (See Picture 5)

Next, take your igniter and mark a hole for it on the top of the box. (See Picture 8)

Take your battery holder and switch, mark holes for the wires for the switch and the battery holder, (see pictures 6 and 7)

now drill all the holes you marked earlier!

Step 6: The Assembly

Picture of The Assembly

Wow, glad that's over. Now for the best part!

We're gonna need:

  • Clay epoxy / 2 part epoxy
  • Superglue
  • Hot Glue gun
  • All the assembled parts from the previous steps

Take a Chunk off your clay epoxy and knead it, then place it around the igniter, don't forget to put tape on the holes of the igniter! and then add epoxy around the motor (See image 3)

Then you're gonna want to hot glue the fuel tank to the project enclosure, just glue the upper part of the fuel tank, NOT the part where the butane is stored.

Once the motor is installed, screw the chamber to the shaft of the motor. now in this step, we're going to plot where the torch should be placed, you should make the flame touch the "x" mark on the can (See image 7 For reference) and then mark a hole for the torch for drilling. Once installed, add clay epoxy around it. (see image 10)

now take your battery holder and switch and thread the wires to it's corresponding holes. (see image 13) and hot glue the battery pack in place.

finally, connect the positive wire of the battery to the motor's positive and connect the negative of the motor to one of the switches' wires. then connect the batteries' negative to the switches' other wire. Insulate exposed wires with hot glue. (see the second to the last picture)

Step 7: How to Use Your Machine

Picture of How to Use Your Machine

Ah, time to reap the fruit of your labor, now here's how to use it!

First you're gonna want to make the collector, i just used some paper taped together to form a large tube! (plus points for being eco friendly?)

add a teaspoon of sugar to the chamber where the torch is, then turn on the torch to heat it up a bit then flick the switch! Boom. Cotton candy. Use a bamboo skewer to collect your prize!

Hey guys heads up for updates! Don't forget to leave a comment for your thoughts and suggestions or simply if you liked my project!

Coming soon: variable speed control

Camera used: Sony NEX-5

so yeah, whether you always wanted go start a business at the back of the classroom or simply just make your classmates kneel in awe, this is cotton candy machine does it's job well.

have fun flinging molten sugar!



How much gas does this use and how do you refill the lighter fluid?

Nrgdragon (author)2014-11-10

Could you please answer some questions?

1. what kind of enclosure did you use?

2.what kind of sugar do you use?


creutermedo (author)Nrgdragon2017-04-05

use caster sugar

MarthinM (author)2015-09-04

Almost done making mine! Just having trouble finding the exact center of the container so it doesn't shake and vibrate.

Tasha78 (author)2015-03-04

Hey can u post the video of this instructable

Timofte Andrei (author)2014-11-08

i wanna see a video with that thing in action! who's with me?

ASCAS (author)Timofte Andrei2014-11-08

BlueRobot (author)Timofte Andrei2014-11-08

Me too! :)

guaps (author)2014-10-31

This is one of the most useful, life altering devices I have ever seen. Entire civilizations will be happier, more productive because of you. Is there an online nomination form for the Nobel prize?

milkdud55 (author)2014-09-19

BTW what company is that torch?

Makersauce (author)milkdud552014-09-19

what do you mean for coffee? some kind of grinder? oh it was some generic torch lighter they sell in stands here in my country

I recomend one that is labled "refilable". So that you can buy a 2$ can of butane and refill it 5 times :)

tibraun (author)2014-10-28

Is that carbonated milk?

MRCrabtree (author)tibraun2014-10-28

I'm...afraid so.

The Green Gentleman (author)2014-10-28

Oh crap. Mind blown. Can't form complete sentences.

spirit x (author)2014-10-28

does this really work ?

if it does this is one of the best things i have ever seen.

The Awesome Inventor (author)2014-10-28

AWESOME!! It's like having a circus in your pocket!!

kakashibatosi (author)2014-10-14

This brings back memories! I did the same thing when I was bored in my college dorm. Nicely done :)

ruisantos10 (author)2014-10-08

That's really cool man! I just regret not being a big fan of cotton candy, but even tho I might build a similar one, as it seems a good taks for a DC motor.

I might have missed it, but how did you fixed that hex female screw onto motor's shaft? It seems very usefull and strong fit!

Voted ;)

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)2014-09-26

Mmmmm. Fresh cotton candy on demand. Love it! Bit too high tech for me though. Maybe I'll find someone who can help me with all the electronic stuff and build one someday.

I would recommend something other than newspaper for the "collector", just as a personal preference. A large coffee filter cut open so it will fit around the machine might be a good option.

wilgubeast (author)2014-09-22

This is awesome. Great remix of another project, and your documentation is already pretty good. Hope you win something!

Makersauce (author)wilgubeast2014-09-23

whoa, you think so? hahaha thanks so much for the support wilgubeast!

CRAZYFA (author)2014-09-20

That's awesome, Poch!

Makersauce (author)CRAZYFA2014-09-20

Lol thanks :D oy post it na!!! I wanna see it yo

Tumotar (author)2014-09-19

Hello, great instructable, im totally trying it. But i have 2 questions

- How do you open/close the gas.

- Doesn´t it need a enclosure to receive the Cotton candy?

Makersauce (author)Tumotar2014-09-19

hi tumotar! first off, see that white button on the valve of the fuel tank? just give it a squeeze and the butane will flow!
second, that's why we built the cotton candy collector out of paper, have you seen the video? hope this helps!

Tumotar (author)Makersauce2014-09-19

Hi again, i saw the button but i expected it to work as a normal ligther, so it stops when you stop pressing it, and i supose it´s not always leting the gas flow. I will take a look again to see how it works

And for the collector i didn´t see the video before :) doing it rigth now

Makersauce (author)Tumotar2014-09-19

oh I added a rubber band for that, currently working on a simple mechanism to keep it on :))

emsatalo (author)2014-09-19

Simple and awsome, great project! I voted!

milkdud55 (author)2014-09-19

Using to in a boiler/French press

tomatoskins (author)2014-09-19

That's cool! Who wouldn't want cotton candy on the go?

Makersauce (author)tomatoskins2014-09-19

Right? hahaha thanks though! :)

milkdud55 (author)2014-09-19

I always wanted to make something like this but for coffee but could never figure out what would heat it. Thanks Pocholox8 !

Triclaw (author)2014-09-19

very cool how long does it take to make cotton candy?

Makersauce (author)Triclaw2014-09-19

hi triclaw! it takes a minute for warming up the sugar then you're good to go! heads up for a video

About This Instructable




Bio: Quick and Easy hacks, made for curious people
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