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Oh what lucky and soon to be glittery friends you have! Get the party popping with a fountain of glitter, all in a game of chance. C'mon, it's only 1 in 6 that YOUR popper is going to be filled with a heaping pile of miniature joy sprinkles that you'll wear for the next month. You'll find it quite easy to do and quite easy to gain or lose friends with it. Let's play!

  • What: Glitter Roulette!
  • Concepts: Pure joy, also primary explosives
  • Cost: ~$1
  • Time: ~ 5 minutes
  • The look of pure adoration (maybe hate) on your friends' faces: priceless
  • Materials:
    • Party Poppers
    • Glitter
    • Fork

Time to get glittery!

Step 1: Safety!

Oh yes, the safety part! So while party poppers aren't exactly pack-of-wolves dangerous, they still do have explosives in them. Be careful, don't point at faces, don't pull them right next to people's ears, and make sure you choose the right crowd. I mean, if they don't like glitter roulette, are they truly your friends?

My favorite part of the warning is "Jerk string." That string, what a jerk. :)

Step 2: Remove Cardboard Cap

You can remove the cardboard cap pretty easily with a little bit of squeezing of the party popper and getting in there with a fork tine. Be careful as you want the cardboard to look pristine when you replace it.

Remove the pretty coils of paper that normally pop out. It's neat to see that they're actually all connected at first before the spring out in the explosion. Play with these. They're great.

Step 3: Add Glitter

Pick one (or more) party poppers to be the glitter bomb. Fill to your heart's content with the good stuff, but not beyond the lip where your cardboard cap will re-attach. And, if they're color-coded, you'll get extra joy out of knowing who got the special popper in advance. Aunt Tamara? More like Aunt Glittamara.

Step 4: Replace Cardboard Cap

You can push that cardboard cap back in to position so it looks like the others. Luckily, they ship with a few bends in them, so they all look like they could have been tampered with anyways.

Step 5: Glitter Roulette Time!

Pick 5 friends, and have them all choose one. One.....Two.....Three.....GLITTER!!!!!!! As one person gets showered in silver, probably the others will, too. I found that the glitter blast radius from a party popper pointed directly up at 4 feet elevation was about a 10 foot circle.

Make sure to thank the host!

Step 6: Why Stop at Glitter?

Okay, so glitter is the best, but when the host can't take it anymore, tThere are so many other fun things to fill party poppers with! Flour, sugar, sardines. They're all great. You can even make positive ones like ones filled with chocolate chips.

Step 7: Going Deeper: Inside a Party Popper

If you want to lift up the curtain on the magic, you can check out your party popper. If you look inside, you'll see that there is also a back cardboard cap. Be careful, and you might want to wear safety goggles for this. Again, not too unsafe but you only got two eyeballs.

Remove the back cardboard circle with tweezers or with a little push, and you can pull out the explosive part. You can even set it off by holding it with tweezers and pulling.

Neatly, party poppers have on them a mix of silver fulminate and potassium chlorate mix, and smudged into a putty that's caked on to the string (see the red stuff in the photo?) This makes use of a "primary explosive," which means that it is super sensitive, particularly to heat. The explosion happens from the friction with the paper as you pull on the string. Pretty neat, huh? There is a great YouTube party popper dissection that you can find here to learn more.

Happy popping!

<p>In some places there where accidents with inhaling glitter and similar materials, with kids dying. They where forbidden in schools here in Argentina (at least, where i live) because of that. So, beside the explosive warning, be aware of the glitter itself.</p>
Two words ... baby powder ;)
<p>Duuuuuuuuuuuude....... I'm buing a pack &amp; changing them ALL to glitter!!!!! Oh you've just made my day, thank you so much for sharing &amp; great Instructable (clear &amp; very informative)</p>
who is gonna clean all that?
<p>I know someone who would love these and wouldn't even clean up her house afterward. We had a friend who brought a leaf blower full of glitter to a party and her house was just fairyland for months :) Thanks for the how-to!</p>
Leaf blower full of glitter is the first thing I'm packing on the next family reunion.
<p>lol cool</p>
<p>This is so amazingly awesome. I can't wait to do this!</p>
<p>This is great. Twilight Vampire popper to the rescue!(?)</p>
<p>Oh geeze, this is so awesome/evil. I like the party popper dissection at the end!</p>

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Bio: The Oakland Toy Lab is a community-based wonder lab for students to build, tinker, explore, make, break, and learn! We are writing up engaging science ... More »
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