Occasions like weddings, birthdays, and parades are great opportunities to celebrate with friends and family. And what better way to do that than to fill the air with a cloud of confetti. But throwing confetti by hand is boring. To really celebrate, you want to use a confetti cannon. They are easy to make. All you need is some PVC pipe and a few fittings. So why not make one for your next party.

Step 1: Safety Warning

Try to be safe when using your confetti cannon. Nothing ruins a party like people being injured or property being destroyed.

You should always use caution when working with compressed air cannons. Don't point the cannon directly at people. Don't leave the tank pressurized for long periods of time. Don't over-pressurize the tank. To be safe, I generally stay below half the pressure rating of the weakest component. On my cannon, the weakest component was rated for 80 PSI. So I keep the pressure below 40 PSI.

Above all, use common sense and don't do anything stupid.

Step 2: Materials

Here are the materials and tools that I used when building this project.


4 inch diameter PVC Pipe

2 inch diameter PVC Pipe

2 inch to 4 inch PVC Pipe Adapter Fitting

2 inch PVC Cap Fitting

2 inch Ball Valve

Pressure Gauge

Male Air Tank Valve

Plumber's Tape

PVC Primer

PVC Cement




Bike Pump

Step 3: The Design of the Confetti Cannon

The basic design of a confetti air cannon is very simple. There is an air chamber, a valve and a barrel. The size and shape of the air chamber and the barrel greatly affect the performance of the cannon.

The larger the air chamber is, the more energy it can store. Larger air chambers will allow you to shoot a higher volume of confetti or shoot heavier objects such as flower pedals.

The diameter of the barrel determines how fast the confetti is shot out of the cannon. A narrow barrel will shoot the confetti faster and farther. A wider barrel won't shoot the confetti as far but it will be more spread out in a cloud.

For this confetti cannon, I made the air chamber from an 20 inch long piece of 2 inch diameter pipe. I decided to make the air chamber small to make it more portable and easier to handle. I made the barrel from a 6 inch long piece of 4 inch diameter pipe. This barrel will make a short range burst of confetti that is very spread out.

If you want to make your design more adaptable, you can connect the barrel with threaded fittings. This will let you unscrew the barrel and replace it with different barrels for different occasions.

Step 4: Cut the Pipe

The first thing that you need to do is cut the PVC pipe. To do this, I just used a simple hack saw. I cut one piece of 2 inch PVC pipe that was 20 inches long. This will make the body of the air tank. Then I cut a second piece of 2 inch PVC pipe that was 4 inches long. This will be used to connect the ball valve to the adapter fitting. Then I cut a piece of 4 inch PVC pipe that was 6 inches long. This section will hold the confetti.

Step 5: Dry Fit All the Pieces Together

Before you glue anything, it is a good idea to fit all the pieces together to make sure that you are happy with the overall shape.

Step 6: Glue the Pieces Together

Pieces of PVC pipe are fixed together in a process called solvent welding. The two pieces of PVC are essentially chemically melted and cemented together. This process should be done outside or in a very well ventilated area.

First make sure that all the surfaces are clean and dry. Then apply a coat of purple PVC primer to all the surfaces that will be connected. Follow the instructions for the primer that you are using. You may need to apply a second coat of primary to some areas. Then apply a coat of PVC pipe cement to all surfaces that will be connected. Again, follow the instructions for your PVC cement. You may need to apply a second coat to some areas. After applying the cement quickly stick the two parts together. Once the pieces are inserted all the way turn them 1/4 turn. Hold the two pieces together for 30 seconds. After assembling all the pieces, let it sit until it is fully cured.

Step 7: Connect the Pressure Gauge and the Air Valve

The pressure gauge can be mounted to any point on the air tank. I recommend mounting it near the ball valve.

Start by drilling a small hole through the side of the PVC pipe. Then re-drill the hole with larger bits until the hole is just smaller than the fitting on the pressure gauge. You want the pressure gauge to be fit tightly in place so that it doesn't blow out when the tank is pressurized. You may need to smooth out the sides of the hole with a file. Then apply plumber's tape all around the threads of the pressure gauge. Using a wrench screw the pressure gauge into the hole until the threads are just sticking out of the top.

Repeat this process with air valve.

Step 8: Pressurize the Air Tank

Now it is time to pressurize the air tank. First make sure that the ball valve is completely closed. Then connect your bike pump up to the air valve. Pump air into the tank until you reach the desired pressure. Do not over pressurize the tank! Keep the pressure well below the safety rating for the weakest component.

Step 9: Load the Confetti

Now fill the barrel with confetti. I prefer to use light weight paper confetti because it spreads out nicely and floats around in the air for a while. But you can also use other materials. If you are going to a wedding, you can fill it with rice, flower pedals or bird seed. For heavier materials, I recommend using a narrower barrel with a larger tank.

If you don't want the confetti to fall out of the barrel, you can tape a thin piece of tissue over the opening.

Step 10: Fire the Cannon!!!

Now you are ready to fire the cannon. Aim the cannon high into the air and quickly open the ball valve. The contents of the barrel will shoot out and cover everything nearby.

<p>My family always has a wrapping paper fight every christmas after all the presents have been opened and my 7 year old nephew really wants to build one of these. I'm wondering what barrel size and pressure would work best to shoot wadded up balls of wrapping paper at a slow speed and short distance.</p>
Can I use a car tire air gage the one where you put over the tire and the little stick comes out I want to make one but need to save miney
That will probably work.
I'm using this for a school project but it needs to shoot water balloons. How should it be adapted?
you would want to use a design similar to this one:<br />https://www.instructables.com/id/Remote-Controlled-Confetti-Cannon/<br />It has a larger air tank and a long narrow barrel.
<p>hi </p>
My own variant but it works like a charm
<p>looks great</p>
Can you use candy
Yes. But be careful because hard candy can really hurt.
Where did you find the male air tank valve im having a hell of a time trying to find one
I just got it from my local hardware store (Menards). When in doubt, ask at the service desk.
<p>How long can you leave these pressurized? I was planning on making and using at my wedding with freeze dried petals. However, it would have to be left pressurized for at least 1 hour to 30 minutes.</p>
<p>In general it is a bad idea to leave anything pressurized for a long time. But a couple of hours shouldn't be a problem. The only problem then is how well do you assemble it. If all the parts are well sealed if should be able to hold pressure that long. So I recommend testing it a few times before hand to make sure that you don't have any leaks. </p><p>Also for a wedding, I would recommend using a longer air chamber and don't use the 4 inch pipe. Keep the barrel at 2 inches and make it longer. This will give you better range so that you don't have to be up in their faces to set it off. </p>
<p>hey! im been searching for air cannons like this and this by far is the best one but i was wondering how much did the whole process cost? like the parts and such. </p>
<p>With the parts that I used, it will cost about $20 to $30. But you can make it a lot cheaper. For one, if your air pump has a pressure gauge on it you can leave off the pressure gauge on the cannon. Also you can save some money by not expanding the end to 4 inch pipe. Just leave it at 2 in pipe and make the barrel longer. If you want you can even use smaller pipes like 1 1/2 inch or 1 inch. Smaller pipes and fittings are always cheaper. Just remember that smaller pipes need to be longer. </p><p>If you are not in a rush, you can wait and check out my project for next week. I am building a larger confetti cannon that can be remote controlled. </p>
Could you tell me, where i can get these parts in germany? Because in our DIY stores there arent these white tubes. Only big grey or orange tubes for water. I looked on the internet and found this page: www.pvc-welt.de. Could you tell me which parts i need from this page? I have got a manometer at home. I would be very thankful if you could help me.
<p>It doesn't have to be white tube. It just has to be rated for more than 80 psi</p>
<p>This is fantastic! Good luck for the contests :-). </p>
<p>Why is it so hard to turn the 2 inch Ball Valve , when it isnt on the cannon yet?</p>
It needs to make an air tight seal. So it is pretty tight. If you work it back forth a few times it will loosen up a little. Or you can apply some lubricant. Or you can attach a longer handle.
<p>Do you think strips of tp would work well?</p>
Yeah. Just don't compress it too much. TP will bunch together if you pack it to tightly and it won't fly very well.
<p>Having it shoot rose petals at a wedding would be awesome!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Jason Poel Smith I am a Community Manager here at Instructables. In my free time, I am an Inventor, Maker, Hacker, Tinker ... More »
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