Picture of Soda Bottle Water Rocket
In a couple of hours (or less) you could make this water rocket! Water rockets use water and pressurized air to launch a soda bottle(s) 100's of feet into the air. This instructable will NOT cover the launcher. I hope to later come back and write up an instructable for a launcher. There are many websites with water rocket plans (and launchers) part of the fun is to experiment and come up with your own designs. Feel free to modify, improve, experiment with this instructable and post your results in the comments. The original inspiration for this rocket was from the magazine called "MAKE Magazine" (makezine.com). Issue #5 has full instructions also.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
List O Materials...

> 2 Soda Bottles (empty)
- Note: There are slight differences in the openings of the bottle depending on the soda brand. Pepsi is just a tad smaller than Coke. -
This Instructable is set up for 2 liter sized bottles - feel free to adjust for any size though.

> 1 sharp knife (kids get your parents help here!) I prefer X-acto brand for cutting foam core.

> 1 Large sheet of Foam Core (I prefer Black, but any color will do). Foam Core can be found at almost any arts and crafts supply store. To learn more about foam core try wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foamcore

> 5 Min Epoxy (This stuff is nasty! Do not inhale, and use in a well ventilated area. Do NOT get it on your skin or eyes, or hair, etc... read all safety warnings before using.) Feel free to experiment with other glues. This can usually be found at any hardware store - kids, ask your parents for help with this glue.

> 2 (or more) Markers - I used Sharpies, one black and one Silver

> Clear Shipping Tape - It's thicker than regular scotch tape and about 2" wide.

> 2 (or more) cans of spray paint - Pick your own favorite colors!
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Dk12133 months ago
Can I add a parachute on this and if so how?

There are lots of ways you can attach a parachute to a water rocket. I would recommend something like an air flap or timer system, or if you're willing to spend some money, a flight computer or magnetic apogee detector.

Here is a very reliable timer based version:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVpJqoHQBm0

Here is a magnetic apogee detector version:http://www.aircommandrockets.com/construction_7.htm

another one: http://www.uswaterrockets.com/documents/LaunchPad_AlTImeter/manual.htm

he is actually right that's a couple of wayz

yes u can and I will make an instruct able in about a month on how so keep posted!

cyenobite (author)  Dk12133 months ago
You can try. I didn't feel the need, as it is fairly durable (unless it crashes onto pavement or hard dirt, the nose might get caved in, but with mine, I just pulled it, and the nose popped back fine. You can *not* tape the nose portion of the rocket to the main body, and loosely attach it (with tape and string) to the body, then the parachute could be stored in that loose nose section. In theory, when it hits the apex, the nose will 'fall' off and the parachute will deploy. I won't guarantee this will be a good plan. But feel free to experiment. If it works, please post back here and let us know! Good luck!
Flashdance51 month ago

guyz I made the rocket don't have pic because I used a launcher and it broke cause it went really high.

Simo2452 months ago
GhostWolf762 months ago

pics of my soda bottle water rocket i made for 2 of my nephews. tried to make it look like Iron Man

cyenobite (author)  GhostWolf762 months ago

Looks Great! Always cool to see photos!

GhostWolf762 months ago

hey cyenobite, i was wondering what type of tape did you use to give extra support for the fins before you painted the rocket?

cyenobite (author)  GhostWolf762 months ago

hi ghostwolf76, I actually did not use any tape at all when it came to the fins. I just glued them on using the epoxy, and they I added the small triangles for the extra support (also epoxy). The only place I used the shipping tape was to seal the one bottle top onto the other bottle. Hope that helps.

it step 9 it shows the tape and you said you put tape for extra support on the fins before you painted it.

cyenobite (author)  GhostWolf762 months ago

Oops sorry, you are correct. (I built this almost 7 years ago! :)
If memory serves, I just used the same shipping tape, cut into smaller pieces. I think the shipping tape was good and strong, and didn't stretch much (like masking tape or duct tape would be too flexible). Hope this helps. Good Luck!

ah thanks. i used electrical tape but as soon as i painted over it, the edges and corners curled up lol

kevinw152 months ago


dahlias87992 months ago
Hello, this is a really cool rocket design. I wanted to know how far it travels because I have to make one for a school project and we are graded on the distance. Thanks so much!
rosa9873 months ago
Dk12133 months ago
jordanb73 months ago
fungdoodle783 months ago
Hey I have to make this fort 8th grade end of year Honors Geometry Project. My teacher gave no take home instructions. Now, after making one, I am debating if you are supposed to cut the bottom of the bottle off and then tape the cone on, or leave the bottom off, and then tape the cone on. Some one help!!!
cyenobite (author)  fungdoodle783 months ago
Hello Fung, Good luck with your project. If I understand your question... you have to leave the bottom on the one soda bottle, and put the cone on top of it. There is a LOT of pressure buildup, and I don't think any amount of tape or glue would prevent leaks if you were to cut the bottom off of the main bottle. If you want to try it, by all means, but I can't see it working well.
Coolkat1226023 months ago
I thought that this was a very difficult project and I probably won't do it again but it was fun. I did it with a class and that made this much easier cause we could bounce ideas off of each other to help make this easier.
Tre-AnthonyL made it!10 months ago

it was hard but fun

cyenobite (author)  Tre-AnthonyL4 months ago

Awesome paint job!

HooIigan4 months ago
So I just made one last night with it being due today (I'm a huge procrastinator) and let me say it turned out awesome. Didn't take long to do, maybe 2 hours at the most. Pretty easy to follow instructions and overall just great. I'll post a picture of it later.
cyenobite (author)  HooIigan4 months ago
Awesome! Glad it all worked out for ya!
SamirR6 months ago

cool design

really came in handy with a school project but what powers it and how does it get powered

Barrel Racer10 months ago
Im doin a rocket like this for a Physics project. We have to use a parachute. Where would we put a parachute on a rocket like this n for it to work?
DatCorgi11 months ago

When launching it is it safe to put the cap screwed onto the top?

starstruck0118 made it!1 year ago

Here is a picture of my rocket. Thanks, again cyenobite!

cyenobite (author)  starstruck01181 year ago

Awesome! Nice Work!

I'mP cyenobite11 months ago

do you think you can make an instructional video or send me a link to a video on how to make one please?! =>


etison62111 months ago

Hi, I have to make one of these for school. The challenge is to keep it up in the air for as long as possible. Any tips for that?

My eighth grade science class is making these. I can't wait to see the finished product and see it launch!!!!

kilans made it!12 months ago

this is awsome i love to make stuff life this

kilans made it!12 months ago

this is awsome i love to make stuff life this


Thank you cyenobite. This was very helpful. I made the rocket, but still did not paint it. I will post a picture soon.

kildevil1 year ago

I'm making this rocket but i don't get how to fly this do you need to use a pump or ???

kildevil1 year ago

I'm making this rocket but i don't get how to fly this do you need to use a pump or ???

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