Alcohol Powered Rocket Launcher

Introduction: Alcohol Powered Rocket Launcher

In this instructable I will show you how to make a simple rocket launcher.

I am not responsible for any injuries or damages that may occur. Build at your own risk.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

The things you need to make this are


  • 2 pens
  • 2 thumbtacks
  • Film canister
  • Electric igniter from a broken lighter
  • 1 sheet of paper
  • Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol
  • Tape
  • Q-tip


  • Drill with drill bit (drill bit size will vary depending on the type of pen)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife

Step 2: Making the Body

First, flip the film canister over and mark the center. Next, grab your drill and drill the center. Your hole should be just big enough for the pen tube to fit in.

Step 3: Making the Barrel

Grab one of the pens, and take it apart. Measure about 3 inches along the pen, and cut it with the utility knife. Once the pen is cut, make sure it fits in the hole you drilled. There should be about 2 inches of the pen sticking out. After you made sure that the pen fits in the hole, you can glue it. Make sure you use lots of glue!

Step 4: The Igniter

Take one of the thumb tacks and press it in about half an inch from the lid. Then, get your second thumb tack and press it in about half an inch from the first one. Look inside the film canister and make sure the two metal parts of the thumb tacks are close together. Take the thumb tacks out and wrap the ends of the wires from the electric igniter to the metal part on the thumb tacks. Press the thumb tacks back into the film canister and make sure you can see a spark.

Step 5: The Rocket

For the body of your rocket, measure and cut a strip of paper about 5 inches by 1 inch. Line up the tip of the pen with the end of the paper and roll the paper around the pen. Make sure the paper tube it tight but not to tight, then tape it. To make the nose cone, twist the end of the paper until its pointy, then tape it.

Step 6: The Fins

To make the fins cut out one 2 inch by 1 inch rectangle . After you cut out the rectangle, cut it in half so you have two 1 inch by 1 inch squares. Then cut the squares diagonally in half so you end up with four equal triangles. Apply tape to one of the triangles and tape it to the body of the rocket. Take another triangle and tape it directly across from the first one. Do the same with the other remaining triangles. Your fins should look like a plus mark. You're ready to launch!

Step 7: Launch!

To launch your rocket, first dip the Q-tip into the rubbing alcohol. I am using 91% concentrated but you could probably use different. After the Q-tip is dipped in the alcohol, coat the inside of the film canister with the alcohol. Depending on how much alcohol is used, you can make the rocket go farther or shorter. After the inside of the film canister is coated with alcohol, put the lid back on the canister tightly. To launch just press the igniter. Have fun!

Do not point at people or animals!

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    Great Ible, I have no idea why this Ible isn't featured. I think it should.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder how that would work with Nerf darts.....

    Guess I have something to try tomorrow