Exploding Confetti Cannon




About: Tinkerer, hackster and prankster. Hit me up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kipkayvideos/ Thanks for checking out my Instructables!
Here is a cool pyrotechnics gadget that explodes with a shower of confetti! Great for live concerts, parties, weddings, special events...you name it!

See it in action and the test results!

Step 1: What You Need...

1. A glow-plug which you can get HERE
2. Electrical Box with cover
3. Plumbing Extension Tube (12" X 1 1/4" in diameter)
4. Hobby Box
5. Momentary Switch
6. 2-AA Battery Holder
7. Epoxy
8. Rubber grommet & wire
9. Flash cotton, flash paper and Flame Resistant Confetti

Step 2: Prepare the Base

1. Drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the electrical box top. The glow-plug should fit in the hole and you need to secure it on the other side with a small, flat nut.

2. Drill another hole in the side of the electrical box and insert a rubber grommet (optional). Then thread the lamp cord in the box and tie a knot so the cord does not pull out.

3. Strip the two wires and attach a spade connector to one and after sliding on a small piece of heat shrink tubing, attach a 12-14 gauge Butt Connector (Radio Shack) to the other.

4. Attch the Butt Connector (+) to the connector side of the glow-plug and the Spade Connector (-) to one of the screws that hold the cover on. Attch the cover and screw it down tightly.

NOTE: The glow plug "hot" end will be on the outside of the box.

Step 3: Build the Detonator Box

1. Drill 2 holes in the hobby box. One for the lamp cord and the other to fit the size of the momentary switch you are using.

2. Secure the momentary switch. Run the lamp cord into the box. Strip the ends and by looking at the individual lamp cord wires determine which one you put the spade connector on. That will be the ground. Attach that to one end of the switch. Attach the negative (black) wire for the AA battery snap to the other end of the switch. Using a wire nut (or you could solder it) attach the other lamp cord wire (+) to the red (+) wire from the AA battery snap. Test it out and make sure the glow-plug lights \up.

NOTE: I used the smallest Radio Shack hobby box but had to dremel some supports to get the 2-AA battery holder to fit so the next size project enclosure will probably be easier. I just liked the smaller size.

Step 4: Build the Launch Tower

After cutting the Extension Tube down to about 8", mix up the 2-part epoxy (or any epoxy that will hold permanently like JB Weld). Attach the Extension Tube to the cover of the electrical box. (The glow-plug "hot" end should be inside the tube)

Step 5: Load and Fire!

You will need to get some Flash Cotton, Flash Paper and Flame Resistant Confetti. You can get these at Magic Shops or online.

1. Put the Cannon either outside or indoors in a safe place like a large room with high ceilings or auditorium. You will have to clean up alot of confetti so keep that in mind.

2. Tear off a small piece (about 2" square) of Flash Cotton and fluff it up. Insert it in the Tower and push it all the way down. Be careful not to damage the Glow-Plug end as it is a bit fragile.

3. Use one sheet of Flash Paper and ball it up small enough to fit in the tower. Push it into the Tower all the way to the bottom. Don't stuff it in hard!

4. Load the Tower with Flame Resistant Confetti.


6. Press the Detonator switch!

Hope you enjoyed this Instructable.

Have fun, be safe!



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    54 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Would using a wider tube make a larger confetti cloud?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    You didn't show what did you do to the glow plug?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    That awesome! How high does the confetti shot if it was outside?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    How would you make this wireless. Also, does this give off enough power to launch airsoft bb's


    9 years ago on Introduction

    could you use other fuel's? with an exnicion chamber or something like that. we dont have magic shops in holland (or verry few)

    4 replies

    And air compressor kind of rig might be better suited for you. =)
    Not sure how to go about that though. Definitely safer, personally I like alittle danger and am a pyro @ heart! hehe


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Would this work?

    How about two PVC tubes (the biggest one capped, and the smaller one with a choke/small hole and a tack glued to the inside), one sliding inside the other; put a balloon (sausage shaped) inside the bottom of the bigger one, and a paper wad and confetti in the smaller one.

    Put the smaller on top, compress the air in the balloon by pressing down the smaller tube, and as the balloon eventually protrudes into the smaller one, it will make it to a tack that will burst it, throwing confetti safely out the end of of the smaller tube

    Untitled-1 copy.jpg

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hm -I think the balloon would have to bre wrapped in a layer of thin paper, so it wouldn't get caught between the two pipes and burst too soon.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Auch safer way to do this is to get an old paintball gun, the ones that use CO2 cartriges, use the trigger mechanism to "fire" THE COMPRESSED co2. No dangerous chemicals and no risk of burning your house down.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    and then hide it near the front door and rig the trigger to the doorbell. Nobody will ever come over to your house again!


    9 years ago on Step 5

    any tips on how to make a much larger, shoulder launched version? I'm serious...

    UZI dude

    9 years ago on Introduction

    wow you can make a rocket launcher out of that thang!!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    maybe if you packed the confetti in tissue so it pops in the air cos i thought there was more of a flash then connfetti


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Haha, nice! I like it a lot... but isn't there a bit of a fire hazard involved?