Homemade Bottle Rockets




A while back my friend asked an easy way to make a bottle rocket .....so this Instructable was born

  • Make sure to wear the proper protective gear such as some kind of glasses for eye protection, safety glasses would be best .....

*some sort of breathing protection would also be advised

  • gloves help as well so you don't burn yourself

Check the video for a picture of me dressed like a ninja with homemade safety wear and my first three rocket launches

I tried embedding it but alas, photo bucket is lame. so you get a crappy long link ....YAY


PS. if you like it ....rate it up .....don't flake !

Step 1: What You Will Need

1. Post its
2.A Hammer
3. a small bit of fuse
4.a small mixing bowl
5.A mortar and pestle
6.needle nose pliers
7. duct or scotch tape
8. wooden skewers
9.A Pencil
10. A nail
11. Black Powder
12.kitty litter

  • Pictures of these will be listed in order below

Step 2: Begin Rolling the Tube

Fold your post it in half horizontally sticky side up so the sticky part bonds with the non-sticky part

And Begin rolling the tube

Step 3: Tape the Tube

Using scotch tape preferably, tape the tube tightly on the pencil

Step 4: Kitty Litter Grind Up

Grind your kitty litter using the mortar and pestle
Note: this is sometimes very difficult

Step 5: Pour the Litter

Put about 1/4 inch of kitty litter into the tube being sure to press tightly against the working surface so not to spill any out.

Then,put the pencil in after to litter

Starting slowly, pound the pencil into the tube compressing the kitty litter

  • The reason Kitty Litter is used is because it is almost 100% Bentonite clay which is the same thing used in model rockets (the sealant)

Step 6: Add the Black Powder

Follow the Litter with the Black Powder being sure to compact it thoroughly.

Step 7: MakeYour Nossel

Taking the hammer and nail .....or better yet a drill bit in a drill.... CAREFULLY tap the nail into the top layer of litter all the way through to the black powder(this is the nossel)

Ps the smaller the hole, the more propulsion. But with a better chance of it exploding on ignnition


Take a bit of fuse and cut it with the needle nose pliers About 2" will do fine

bend the last bit of the fuse about an eighth of an inch onto itself.

Step 9: Its Beginning to Look Alot Like *Rockets*

Insert fuse into hole made by the nail ....if needed you can also put a small ball of paper in the hole to hold it in but mine usually stay fine

Step 10: Scewer Galor !

Get your skewers. For this size of rocket the skewers were too big so i cut them

Step 11: Coming Along

Using more scotch tape or in my case ductape, tape the skewer onto the rocket


Thats about it ....Enjoy

If there are any questions please, comment, and i will do my best to answer them

Oh I almost forgot, please use these responsibly. you never know what could happen.
Also check the local laws in your area or zip code, to make sure bottle rockets are legal

  • One Last Note.... If your first bottle rocket does not shoot as planned don't give up ....it may be that its too heavy or that you nossle is just the wrong size.

Happy Rocketing !


Hopefully the video will work ....If not go here:



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    238 Discussions


    Reply 3 years ago

    You can find tutorials on line the teach you how to make black powder. All it is is charchaol, suffer, and potassium nitrate.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Charchaol, sulfur, and potassium nitrate.


    11 years ago on Step 12

    sweet i just have a quick question is black powder just gun powder like out of bullets??? and does the skewer go flying with the rocket wen it lights

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 12

    black powder is "old school" and was used in muzzle loading riffles(think lewis and clark). the gun powder in new age ammo is smokeless and less explosive but burns quicker building up gases to propel the projectile to its target. bottom line: they are two different things.


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 12

    technicaly, smokeless powder doesnt explode at all. just burns extremely rapidly. much faster than blackpowder in fact. however, the pressure and gasses created would burst the rocket well before it even started to move, so dont try it. not good for rockets. good for mini paper pipebombs. (and by default getting in trouble with the police in most places...)


    7 years ago on Step 12

    How did you know that the nail would be a big enough nozzle for the right amount of thrust for the rocket, without detonating the rocket or being to little thrust?
    I I

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Step 12

    guess work and multiple tries, i'd think. provided you can get your hands on real blackpowder (i doubt pyrodex would work..but maybe) these are cheap enough to build. so a few test runs shouldnt be hard. just get away before they go off. to be safe.


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 5

    it IS the clay found in most rockets..... just used for something else. yay sourcing.


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 5

    but, chemguy is right, it makes everything go one way, and restricts the flow, increasing pressure and directing force.


    6 years ago on Step 12

    Re: Insane_Pyro_Genius! remark from 2008
    This grinding process can be dangerous.
    If the KNO3 is dry it can ignite while grinding with a surprising flash and a lot of heat. So always wear gloves, safety glasses, and safety clothing.
    Back in 1947 when I was a child,between 8-11, in NYC I made rockets using a modified black powder recepe. The fuses were made with cotton string soaked in KNO3 dissolved in water at room temperature and then the fuse cord was rolled in finely divided magnesium and sulfer and air dried. The fuses worked but were not very reliable time wise, between 15 and 60 sec/inch. Never bothered to fine tune the fuses as I was more interested in flying rockets and testing rocket fuel.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Where can we buy all the materials that does not require buying from the internet??

    Flash powder burns way too fast, just gonna explode once the fuse reaches the powder ;) so the answer is no, you can't use flash as "rocket fuel".