Paper Match Rockets With Launcher




About: I hope to get my EE degree in the future and work for Boeing.

Make little rockets out of paper matches that fly up to 30 feet! These are made out of just some houshold materials.
I am not responsible for any injuries caused by this project. Please wear eye protection when launching. Never shoot these at someone as they involve fire. Fire can burn you. Don't pick these up right after they land. Only use on pavement, or my personal favorite, into a lake, not on grass.

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Step 1: Materials

Here are the materials you need:
-Paper matches
-A needle
-About 10" of 1/2" PVC pipe (you could just use part of a broomstick or somethin' but I had some of this pipe laying around)
-A chip clip or some kind of clip-not a clothes pin (again, whatever is conveniant for you)
-Dental floss or tic tac case (optional)

Some tools are also needed:

Step 2: Make the Rockets

First, cut a roughly 3/4" inch square of foil. Then, cut the head off of one of the matches (I know it's cruel), leaving enough of the paper so the powder doesn't crumble. Roll the foil so there is a "pocket" for the match head to fit in. Set the head in the pocket and roll it once or twice-but don't crimp it tightly. Stick the needle into one of the ends of the rocket, and make sure it touches the head (see photo). Roll the whole thing tightly around the needle and at the top, and it should look something like the 5th photo.
8) good job 8)

Step 3: Now for the Launcher

First, cut the PVC pipe to about a foot long. Wrap half of it in duct tape and the other half in foil. Make a ball of foil and stick the needle through it. Jam the ball into the pipe with the needle facing out and use the edge of a table to push it in tight. Tape the clip to the side of the pipe right near the top next to the needle (photo 6). You are now ready to launch.

Step 4: Launch!

Put on your safety goggles, and find a safe place to shoot. Place one of your rockets on the needle. Put a match in the clip so it is about 1/4" away from the bottom of the rocket. Light the match with a lighter or another match, and you will have about 3 seconds before it launches. After the rocket releases, blow the match out. If it does not launch, don't touch it. Get it off the needle and onto the ground and stomp it out.

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    38 Discussions

    get a car battery or sla, and using two wires, short circut the battery between teithe rside of the tip of the rocket, this will result in a beter an safer ignition


    9 years ago on Step 4

    i didnt get it i think you made more a cannon than a rocket. what am i supposed to do after that? heat the needle?


    12 years ago

    the rockets look like those snap things where you throw them on the ground and they pop

    8 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    i wish i could make those things.......

    duct tapepmac93

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    You could if you wanted. You just need nitric acid, silver metal, and anhydrous ethanol. Dissolve the silver in an excess of nitric acid, and wait for the fumes to die down. Then pour the ethanol in and wait up to four hours. Come back, and there should be some crystals of silver fulminate. Filter the solution and gently pour about a quart of distilled water over the crystals, to wash out the acid. Now you carefully mix some sand with these crystals and wrap them in some tissue paper. Then you're done.

    pmac93duct tape

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    preferably without an order from united nuclear...but thanks for the recipe I will try it sometime


    If you are making explosives, mercury is the least of your problems. It is only toxic if you ingest it or have chronic contact with it.


    10 years ago on Step 3

    Why do we need to wrap the foil and duck tape?? can just the naked pvc??

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    lol duck tape!

    imagine the aisle where the "duck tape" is, full of quacking...

    quack quack quack quack quack ...............



    10 years ago on Introduction

    only if you can remove the iodine stain thats nitrogen tri iodide good stuff very volitile if properly filtered and dried (breath on it the wrong way and bang ) not that i would recomend that