The Pocket Sized Popcorn Machine





Introduction: The Pocket Sized Popcorn Machine

About: Quick and Easy hacks, made for curious people

Popcorn has been a snack celebrated by millions since its discovery back in 1885.

Within each kernel of this magical specie of corn contains a small amount of water and a small amount of starch, when every kernel is heated, the small amount of water expands and expands causing high pressure and steam within the kernel,it builds up and builds up until the kernel's shell couldn't stand the immense pressure inside itand then POP! the starches and the steam instantly mix and forms the ever celebrated popcorn!

Popcorn has always been enjoyed in Theaters, in Fairs or Carnivals but do we really have to wait until we're in the presence of any of these? Has anybody wondered "Do popcorn machines that fit in your pocket even exist??"

I don't like wondering and neither do i want anybody else fantasizing about its existence.

My gift to you....The Pocket Sized Popcorn Machine!

I'm entering the Pocket sized contest as well as the Science of cooking contest, and i could really use some new tools around here and your votes could really help me come up with better quality Instructables for you guys!

I've only heard about the contest a week ago so i tried my best to come up with something great, Enjoy the rest of this Instructable, this is for you guys!

This machine is a legacy to my former pocket sized friend, The pocket sized cotton candy machine!

Discovered here in Instructables, Popular science magazine has published this in their September 2015 Issue and has inspired me to push my imagination further to come up with this popcorn machine for all of you to enjoy!

You could take a peek of it here at

Step 1: Get Your Parts Together

I was in a rush to bring this simple Instructable together so i gathered parts i could find around my room,


  • Generic project enclosure
  • Fireplace lighter
  • Pioneer Moldable Steel Epoxy
  • Torch Lighter
  • Aluminum cream jar

Tools i used:

  • Pliers
  • Dremel
  • Drill bit
  • Sanding bit

Step 2: Getting Your Box Together

Lay down your Aluminum Cream jar on your project enclosure, We will be using this as the hot plate where the oil or butter is heated for your kernels to pop!

Grab a sharpie and use your jar as a stencil to plot the hole to be drilled for your Aluminum Cream jar, Now that you've got that covered, proceed to drilling holes around that stencilled guide until you form holes around it all.

Now to switch Dremel tips,

Take your sanding bit to finish off the burrs in the large hole you made, making sure your Aluminum cream jar fits in the hole. With that, take your Moldable steel epoxy and simply fix the aluminum cream jar in place!

Step 3: Popcorn Hot Plate Assembly

Here's where it gets exciting... to a point that i have to break this step into 3 parts:

Part 1. Assembling the heating system:

Take your Fireplace lighter and torch lighter apart, we will only need a handful of its parts!

  • The fuel tank
  • Igniter
  • Hose
  • Torch head

If you've browsed through my previous Instructables, you'll recognize I've used this heating system in a majority of my Instructables!

To Assemble the gas tank, connect the hose to it and the other end of the hose to the Torch head. Connect one side of the igniter to the bottom of the Torch head and the other end to the tip of the torch head,

Note: you'll see a spark in the torch head if you got this step simple step right.

You'll have a clearer idea of how to do this by taking a peek at the photo above!

To test if your torch works, press down the gas tank valve and ignite it, you'll see your torch fire up!

Note: The color is orange because of a calcium chloride coated tip if im not mistaken.

Part 2, Adding the heat concentrator:

It isn't as hard as it sounds, the role of this part is to simply focus the majority of the torch's heat to the center of the hot plate.

Cut off a piece of metal from the cover of the aluminum cream jar and bend it slightly like a "U" shape. Place this near the edge of the bottom of the cream jar and fix it in place with a piece of moldable steel epoxy!

Part 3, Fixing the torch in place:

We're halfway through making some popcorn!

Place some moldable steel epoxy to the bottom of the cream jar, form it at an angle and then place your torch head assembly on that angle you just formed, make sure it faces the heat concentrator and the center of the hot plate. Plop a generous amount of moldable steel epoxy above the torch assembly and the heat concentrator.

Step 4: Fixing the Fuel Tank in Place

We're one step closer to making some popcorn,

I'll be breaking this part down into 2 steps:

Step 1: Marking the fuel refill valve and the fuel adjuster holes and drilling

This step is quite simple actually, plot holes where the refill valve and fuel adjuster will be fixed in.

Here's a useful tip: Place the fuel tank over the spot you would like to place it in and use the valves as a guide of where you should mark it! (Apologies for the inverted image, the uploader seems to be having issues)

Once you got that covered, proceed to drilling out the marked spots and try to fit your tank on the holes you've just made! Fix it in place with some super glue.

Step 2: Fixing the ignition in place:

This is the final and simplest part of this step. Mark and drill a hole where you would like to place your igniter.

Once that's covered, place a generous amount of moldable steel epoxy around the igniter to fix it in place!

Here's how the igniter should look like above the box:

And you're done! "Go forth and make popcorn wherever you can think about making popcorn" -Pocholo Manalac

Pocket-Sized Contest

Runner Up in the
Pocket-Sized Contest



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    21 Discussions


    16 days ago

    Amazing idea...!

    You could have a medicine bottle full of the popcorn, and whenever you want some, just pop it into the heater, and you have popcorn on the go.

    Also if you don’t mind me asking, what brand lighter did you get?

    I suppose one could substitute the torch component for an electric coil based heater. Then you could stick a battery inside and now it would be rechargeable.


    2 months ago

    Wow, this is almost ingenious :) Thanks for sharing!

    1 reply

    Glad you enjoyed it, hope you build one yourself!

    Ok I'm voting for this in Pocket Sized Contest b/c it is VERY creative and FOOD related :P

    1 reply

    Where did you get the torch lighter from because I can't find it anywhere.

    1 more answer

    Hi! They're easily found in cigar shops or lighter shops

    I loved the idea. Very nice.


    2 months ago

    it is so cool.


    Question 2 months ago

    I don't see how the fuel flow is controlled, once it's in position. How do you turn the gas flow on and off?

    I'd be worried about this thing catching fire in use. Maybe put some fiberglass insulation in the box, cupping the torch/hot plate mechanism, so the heat doesn't catch the plastic box on fire? It'd help concentrate the heat, too.

    2 more answers

    Oh also, if you could see the photos on the end of step 4 part one, you'll find a photo of the gas valve, the fuel release is colored white and there is a fuel adjuster on the side colored gray. Hope you found this informative! -Poch

    Took the words right off my mind! I was trying to find my fiberglass mat around the house, your suggestion does make a LOT of sense in isolating the gas tank from the enclosed heat in the box, for the fuel valves i secured it in place with some clear tape as a temporary holder, i do need to improvise a holding mechanism for this, the next versions would definitely have your suggestions in mind :)

    I somehow expected a electric heater and wondered how it could provide enough heat. Using a lighter is an unusual, yet clever approch (although it might be a tad dangerous).

    Best luck for the contests :D

    1 reply

    Danger is on my second priority hence the profile picture HAHAHA glad you appreciate the alternative route!! Amazing instructables by the way, you got yourself a follower!

    Love it. Good luck with the competitions. You have my vote pretty much from the concept. The righting style and content just sealed the deal. I look forward to seeing more.

    1 reply

    I love how ambitious this is! It might not be perfect, but it's totally original and shows some real creativity!