How to Make Your Own Homemade Fireworks Fuse

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Fireworks Fuse Materials

All you need to make your own homemade fireworks fuse is a sheet of toilet paper and some matches.
All you need to make your own homemade fireworks fuse is a sheet of toilet paper and some matches. Cultura RM/Rob Prideaux, Getty Images

If you're making your own fireworks, you might want to try making your own fireworks fuses, too. This is an easy beginner project. It will not result in high-quality fuses, so use a manufactured fuse or higher quality fuse for anything sensitive. These fuses will work fine for homemade firecrackers and smoke bombs.

Gather Your Fireworks Fuse Materials

Don't worry... you don't need anything complicated or hard-to-find.

  • toilet paper (you have this, right?)
  • matches (wooden or paper, makes no difference)

See, I told you this was easy. Now let's make a fuse from these unassuming starting materials.

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Prepare the Paper for the Fuse

Tear the paper into thin strips, fold the strips in half, and then twist the fuse tightly.
Tear the paper into thin strips, fold the strips in half, and then twist the fuse tightly. Anne Helmenstine

The first step of making a homemade fireworks fuse is to prepare the paper that you will use as the basis for the fuse.

  1. Tear a square of toilet paper into six strips. Thinner is better if you can manage it.
  2. Fold each strip of paper in half, lengthwise.
  3. Twist each strip to form a string.

Toilet paper does not burn very well on its own. It tends to smoke and flake off bits of ash and would more likely than not just go out before the flame reached your firework. This is where the matches come into play.

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Strip the Matches

Scrape the heads off of safety matches so you can apply the material to the fuse.
Scrape the heads off of safety matches so you can apply the material to the fuse. Anne Helmenstine

The next step is to strip the heads from the matches so that you can apply the chemicals to the paper fuse. This is not particularly difficult, but don't go medieval on the match heads or else you might accidentally light one. Also, although safety matches are safer than old-style matches, there is no hard in wearing plastic kitchen gloves, if you happen to have them. Otherwise, wash your hands when you are finished with this step.

  1. Scrape the heads from a few matches into a cup or onto a plate. I used a screwdriver for this, but you could use a knife or pliers or possibly a fingernail.
  2. Try to break up any large clumps of the match head.

Almost finished! You just need to apply the match head chemicals to the fuse you prepared earlier.

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Coat the Fuse with Flammable Chemicals

This is an example of a finished homemade fireworks fuse.
This is an example of a finished homemade fireworks fuse. Anne Helmenstine

The last step to making a fireworks fuse is coating the prepared fuse with flammable chemicals so it will burn at a controlled rate.

  1. Sprinkle a small amount of water onto the match head chemicals that you collected.
  2. Mix the water and match heads to try to make a thick paste. As you can see from my finished fuse, neatness is not critical. However, a more uniform slurry will burn better than a clumpy mixture.
  3. Roll you paper fuses in the mixture, one at a time, to thoroughly coat each fuse.
  4. Allow the fuses to dry completely before using them.​
  5. You can store these fuses in a paper bag. I should not have to tell you this, but: store them away from heat and flame.

Before using a fuse in a fireworks project, you should light one so you will know what to expect. Use a fuse by inserting part of the fuse into the firework, leaving the rest as a tail that you light. The point of the fuse is to give you some control over lighting your fireworks. Light the fuse, then remove yourself to a safe distance to watch the show.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Your Own Homemade Fireworks Fuse." ThoughtCo, Mar. 21, 2017, thoughtco.com/make-your-own-homemade-fireworks-fuse-607330. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, March 21). How to Make Your Own Homemade Fireworks Fuse. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/make-your-own-homemade-fireworks-fuse-607330 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Your Own Homemade Fireworks Fuse." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/make-your-own-homemade-fireworks-fuse-607330 (accessed November 20, 2017).