Sparklers are a handheld 'fireworks' that don't explode (pyrotechnic devices). They are easy to make, plus you can use your knowledge of chemistry to make colored fire.
Watch the Video Tutorial
Time Required: minutes to make, several hours drying time
- Mix the dry ingredients with enough dextrin solution to make a moist slurry. Include the strontium nitrate if you want a red sparkler or the barium nitrate if you want a green sparkler.
- Dip the wires or sticks in the sparkler mixture. Be sure to leave enough uncoated space at one end to safely grasp the finished sparkler.
- Allow the mixture to dry completely before igniting the sparkler.
- Store sparklers away from heat or flame, and protected from high humidity.
- Source is L.P. Edel, "Mengen en Roeren", 2nd edition (1936), p.22, as cited from Wouter's Practical Pyrotechnics
- Parts are by weight.
- Be certain the sparkler is 'out' and cooled before discarding it. This is easily accomplished by dipping the stick in a bucket of water.
- Firework use is restricted or prohibited in some areas. Please check your local laws before burning sparklers, whether you purchase them or make them yourself.
What You Need
- iron wires or wooden sticks
- 300 parts potassium chlorate
- 60 parts aluminum fines, flitter, or granules
- 2 parts charcoal
- 10% dextrin in water solution
- 500 parts strontium nitrate (optional, for red color)
- 60 parts barium nitrate (optional, for green color)