Do It Yourself - Build A Bottle Rocket

Published: 14th June 2010
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A bottle rocket is a small version of a skyrocket. They are special kinds of rockets that are created to soar into the sky quickly before it explodes. They are constructed of a rocket engine that is connected to a stabilizing stick. It earned the name "bottle rocket" because of the custom to place it in a bottle where the rocket engine is lit and the bottle guides the object to launc in the sky. There are various versions of bottle rockets: the fireworks types and the plain types designed for just flying.


The fireworks bottle rocket has a tube filled with a form of explosive substance. When it is ignited, the explosion that is set off propels the rocket through the air. Other explosions are set off resulting in attractive fireworks. Some are created to make a shrieking sound while they fly through the air.

It is definitely an entertaining experience to design a bottle rocket on your own and watch it shoot of into the sky. Here are the instructions to make a simple rocket made just for flying; not a complicated type with fireworks.

Required Materials

2 liter soda bottle

Paint thinner


Sand paper

Rubber cement

Manila folder

2 x 4 piece of wood


Copper tubing

1/8" thick steel


2 extra long nails


Required Tools:


Hose clamp


Air pump



Junction box

#4 test tube stopper


1.Remove the label and the ring around the neck of the bottle, then use paint thinner to get rid of the glue from the bottle.

2.Cut four fins out of the balsawood with handsaw and smoothen them with sandpaper.

3.Attach the fins to the bottle using rubber cement.

4.Use scissors to cut a nose cone from the manila folder then use rubber cement to fasten it at the top of the bottle.


1. Using the handsaw, cut two 6" blocks from the 2 x 4 wood.

2. Cut another piece measuring 1 ½ feet long, 6" wide and ½" thick.

3. Use the screwdriver and screws to secure the two 6" blocks to the long piece of wood to make a table-shaped object which is the launch pad.

4. Screw the junction box in the middle of the object.

5. Drill a hole through the junction box and the launch pad then put a test tube stopper through it.

6. Using scissors cut a few copper tubing and place it inside the test tube stopper.

7. Use hose clamp and affix the tube to the air pump.

8. Bend a piece of steel in the shape of a 'U'. Slide it into the holes drilled in the junction box and tie a piece of string to it.

9. Bore a hole in each side of the launch pad. Push a nail through each hole and into the ground to secure the launch pad.


1. Pour 2-3 cups of water inside the bottle and attach it to the launch pad by placing the pin over the bottle neck.

2. Turn on the air pump so the rocket can be pressurized.

3. Pull the string sharply so that the rocket can take off.


You can paint the bottle for a more attractive rocket.

When launching your rocket do so away from persons and animals to prevent damage.

Do not launch the rocket near power lines. Always launch your rocket in wide open spaces.

You can try various fin sizes to see which results in the best operation.

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