Rockets from office supplies!

Fun & Games Rockets Science
Rockets from office supplies!

Here’s a great how-to on building a “liquid fueled” rocket using little more than a fat Sharpie marker, a can of compressed air, and a few more supplies found down on the Cube Farm. The resulting rocket can fly up to 75 feet!

But hey there, John Glenn of the IT Department, BE CAREFUL! This is actually a project you don’t want to take lightly. Launch it outdoors, wear safety goggles, don’t “burn” yourself on the compressed air (it’s *very* cold). Generally, be smart, and use common sense whenever dealing with any type of projectile and components under pressure.


What you need:
A Sharpie
Canned Air
Electrical Tape (Substitute Packing Tape)
Ball Point Pen
Rubber Band
Bottle Cap


The innards are removed from the Sharpie and a port for the canned air tube is fashioned from a ball point pen tube and secured to the thrust end of the rocket.


The fins are made from electrical tape.


Plug the compressed air into the port on the business end the rocket, fill will gas from the can, and… BLAST OFF!

TIP: On the Comments to this Instructable, a maker suggests cutting off the bell-shaped end of another Sharpie and adding it to the thrust end of your rocket to form a De Laval nozzle for better thrust performance.

See the full Instructable for more details.

4 thoughts on “Rockets from office supplies!

  1. mistersister says:

    can the next one be a ReMake of Cheetos at home using common household ingredients?

    a partial list of materials..

    Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Maltodextrin, Disodium Phosphate, Sour Cream (Cultured Cream, Nonfat Milk), Artificial Flavor, Monosodium Glutamate, Lactic Acid, Artificial Colors (Including Yellow 6), and Citric Acid.

  2. Dvorhagen says:

    Very cool (literally). However, let me just add a specification. I learned from experience that a Bic ballpoint pen’s tube is too narrow for the duster’s hose to fit into. Papermate brand pens, however, are the perfect diameter to form the rocket’s nozzle.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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