DIY fireworks in action

DIY fireworks in action


I made some fireworks on the 4th of July from the TurboPyro kit I received. The text, photos and in-line videos in the .pdf file made it easy to follow the recipe for big, fat, awesome tube sparklers. The process was simple and fun, and I had my son write up this handy checklist:

First, you weigh out, screen, and mix potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur to make gunpowder. Allow me to repeat that: To make gunpowder! Bill Gurstelle once told me that everyone should experience making their own gunpowder; now I see why. It is exhilarating!

Next, add ferro titanium powder (that’s what makes the sparks), tamp it into a little tube, put a fuse in it, and carefully impale it on a bamboo skewer. Add a flame to the proceedings and big smiles quickly emerge.




A follow-up to the thought that my younger self would have been impressed by all of this: I was talking to my mom the other day, telling her about making sparklers. She laughed and reminded me about a secret shipment of fireworks I tried to smuggle into the house when I was in middle school. It was intercepted by my parents, and my dad drowned the whole lot of it in the bathroom sink. I can still hear the terrible screams of that gross of lady finger firecrackers; I was devastated. Well, this is my revenge mom and dad!

16 thoughts on “DIY fireworks in action

  1. Anonymous says:

    cool, if you cut a ping pong ball, insert this mixture,
    then wrap tight with aluminium foil and set alight you get a DIY smoke bomb.


    1. John Park says:

      Right on! The kit came with a bonus smoke bomb set, but it is of the “huge colored smoke a helicopter rescue crew can see you from miles away” variety, so I haven’t built it yet :)

  2. says:

    I remember the smuggled fireworks incident! I also remember the chapstick tube bomb . . .

  3. steve says:

    The site says the ebook is free, but there is no link to download it. Since you’ve dealt with the company maybe you know something I don’t? Even though the kits are gone, I’d love to read the ebook.

    1. John Park says:

      Yeah, I noticed that too. I think their wording is wrong. The book is free with the order (you get a magical URL).

    2. Bob D says:

      Here’s a link to the TurboPyro eBook:

  4. Viadd says:

    I notice that you changed the order partway through:
    Weigh, Mix, Screen -> Weigh, Screen, Mix

    I hope that learning this wasn’t too traumatic. (Pull pin, count to five, throw).

    1. John Park says:

      Ha ha, yes, we noticed that before we started making anything :)

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He builds project for Adafruit Industries. You can find him at and twitter/IG @johnedgarpark

View more articles by John Edgar Park