How to Create a Mini Cannon from a Matchbox

This shows how to make a serious-looking mini rocket using just matchsticks, aluminum foil and just a few other household items! This was a wide-spread craze among students in Spain, when the space race started around 1957.


  1. Image titled Create a Mini Cannon from a Matchbox Step 1
    To make it, separate the shorter part of the clip to make a wide enough base then pull up the lip part of the clip taking care that the lip looks down to the base, so the rocket can nestle easily on the launcher.You may have to shorten the stem of the matchstick for a proper hold. To make the head of the rocket, take a 2 centimeter (0.8 in) wide strip of kitchen aluminum foil.Tear a rectangle by 2x3 centimeters.Then, make a fold for 0'5 centimeter (2.0 in) along both longer sides. Once this is completed, wrap the head of the match tightly.Twist the upper part of the match to get a quite cool pointed tip. The cool pointed tip should look similar to a cool looking rocket.
    1. Take your thumbnail and strike the three matchsticks with your thumbnail. This way you can create a nice tripod. It is recommended that you keep the heads together and roll the foil over them tightly (3-4 times is enough). Follow the same procedure mentioned above and proceed as if you were creating a single head rocket.
  2. Image titled Create a Mini Cannon from a Matchbox Step 2
    Place rockets on a safe surface and in a safe area. During the first stages of creating a single head rocket, an adult should be around to help you and to supervise with the project should an accident occur when creating a single rocket head.
  3. Image titled Create a Mini Cannon from a Matchbox Step 3
    Strike a match and light the rocket about mid length.The flame should go up and ignite the head to propel the rocket.
  4. Image titled Create a Mini Cannon from a Matchbox Step 4
    By striking the three rocket heads, it should flare light it the same way the three stems did and with quick succession. It's great fun because it might topple down,and might not ignite or it could be a real success.
  5. Image titled Create a Mini Cannon from a Matchbox Step 5


  • Do not aim at any pet or person.
  • Rocket match sticks made here can shoot hard. Keep your eyes away so you don't get hurt.
  • Cigarette smoking and tobacco may be bad for health.
  • Chances of fire hazards from this are very small. Perform this experiment in an open space to be safe.
  • Do not touch the rocket head after it is fired. The foiled area can be hot.
  • Don't buy a cigarette carton if you don't smoke. Buy gum.
  • Perform this experiment under the supervision of an adult.

Things You'll Need

  • Matchsticks
  • Aluminum Tin foil.
  • A paper clip.
  • Some safe surface : a plate or a spare bathroom tile for instance

Article Info

Categories: Bombs