How to Make a Cheap Smoke Bomb

Two Methods:Ping Pong Ball MethodMoss Method

This article will show you how to make a smoke bomb.

Method 1
Ping Pong Ball Method

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    Get a ping-pong ball and wrap it in tin foil.
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    Poke a hole in the top of the wrapped ping-pong ball. Use a hobby knife, small screwdriver, a toothpick, or ice pick.
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    Put two bricks a little bit apart on a non-flammable surface and gently wedge the ping pong ball between them (with the hole facing up).
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    Use a lighter to heat the bottom. This may take 5 to 10 seconds.
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    Back away quickly at first sign of smoke. Because the smoke is toxic and it smells bad. Run quickly and cover your nose.
    • If you are afraid of holding it or if its in a windy situation you could use a fuse. Fuse could be bought in stores or you could create it from paper. To do it, you need to take a paper (size depends on your bomb), wrap 1/2 of the bomb using the paper but, if you wrap them all, the result is that it wouldn't smoke, but a huge fire. So, after folding it 1/2 of the bomb, you need to make a tail out of it. Now as usual, light up the tail. Yes it's slow but its better if you do this on windy days.

Method 2
Moss Method

  • If you want a more green and less noxious smelling smoke bomb you can do the following:
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    Go out to a densely wooded area. Gather as much lichen as possible. The best kind of lichen are ones that are, for lack of better word, "spongy"
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    Gather as much Moss as possible. The best kind of Moss to get are likewise "spongy" and appear green-white or light yellow -green/brown in color and generally hang off of tree branches in long hair-like looking clumps.
    • Make sure it's DRY, if not set it somewhere air-tight and warm ("room-temperature")
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    Lump the dry lichen and moss together.
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    Get some twine of any length over 5 inches (12.7 cm), give or take. Unravel it so it's a tangled mess of fibers, then add it to the lichen/moss lump.
    • Thoroughly scramble/mix/toss/combine them with each other.
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    Bundle it into either one large loose ball shaped mass or multiple small ones. It's your choice but it works better as one large mass.
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    Get some more twine in a length of 10+ inches and this time only "loosen it up".
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    Take the loosened twine and soak small parts of it in a flammable liquid (lighter fluid, gas, oil?, etc.)
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    Use the loosened twine to gently bind up the loose ball shaped lichen/moss/twine fiber mass. Loop it around and through the ball multiple times finishing with both ends next to each other.
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    Tie the loose twine ends together in a Square Knot.
    • This is optional but for added measure you could spray or "mist" the tied up LMTF (lichen/moss/twine fiber) with bug spray or an aerosol deodorant as both of these are equally flammable.
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    Set it outside somewhere. Make a small opening in the LMTF ball that goes straight to the center of it, light a matchstick it into the opening, and drop it inside it. Now step back and wait a little, as it takes the moss and the lichen a little bit to ignite.
    • If it works properly it should start sending up huge thick gusts of white smoke. There exists a chance however that the twine will actually catch fire eventually turning the whole thing into a fireball.
    • This one is much less noxious then the ping-pong ball one because moss and lichen do NOT burn naturally, it just smolders and makes nothing but minimal heat and LOTS of smoke. (They can burn if drenched in lighter fluid or if the fire is ridiculously hot.) Therefore the smoke it makes smells just like that; smoke. Not a nasty smelling smoke or a pleasant campfire smoke. Just smoke-smoke it's completely neutral smelling, but that does NOT mean you can just stand there and smell it all day! Smoke is still bad for you lungs regardless of smell.
    • The twine also doesn't burn but it still smolders and generates more heat then moss or lichen does, plus it goes up in minute flames in a matter of seconds.


  • Leave extra foil on one side of the ping pong ball to twist. This will offer a place to grip the ball when it is still warm.
  • Do this outside your home, you do not want your home to be filled with toxic smoke and it leaves a bad smell for ages.
  • The optional fuse using paper might only give out smoke, but don't worry, even though you can't see a single fire and just smoke, the bomb will actually ignite by itself after 2-5 minutes. Just don't come back there and see what's happening.
  • Another way to prepare the ball is to pierce it with a pen, then wrap the ball and part way up the pen with foil. Then remove pen. You can hold the bomb with the foil tube where the pen was, and it makes the bomb more directional.
  • Take a polythene and light the dry wood. Ask a friend to blow the smoke towards you as you are holding the polithin. When it is completely filled with smoke, tie it tightly with a rubber band and put the Polithin into a balloon. Tie this balloon also with a rubber band. When you burst it, all the smoke will come out!


  • Do not attempt this on any flammable surface such as grass. Cement, paved, gravel, or bare-ground surfaces are recommended.
  • Smoke may contain hydrogen cyanide.
  • Ping pong balls are difficult to keep in place, so take precautions when slicing or punching a hole in it.
  • Do not throw these bombs near any living thing, as it may cause serious health hazards.

Things You'll Need

  • One or more ping pong balls.
  • Two bricks, cinder blocks, or other nonflammable weights to hold the ping pong ball in place.
  • Extinguishing device (fire extinguisher or water).
  • A screwdriver, hobby knife, ice pick, or similar device for punching holes.
  • A lighter. One with a longer reach, such as a fireplace lighter, will offer a greater level of safety.
  • Parental permission

Article Info

Categories: Bombs