How to Make a Colored Smoke Bomb

Two Parts:Making the MixtureConstructing Your Smoke Bomb

Making a smoke bomb at home is an easy and quick project. This formula produces billowing colored smoke. Blue and orange dye work the best, but you can use any color dye you wish.

Part 1
Making the Mixture

  1. 1
    Mix your potassium nitrate (60 g) with sugar (40 g). Put this mixture into a saucepan and warm it over low heat. If you don’t have capability of measuring in grams, use tablespoons. This would be 3 tablespoons of potassium nitrate and 2 tablespoons (29.6 ml) of sugar.[1]
    • Be careful when mixing chemicals. Always take proper precautions.[2]
  2. 2
    Let the mixture cook. Continuously stir the mixture over low heat. Let it cook until it caramelizes and browns. This will take less than 15 minutes so keep a constant watch over your mixture.
    • Once again, take proper precautions when cooking the mixture. Do not walk away from it.
  3. 3
    Remove when cooked. When the mixture starts to look like peanut butter, take it off of the heat. It should have a thick, creamy consistency.
  4. 4
    Stir in baking soda. After you remove the mixture from the heat, stir a rounded teaspoon of baking soda into the saucepan. This measurement doesn’t have to be exact.
    • Baking soda can cause a chemical reaction, be careful when mixing it into your mixture.
  5. 5
    Add dye. Take three large tablespoons of dye any color dye that you’d like and mix it into your saucepan. Mix it thoroughly. It helps to have your dye previously measured and sitting in a separate bowl ready for this step.

Part 2
Constructing Your Smoke Bomb

  1. 1
    Fill your cardboard tube. While your mixture is still hot and pliable, fill your tube with the mixture. It should pour like hot caramel. Pack it evenly to the top.
    • Because your mixture is hot, be careful when pouring it. Wear heat resistant gloves if you have them available. Keep your filled tube away from any possible ignition sources.[3]
  2. 2
    Push a pen into your mix. Take a pen and push it straight down into the center of your mixture. It doesn’t have to be pushed down to the bottom of your tube; but, it needs to be far enough down so that you it stands on its own. Leave it for at least an hour to harden.
  3. 3
    Replace the pen. Remove the pen and replace it with a firework fuse. Use a piece of a cotton ball to help secure the fuse in the smoke bomb. Be sure there is at least ½” of fuse left so that you can light the smoke bomb.
    • The fuse itself isn’t dangerous until lit. However, make sure to do this away from any open flame.
  4. 4
    Wrap the bomb. Use duct tape to cover the top, bottom, and sides of the tube. You can use any color duct tape that you have available. Leave a small hole for the around the fuse.[4]
  5. 5
    Light your smoke bomb. Use a lighter to light the fuse of your smoke bomb. Do so outside because the smoke will billow out of your bomb quickly as soon as the fuse burns down enough.
    • If you feel that the flame is growing at any point, throw the smoke bomb into an empty space where it can safely burn out.

Things You Need

  • 60 g (3 tablespoons) potassium nitrate (sold as saltpeter in garden supply shops)
  • 40 g (2 tablespoons) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 60 g (3 tablespoons) powdered organic dye (found in laundry sections of the store as well as craft & hobby shops)
  • cardboard tube (an empty iced push-pop tube or toilet paper roll works)
  • duct tape
  • pen or pencil
  • firework fuse from hardware, rocketry, construction, or hobby shops, or scavenge it from a firework (just make sure it is not broken or it will dud)
  • cotton balls
  • saucepan


  • Know your local laws about fireworks/smoke bombs.
  • Keep water nearby in case of errant flames.
  • For a devastating effect you could throw it into a body of water when the smoke bomb is lit (a slight risk of it going out if done so (KnO3 & sugar are not unstoppable like thermite).


  • Oxidizers and fireworks can be dangerous. Use extreme caution.

Article Info

Categories: Bombs