Happy 4th of July! DIY These Spiffy Hand-Held Sparklers

As a kid, the annual 4th of July fireworks were one of my favorite summer events. As the sun set, we would all head down to the local park, find a spot on the grass, and wait for the show to begin. Waiting provided the perfect excuse to light up a few sparklers–the only type of firework that comes without the risk of losing a finger.

Sparklers are still a common sight on Independence Day, and while they’re mostly for kids, even adults can’t resist the crackle and fizz of a tiny hand-held sparkler. It just so happens that we found a great Instructables video that shows you how to DIY your very own sparklers using yarn and other stuff that’s lying around the house.

The DIY sparkler guide, submitted by a user called “The King of Random,” calls for water, sugar, yarn, and paper clips. Oh yeah, and KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate) which the author obtained “in the form of stump remover.”

After mixing the KNO3, sugar, and water together, a length of yarn is soaked in the mixture and then placed on a cookie sheet. The saturated yarn then goes in the oven for about 20 minutes. When properly cured, it will be stiff, just like the sparklers you get at the store.

The author suggests using a clothes pin to hold the sparkler (unlike the ones at the store, this DIY version will burn all the way to the end, potentially burning some fingers along the way). Then, simply light an enjoy.

It should go without saying, but please remember that any type of firework, whether store-bought or homemade, is dangerous and could result in injury. This recipe is intended to be made by adults or children under the close supervision of adults. Always check city laws and ordinances before making or igniting any type of firework.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog