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Make your own Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets!

Make your own Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets!

By Brenda Ponnay

Who says you can’t have fireworks in the house? With these confetti popper rockets you can blow things up inside without ever catching anything on fire!
Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
Explosive, yet completely safe and super fun for kids: That’s how I like to celebrate my independence. Get your vacuum cleaners ready cause we’re gonna blow this craft up!

Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
I know paper rockets have been made before but this rocket has a trap door in the bottom. When you pull the string, that dangles there ever-so enticingly at kid height, a small compartment opens up and a tiny bucket full of confetti will land on said kid’s head. It’s great. We tried it and my kid definitely gives this craft a thumbs up.

This craft is fun for many ages. My kid liked it because she got to decorate the rocket and what’s not to love about confetti raining down on your head but I think older kids would really enjoy the engineering part of this project. You can get creative with it and maybe have a contest to see who can build the best rocket. Some explode spectacularly, some are a bit of a dud. There are lots of ways you can make these. They also make great decorations for a party!

Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
Here’s how you make it:
Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
First you will need to gather your supplies.

  1. Paper towel or toilet paper tubes cut to rocket-like lengths
  2. colored paper (we chose patriotic colors and used everything from origami paper to scrapbook paper), make sure you have at least one sheet of something stiffer, like card stock too
  3. tissue paper (we used red)stickers and marker pens (feel free to get crazy here) to decorate with
  4. confetti (homemade or store-bought
  5. bakers twine or string
  6. tape
  7. glue (any kind that works on paper will do)
  8. beads (these will not show so it doesn’t matter what they look like)
  9. ribbons for streamers

Tools you will need:

  1. a stapler
  2. scissors
  3. a craft or needlework needle
  4. fun craft punches for confetti (if you make your own)
  5. hole puncher

Now to build it! First you will build the “propulsion system.” Of course this rocket isn’t really going to take off and fly around the room but the confetti is housed where a normal propulsion system would be so we call it that.
Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
Cut yourself a small square of tissue paper that will be big enough to cover the bottom of your cardboard tube–about three inches across. Cut a small disc out of a sheet of card stock that will fit just within the radius of the cardboard tube. With some glue attach this disc to the center of your tissue paper. Let it dry for a few minutes. Thread about an arm’s length of twine onto your craft needle and tie a bead to the end for a not. With this, puncture the center of your disc that is attached to the tissue paper. This is the trap door.

Next you will need to glue this tissue paper trap door to your cardboard tube with a small line of glue around the bottom of the tube. Make sure you attach it with the bead side inside the tube and the string (or fuse) side hanging outside of your tube. You can add a pull tab to your long dangling fuse or just let it hang. We added stars to some of ours. Let this dry and you’re done with that part! Now onto decorating!
Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
There are lots of ways you can decorate your rocket but the most important part is to cover the tube with some decorative paper so that you don’t see that it used to be a toilet paper roll (or paper towel tube). This decorative sheet (roughly 6.5×4.25 inches big, depending on your tube) also holds your tissue paper trap door on, or at least covers the ruffles of tissue where it is glued to the tube. We attached ribbons to the bottom inside of our decorative covering so that the rockets looked like they were flying–or just pretty and festive.

Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
Roll your paper around the tube and staple at the top for strength. You can’t staple the bottom because your tissue paper trap door keeps the stapler from getting inside but I found that a couple of pieces of tape did the trick.

filling with confetti
Now you can fill your tube with confetti. We just put in a few handfuls but feel free to load this sucker up. Just think about how much confetti you want to clean up later and act accordingly. I say the more the better but then I’m a bit of a free spirit who doesn’t mind a little mess for the sake of some good old fashioned American fun.

Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
Attaching the cone to the top of your rocket can be a bit tedious. It’s purely aesthetic so if you opt out of this part that’s totally fine. I just really wanted my confetti poppers to really look like old fashioned Fourth of July fire crackers so we made rocket cones.

Here’s how you do it:
Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
Cut a circle about 3.25 inches wide across, then cut one snip all the way to the center of the disc like you see above. Take the edges of your cut and pull them together, probably about a half an inch or more. When your cone has reached a desirable height, staple it at the base.

Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
Now for the tricky part: attaching the cone to your rocket. The important thing here is creating a strong holder that you can use to hang your rocket from. Since these rockets will be tugged upon, it’s important that the rocket holds together and doesn’t come crashing down on your head instead of releasing it’s payload of confetti. I found the best way to hang these rockets was to put the weight bearing string through two holes punched in the top of the rocket body. Then I strung the two sides of the string through a center bead (just to keep it centered) and up through the center of the cone so that it came out of the point or top of the cone. The cone itself can’t really hold the rocket together so taping it wouldn’t work.

An easy way to string the cone is to open up your stapled cut from the inside of your cone and pull your string through the gap. This will take some patience but you can do it!
Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
Here’s a super scientific diagram (it’s rocket science hee hee!) in case you’ve gotten confused along the way.
Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
Now you can hang them up and let the festivities begin!
Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
I found that I needed to “prime” some of the rockets to ensure maximum explosiveness. You can do this by simply poking some small holes (or cutting with a sharp blade) around the bottom of the trap door. Just make sure you don’t cut it completely out because the ripping sound of that trap door being yanked out is probably the biggest part of the fun.
Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets by Brenda Ponnay for
That and the confetti party you can have afterwards! Woot!

P.S. I wanted to step this craft up a notch by adding those strings that pop with real explosives but I couldn’t find any at the time of this writing. If anyone tries this, I’d love to hear how it goes. Of course exercise caution. I don’t want anybody really burning down their house!


Published June 25, 2009. Last updated June 26, 2017.
About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is a stealthy secret agent who juggles parenthood to her adorable daughter by day and freelance graphic design/illustration by night. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, mak...

Brenda Ponnay is a stealthy secret agent who juggles parenthood to her adorable daughter by day and freelance graphic design/illustration by night. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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  • Y

    June 25, 2009 at 11:22 am

    This is SO FREAKING FUN! I can’t wait to do this with Gabby. Although, I will have to have Tony read over the directions and help because I suck THAT BAD at directions.

  • bethany actually

    June 25, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Those photos are so awesome, and this craft looks so fun! We might have to try this with Heather and SuperChic!

  • Jennifer

    June 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Love this project! It looks like tons of fun. The “rocket science” comment regarding your diagram made me sputter my soda 😛

  • Daniel

    June 25, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks for the tips ! This sounds like an amazing arts and crafts project 🙂 I can’t wait to try it out (although mine will be for Canada Day!).

  • abi

    June 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    How adorable! We’re going to be at a casual outdoor wedding on July 4th – we’ll DEFINITELY have to find a way to adapt these for the celebration. Thanks for the great idea!

    • LD

      June 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      I realize it’s a little late for the wedding you attended Abi, but folks could put bird seed in the rockets for an outdoor July 4th wedding. Bird seed is like confetti but it’s safe for animals and birds to eat and will decompose on the ground!!! Another alternative to confetti I’ve seen is flower petals because they will decompose outside too. I hope this helps someone looking for ideas! 🙂

  • Marie {Make and Takes}

    June 26, 2009 at 1:34 am

    These are fantastic. So creative! My kids would love these. And I love the diagram you made! 🙂

  • BeachMama

    June 26, 2009 at 8:02 am

    As always Brenda, you take it to the next level. This is brilliant!!! Thank you!

  • Annie

    June 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Such a great and fun idea!!! I love crafts that are decorations and then turn into activites. Brilliant.

  • Amy @ Living Locurto

    June 30, 2009 at 10:26 am

    This is adorable!

  • Linda @ My Trendy Tykes

    June 30, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for posting the tutorial. We are going to give it a try!! I also featured your post today on my blog :

  • mandy

    June 30, 2009 at 10:57 am

    LOVE this idea! Your rockets are adorable and so much fun. We just posted a tutorial using the crackers I think you are talking about. They would be really fun to use like you said! You can read how to add them at
    Thanks for the fun idea!

  • Liz

    June 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    What a cute idea. Makes me kind of wish we weren’t going camping – otherwise I would make some. I’m going to file this away for next year. Thanks for the great idea!

  • carla

    June 30, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    thanks, my kids love it! especially my 2 year old little girl, miah. she loves it so much were gonna make more for the 4th of july. she’ll be 3 in december so she’s only 2. she thought it was so cool. thx for the excellent idea!

  • regina

    June 30, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    This is so great! Looks like loads of fun too!!

  • Calli Makes Do

    July 1, 2009 at 10:49 am

    This is just too fun… do I have time to make them this week? I hope so. I found you through One Pretty Thing… and glad I did.

  • stephanie

    July 1, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    OMG! i’m goin’ to a block party and i’m making to cake! i’ll have to recommend this to our party planners group! adorable idea! thanks a lot!

  • Lisa

    July 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    This looks so fun! I’m bookmarking this for my party ideas file. Thanks!

  • Whatever DeeDee Wants

    July 1, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Fun project!

  • dude102

    July 2, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    that is a great idea

  • Lily

    July 2, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    What a great idea to make something that is environmentally friendly and fun! A great way to use scraps of paper you have laying around.

  • cata

    July 3, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Adorable idea!!!!!!!
    Thank you indeed and happy 4th of july.

  • kittykat

    July 3, 2009 at 3:27 pm


  • Julie

    July 4, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Great project – Thank you.
    I learned however, that doing it with my just turned 3-year old is not fun. Making it for him is better. I also learned that if you pack the confetti too tight it doesn’t come out well and a just turned three year-old can become despondent. Perhaps another try next year! (photos to come later on my ‘blog’)

  • mollie

    July 12, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    so fun! my 5 and 7 year olds will love this. i just want to make a bunch and surprise them. but i know they would love to make them, too. thanks so much for such a clever idea.

  • SewDelish

    July 22, 2009 at 10:48 am

    This looks like it will be a blast! LOL

  • joker

    July 27, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    um, sorry but this is kind of laborsome.
    i cut myself folding the cone like 5 times!
    and at the end of it all a piese of confetti got in my kids eye! ): your just better off buying the commercial ones!
    Editor: sorry to hear this craft didn’t work out for you.

  • [email protected] and doug toys

    September 19, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    This is really very entertaining!I would love to see the joy in my child’s eye when I do it with her.Thanks for the step by step tips!

  • *serra*

    January 24, 2010 at 3:10 am

    thank you so much!!!

  • Anonymous

    March 7, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    not what i was expecting!!!

  • Jackie Jane

    May 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    OMFG that is totally awesome.  I am not sure I could make them to look quite as good.  I always attempt things like this with my daughter and it always ends up looking like one of those Facecbook “nailed it” pictures.  So cute!

  • Crystal

    June 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    This idea is fabulous, so creative and so much fun. I love it. I featured it in my blog post on 10 DIY Fourth of July Ideas Kids Can Help Craft. I’d love for you to take a peek if you have a minute:

    Best wishes,


  • evon

    July 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    this is adorable! I have linked these confetti poppers on my recent blog post about 4th of July crafts! You can see my blog post here:


  • Sally from Little Hiccups

    July 5, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Thanks for the great DIY!
    I made these rockets to surprise my daughters on 4th of July. They absolutely loved them! I think we’ll be making more for birthday parties in the future 🙂
    You can see how ours turned out here: 

  • ESK

    July 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    What a fun decoration (for the fourth or just for fun)! I’ve shared one of your photos in a recent blog and linked back to your article. If you’d like read it, the link is included!

  • JIska

    January 5, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I made these rockets for the new years wishes for my youngest son, together with my oldest son. We had so much fun making them and ‘reading’ the new years wishes. Thanks for the great idea and the usefull manual!