Handcrafts for adolescents

How to Make a Matchstick Cannon

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: March 24, 2022

In this experiment you'll learn to create a small version of a cannon that can throw projectiles several feet away. This experiment must be done with the heads of the matchsticks and therefore implies manipulating fire, so you need to be very cautious to avoid burns. To create it you basically need to put about 5-10 matchstick heads on a small bag made out of aluminium paper and fix it to a tube, that can perfectly be that of a pen. Once you light the matchsticks, the projectile inside the tube will fly out due to the power of the explosion that is formed inside the bag made of metal paper. Take a look at the following OneHowto video to see how to make a matchstick cannon made out of matchstick heads.

You'll need:

  • A pen that you don't want to use any more
  • Sticky tape
  • Elastic bands
  • Chopsticks or similar
  • Matchsticks
  • Small candle
  • Ear sticks
You may also be interested in: How to Make Little Minions Boxes

In this experiment we have used the power of an explosion made with matchsticks to shoot a projectile at some distance away, but there are other ways to shoot projectiles at a great distance. For example, with a toy bazooka or a slingshot made with a tube.


  • In this experiment you need to deal with fire, therefore you always need to be very careful and if you are underage, do it under adult supervision.
  • If you want you can use a more resistant tube than a pen, as it will end up melting with the heat. You can use a small metallic tube.
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How to Make a Matchstick Cannon