July Fourth is the time of year where we light things on fire in order to show our undying patriotism, but another way to show your love for America is by saving a few bucks. Luckily, you can combine the two by making your own sparklers and have a little fun with chemistry at the same time. Besides, the more you save on sparklers, the more money you have for booze and burgers, and what's more American than that?
Note that just about all of the chemical ingredients can be obtained online through Amazon or locally at your neighborhood hardware store.
You can create this sweet sparkler for your next party right in your kitchen. Cut them down to any size you'd like, which will be safer if you plan on having any kiddos around, then dye them red, white, and blue for added patriotism.
Materials needed include water, KNO3 (potassium nitrate) which can be found in the form of stump remover, white sugar, food coloring, cotton yarn, cookie tray, scissors, and clothespins.
This recipe is unique in that it uses marshmallows. Mix together some potassium nitrate, magnesium, and charcoal, knead your marshmallows in it, then wrap the gooey material onto sticks. The best part is, you can grab a couple marshmallows from your S'mores station and turn them into fireworks!
Materials needed include marshmallows, potassium nitrate, magnesium, and charcoal.
If your inner nerd wants a sparkler that looks like it came out Harry Potter, this mixture is perfect. Although a Harry Potter-themed Fourth of July isn't necessarily American, it's still awesome. You could always add strontium nitrate to make it red for an added patriotic touch. Just light 'em up the sparkler and LUMOS!
Materials needed include dextrine, water, charcoal, potassium chlorate, some aluminum fines, flitter, or granules, thick wire, and a large dish to mix it all in.
Looking to upgrade to something a little more intense? Try this fire wire made from steel wool. This is perfect for anyone spending their American holiday at the beach where there is plenty of room for the sparks to fly. (Pro tip: try learning how to fire paint for some really awesome photos.)
Materials needed include steel wool scrubbing pads, a battery, and wire.
Whichever sparkler you decide to make, always remember to be safe. Sparklers are fun, but you're playing with fire … literally. As an added note of caution, remember to never submerge them underwater, as a violent reaction could occur. Be safe and have fun!