How to Make a Fire Explosion on a Stage

By Katie Kenig
Flash cotton creates a flame flare that can simulate many types of explosions on stage.

Knowing how to make a fire explosion on a stage is a valuable skill for theater personnel. It creates a powerful and stunning effect that audiences will find thrilling, and will spark conversations about the play even after it is over, driving new audiences to purchase tickets. Using flash cotton to create an ash- and smoke-free fire explosion effect is dramatic and showy while also being safe and keeping the costs of production low and allowing for greater profits.

Thin flash cotton with fingertips by pulling gently and steadily until it forms a see-through sheet.

Place the flash cotton on a nonflammable surface. For effects in the air, it can be tossed or dropped once lit.

Light flash cotton with a lighter, torch, or spark gun.

Tip

The thinner the flash cotton is stretched, the faster the effect of the explosion.

Warning

Wadded flash cotton can burn slowly and cause severe burns. Do not light wadded flash cotton.

Keep a fire extinguisher close by in case of emergency.

Keep a damp towel ready in case of emergency should the flash cotton come into contact with skin.

About the Author

I have taught classes in writing and ASL, but teaching crafting techniques has been my passion for many years. I have had one-on-one tutoring classes and have taught groups as large as 60 in various seminars. I consider myself an expert in a wide range of crafts, from soap-making and jewelry design to crochet and needlework, and my teaching experience gives me an edge when it comes to sharing knowledge in a friendly and understandable way.