How to Make a Waterproof Fuse

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Things You'll Need

  • Box of matches
  • Pliers
  • Toilet paper
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Tape

Firework enthusiasts use fuses when lighting fireworks because they burn at a steady speed and provide a reliable delay before the fireworks go off. Waterproof fuses, also known as safety fuses or cannon fuses, allow you to use fireworks in the rain or damp conditions and are more reliable than conventional fuses. These fuses are usually made of twine soaked in black powder and nitrocellulose lacquer, but there is an simpler way to make your own waterproof fuses at home.

Cut the heads of 50 matches with a pair of pliers. Collect the heads in a mortar. Crush the heads with a pestle until they form a fine dust. Use at least 10 match heads per fuse. A box of matches should give you at least five fuses.

Pour a couple of teaspoons of water into the dust. Mix until it is the texture of syrup. Add water slowly to avoid over-diluting the mix.

Cut a sheet of toilet paper in 1 to 1.5-inch sections. Separate the layers of each section of toilet paper.

Spread the syrup evenly over one of the sections of toilet paper. Roll the toilet lengthwise. Spread some more syrup over the fuse and roll again. This will give you a windproof fuse that will work satisfactorily under most conditions.

Wrap tape tightly around the fuse in a spiral pattern to make it waterproof. If you followed the instructions correctly, this fuse will continue burning even if you immerse it in water.


  • Fireworks can be dangerous, especially if they are homemade and do not conform to industry standards. In some areas manufacturing fireworks, or even just using them, is illegal unless you have a special license. Do not handle fireworks or manufacture fuses, waterproof or otherwise, unless you have the necessary training and experience.



About the Author

Andrew Latham has worked as a professional copywriter since 2005 and is the owner of LanguageVox, a Spanish and English language services provider. His work has been published in "Property News" and on the San Francisco Chronicle's website, SFGate. Latham holds a Bachelor of Science in English and a diploma in linguistics from Open University.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images