If you live in an area where shooting off roman candles and Saturn missiles simply isn’t an option, then you’ll have to stick to smaller fireworks. One great option are black snakes, which are small tablets that explode into a long squiggle of ash when lit, resembling the coil of a slithering snake. While they are relatively inexpensive to buy, black snakes are great DIY projects for young adults because the process is simple and takes just a few minutes.
The Ingredients for Black Snakes
You only need four ingredients to make your own black snakes – three if you’re feeling lazy.
The essentials are:
- Powdered sugar
- Baking soda
- Alcohol or lighter fluid
For a cooler effect that has the snake emerging from the ground, also gather some sand.
How to Make Black Snakes
The process for making black snakes is nearly as simple as the ingredient list. However, a lot of precaution should be used to be safe.
- First, take 4 teaspoons of powdered sugar and mix it with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. If you want a bigger snake, you can use more, just stick with the 4-to-1 ratio.
- Second, if you’re using sand, form it into a sand mound and make a hole in the top. Otherwise, just make sure the sugar and baking soda are in a fire-proof bowl.
- Third, cover the sand with the alcohol or lighter fluid, or sprinkle it directly on the mixture.
- Fourth, just pour the mixture into the hole in the sand and bury it.
- Fifth, it’s time for the action to begin. Light either the sand or the mixture in the bowl, and you’ll see the tell-tale snake begin to emerge from the flames.
Once the snake is burning, never throw more fuel on top of it. This could lead to a dangerous fire.
Making Black Snakes Without Fire
Let’s say you don’t have access to fire or accelerant. That’s perfectly fine, because there’s an alternative method that lets you create black snakes without a flame.
In this version, you’ll just need to substitute sulfuric acid, such as a drain cleaner, in place of the baking soda. Place the sugar on the bottom of a bowl or beaker, and then slowly add in the acid.
Once the two begin to mix, the reaction will happen automatically. First, the sugar will start turning brown and eventually darken to black, creating the familiar snake-like shape.
How Do Black Snakes Work?
The chemical method behind your DIY fireworks is a little tricky, but it helps you understand the process.
When the sugar and baking sodium catch on fire, this causes a chemical reaction that breaks down the sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. The result is the burnt-out black ash you are familiar with.
Up Your Firework Game with Alamo
DIY fireworks is just one way to make fireworks fun. However, if you want to up your firework game and leave fireworks to the professionals, check out our catalog of fireworks that are ready to go. All you have to do is light them for a night of fun and celebration.