Vortex Cannon

A vortex cannon is a really fun project.  It sends a blast of air (in the form of a ring) across long distances.

Build Time:

20-30 minutes.

Skills Needed:

  • Able to use a power drill
  • Able to use tin snips (large scissors)
Vortex cannons are awesome when you fill them with fog. Just be aware that fog machines can set off smoke detectors.


  • Power drill with a large bit
  • Tin Snips


  • 10 Gallon Bucket
  • Shower curtain or large trash bag
  • Large and small rubber bands (Size #36 for large ones)
  • Duct Tape
  • Ping pong ball

Step-by-step guide

Add the steps involved:

  1. Drill a large hole in the center of the bottom of the bucket.
  2. Drill multiple holes around the center hole to make things easier to cut out.
  3. Now cut out a hole in the center of the bucket.  You can start with the outline on the bottom of your bucket (if there is one) and then make it larger to experiment with different size rings or force.
  4.  Flip your bucket right-side up.  And cover the top with your shower curtain or trash bag.  Place your ping pong ball on top.
  5. Grab your ping pong ball from under the shower curtain and flip the shower curtain over so you are holding the ping pong ball through the shower curtain.
  6. Wrap a few of the smaller rubber bands around the ping pong ball to hold it in place in the shower curtain.
  7. Spread your shower curtain back over the bucket and wrap a large rubber band around the shower curtain and the bucket rim to hold the shower curtain in place.
  8. Cut the excess of the shower curtain that hangs below the rubber band.  Leave a little bit of extra material.
  9. Attach two rubber bands (one on each side) where the bucket handle snaps in place.
  10. Now wrap the two new bands over the ping pong ball.  This will let the ping pong ball snap back when you pull it back.
  11. Finally, wrap the shower curtain edge with duct tape to secure it to the bucket.

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Try doing this with a large garbage can for even larger fun!