How to Make a Bottle Rocket With Parachutes

Updated July 20, 2017

Bottle rockets, or water rockets, are simple rockets made from empty soda bottles. These bottles are partially filled with water, then pressurised with air. When the pressure reaches a critical level, the rocket is released and is propelled into the air by the force of water exiting the bottle's mouth. With simple household items and craft supplies, you can create your own bottle rocket, complete with a parachute to soften its landing.

Remove the cap from one of the bottles and turn it neck-downwards to form the body of your rocket.

Cut out fins from cardboard or other stiff paper, and glue them around the bottom to the semi-spherical portion of the bottle. Set aside and allow glue to cool and dry.

Take the other bottle and cut around the top and bottom portions. Remove both, leaving a cylindrical plastic sleeve measuring three to four inches long. Trim off any burrs or sharp edges.

Glue the sleeve onto the front of your rocket (opposite the fins) so that it surrounds the former base of the bottle. Set aside and allow to dry.

Cut out a piece of poster board, and form it into a round cone. Form it to the front of your rocket as its nose cone. Fit it so that it will slide on and off the plastic sleeve easily, then apply hot glue to it to help it retain its shape. Set aside to cool and dry.

Roll a piece of modelling clay into a ball about the size of a golf ball, then press it firmly into the inside of the nose cone.

Cut at least four lengths of string about 16 inches long.

Tape one end of each to the edges of a plastic bag, such as a garbage or shopping bag. Glue the other ends all together onto the middle of the upturned bottle's bottom inside the sleeve with a glue gun.

Pack the parachute into the sleeve section when all glue has cooled and hardened, then fit the nose cone on top.


Try using construction paper, wrapping paper, or various craft paints to decorate the outside of your rocket.


Use caution while using the hot glue gun to avoid burns and injury. Use the device's lower settings to avoid melting the plastic bottles.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 empty plastic two-liter soda bottles
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Heavy paper or cardboard
  • Posterboard
  • Modelling clay
  • Plastic garbage or grocery bag
  • String or cord
  • Scissors
  • Tape
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About the Author

Jeff Cunningham has written on science and technology since 2007. He has co-authored volumes on science education and offered commentary on spaceflight on the Google Lunar X Prize blog. Cunningham has a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from the University of Central Florida.