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How to Make Spring Loaded Snakes

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the most classic pranks you can pull is to scare your friends with a spring loaded snake. The target of the prank opens up a can that has a misleading title like "nuts" or "jelly beans" on the outside. When opened, a spring loaded snake flies into the face of the unsuspecting victim, scaring them. While this prank can be purchased at most gag gift stores, you can make your own spring-loaded snake at home.

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  1. Choose the right can and spring for the job. The can must have a lid, and be only slightly wider in diameter than the spring you are going to use. The can cannot be clear because the victim would be able to see the "snake" inside. The spring also must be longer than the length of the can. The longer the spring, the more it will shoot out of the can upon opening. The spring should be flexible enough so you are able to compress it into the can, but strong enough to have the force to pop out of the can when the pressure is released.

  2. Wrap the felt around the spring to give it a snakelike appearance. This is also important for safety; the spring could otherwise cut the person opening the can. Cut away the excesses fabric when wrapping the spring, so only about 1 inch of extra fabric is all the way around. Sew the edges of the felt together, like you would a closed pocket, by hand with needle and thread. Alternatively, use a sewing machine if available to complete your "snake."

  3. Place the snake inside the can by slowly compressing the spring until it fits inside. Because you must compress the spring inside the can, it takes a bit of force to get the whole thing in. Remember, the more force you use, the more intensely the snake will fly out of the can.

  4. Close the lid tightly and present the can to your unknowing target.

  5. Tip

    Add eyes to the top of your felt spring to make it look more like a snake.


    A spring flying at someone's face may cause injury. Use cation when using sewing equipment.

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Things You'll Need

  • Can with a lid
  • Spring
  • Felt
  • Needle
  • String

About the Author

Bill Varoskovic

Bill Varoskovic has been writing professionally since 2010. His areas of academic expertise include world religions, American Sign Language, psychology, personality and community building. Other areas of experience include sports, travel and lifestyle. Varoskovic received his Bachelor of Science in psychology from Central Michigan University in 2010.

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