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How To Make a Fog Machine With a Household Iron

Liven up your parties by making your own fog machine, using items that you can find around the house.


  • : Do not use the fog machine outdoors, unless the space is covered. Indoors, keep it away from any smoke detectors.
  • Step 1: Prepare the iron Turn the iron to the highest setting, but don't plug it in. Position it, handle-side down, in the center of one of the aluminum pans. Cut a hole in the bottom corner of the pan large enough for the iron's cord to slide through. Keeping the iron in the center of the pan, pull the cord through the hole. Seal the open gaps of the hole using aluminum foil and hot glue.
  • TIP: If your iron has an automatic shutoff function, use a hot plate instead. Cover it with the cake pan, and leave out the gravel.
  • Step 2: Stabilize the iron Fill the pan with pebbles or gravel so that the iron is stabilized in the center of the pan, flat-side up.
  • TIP: Place a cookie sheet under the pan before you lift it so it doesn't bend from the weight of the gravel.
  • Step 3: Make the drip mechanism Take a 20-ounce plastic bottle, and cut it in half with the scissors. Using a needle, poke one hole in the bottom as the fog juice feeder. Fill the bottle with 1 to 2 inches of water to test how well it drips.
  • TIP: Add more needle holes if you want to increase the amount of drips.
  • Step 4: Attach the bottle Turn the second aluminum pan upside down and place the plastic bottle in the center. Use the marker to mark where the needle holes fall on the aluminum, then cut a ¼-inch hole in the aluminum at each mark. Reposition the bottle so that the holes in the bottle and the aluminum line up. Hot glue the bottle into place.
  • Step 5: Attach the fan If using, place the case fan on the center of one side of the second pan. Mark its position, and cut a hole ¼ inch smaller than the marks. Reposition the fan over the hole, and hot glue it into place.
  • Step 6: Attach the battery Cut the two wires that come out of the fan. There should be a red wire and a black wire. Using one blade of the scissors, carefully remove ¼ inch of the plastic coating from the end of each cord so the metal wire is exposed. Hot glue the black wire to the negative end of the 12-volt battery, and tape the red wire to the positive end. Remove the tape to stop the fan.
  • Step 7: Combine the pans Cover the pan holding the iron with the upside-down pan so the edges line up. Confirm the holes in the bottle are lined up directly over the heating element of the iron; then plug in the iron to test the temperature. If the top of the unit gets so hot that the glue begins to melt, turn down the iron.
  • Step 8: Attach the pans Once you've reached the right temperature, hot glue or staple the sides of the pans together. To prevent condensation, leave a crack between the two pans to allow air to circulate.
  • Step 9: Test out making fog Turn on the case fan and pour 1 to 2 inches of fog juice into the plastic bottle. After a few seconds, you should see fog starting to billow out from the case fan.
  • Step 10: Use it at a party Crank up the fog machine at your next party – and watch your guests go all misty.
  • FACT: The foggiest place in the U.S. is Willapa, Washington, which once reported 317 days of fog in a single year!

You Will Need

  • An iron
  • Two aluminum roasting pans
  • about 5 inches deep or deeper
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • A hot-glue gun
  • 7 lbs. pebbles or gravel
  • A 20-oz. plastic bottle
  • A needle
  • Tape
  • Fog juice
  • A hot plate (optional)
  • An 8-inch round cake pan (optional)
  • A 17-by-12-inch cookie sheet (optional)
  • A computer case fan (optional)
  • A 12-volt battery (optional)
  • A stapler (optional)

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