Cotton candy makes everyone smile; it reminds you of amusement parks and fairs, carnivals, fun, carelessness and joy. They are colorful, vibrant and delicious sugary puffs. You probably thing it’s impossible to make it yourself, since cotton candy machines are huge, impractical and scary looking devices. But using these simple DIY tricks you get a smaller home version for your own personal enjoyment. This is an excellent idea to have something sweet after a barbecue, garden party or a way to make your child’s birthday party unforgettable. You will need about two hours to make it and it will cost you under 40 dollars. And the project is not too complicated, even for an absolute beginner. You can even try to make it as a completely unique present for some of your friends that still have their inner child.
Well do a simple step by step explanation so you can make the best cotton candy machine yourself.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Two small metal bowls
- A surplus fan motor, that can make 1500 rotations per minute
- A thin polycarbonate sheet (or a big old deep pot)
- A propane torch
- Some sugar
- Food coloring
- First you’ll need to drill a small hole into the bottom of one of the metal bowls and a larger hole into the bottom of the other. Bowls must be of the same size. Weld your bowls together in at least four places going around the rim of each bowl. You will make them fit easier if you sand the connecting part of each bowl before this. You’ve just made yourself the spinner you pour the sugar in. Using #50 power drill make a bunch of small holes. The sugar will shoot out of them and make wisps of cotton candy. Try to find the exact center of both of your bowls, to prevent your spinner from shaking and wobbling too much (you could use marker to do this precisely when you cut). Fold everything you cut inwards, so you don’t cut yourself when you handle it.
- Fasten the smaller hole to the small motor. You will need some nuts and bolts to hold this together. Make sure everything is connected firmly when the bowl starts spinning. Since the screw tightens clockwise, make the motor spin counterclockwise to prevent it from unscrewing. Check where the cables of your motor are if it’s not battery powered and make sure everything is safe. Your cables must be on the opposite side of the torch, so they don’t catch fire or melt accidentally.
- Make an enclosure of polycarbonate sheet and wrap it around your spinner. This will catch your cotton candy when it starts coming out of the spinner. Cover the bottom of the spinner too. A good alternative might be a big pot that you don’t use anymore so you don’t mind making a hole in it. The hole should be big enough to allow motor and the torch to pass through to the spinner. Make sure your pot is deep enough; its walls should be around 5 inches higher than your spinner.
- Your heat source will be the propane torch. It is best to do this in your yard to avoid the fire hazard.
- Once you’ve connected everything fill the spinner with granulated sugar, pouring slowly and add some crazy food coloring. Turn the motor and the torch on. You can use a wooden stick or a bamboo skewer to catch the cotton candy shooting out. Make circular motions around the spinner and watch the candy catching to the stick.
That’s it! You have your own fresh cotton candy on demand. You’ve done it like a professional.
Be careful when you handle blow torch and fuel. The sugar is molten when it comes out, so keep your hands out of the way of hot flying sugar. Also be very careful to keep your hair and hands clear of the open flame. You don’t want a cheerful afternoon with the kids to turn into a major disaster. Safety first!
You could also crush your favorite hard candy to turn into delicious cotton candy when you try all variations with sugar and food coloring. Mix your favorite fruit flavors to see all the interesting combinations you’ll be able to make.
One way to make larger quantities would be to heat up the sugar into a liquid, and then pour the liquid in the sugar receptacle. This way is a bit more dangerous; watch out so you don’t pour hot sugar on yourself or the rest of the machine. There’s no need for a lighter when you use this method and the amount of candy that you could make would be much faster and more voluminous.