How To Ignite Flash Paper

Tl;dr: Carefully.

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How To Ignite Flash Paper

OK. You've realised you shouldn't make flash paper. Good. You also know flash paper is dangerous. Now you've bought some, you want to use some flash paper to add a little sparkle to one of your magic tricks? There’s many different ways to ignite a piece of flash paper, (or flash cotton, flash string, flash cards etc). After you’ve learned how to safely store flash paper, it’s time to work out how to safely ignite flash paper. Here’s some options for you:

Regular Lighter

Any regular gas station butane lighter will do the trick. You can light it yourself, or hand it to a spectator to light for you. This is about the cheapest possible way to ignite some flash paper. All you need to do is briefly touch the flash paper to the flame before you throw it and it will catch fire.

Zippo Lighter

Using a Zippo lighter allows you to have both hands free. You can light a Zippo and place it on a table, lit. It will carry on burning until the fuel in it is exhausted. It adds a nice element of drama. The shortest of touches to the flame will start the flash paper burning.

how to ignite flash paper


Using a candle again adds some theatricality to your performance. As before, just touch the flash product to the flame and it will ignite.


There are a variety of electronic or manual spark devices you can use to ignite your flash paper. Some are attached to thumb tips, some are on pulls, and some you can just ditch in a pocket or sleeve. There are even little cannons you can get to produce fire balls.

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Important Reminder about Fire Tricks

When using any fire magic trick, it’s important to remember that real fire means real danger. Fire tricks should only be used by professionals over the age of 18 that have taken the necessary time to learn how to properly use them.

Most fire products like Flash Paper are made wet with water prior to being shipped. They must be fully dried before using. However, as they dry out, these fire products become highly flammable and increasingly dangerous. So, it’s important to also understand how to properly store your fire magic tricks. And never try to make your own Flash Paper, the results can be fatal.