There are so many DIY recipes for water bottle bongs out there that it can be hard to distinguish the good from the bad. You’ll even see instructions for water bottle pipes that claim to be bongs but don’t use water. Wrong! Don’t be fooled. A bong uses water to filter and cool the smoke which makes for a much more pleasant and enjoyable smoke.
On top of all that, a lot of the builds you’ll see use materials that, when heated, can release toxic fumes. These toxic fumes can make your smoke taste bad and even lead to headaches. No one wants that. That’s why we’ve assembled instructions for the safest and simplest water bottle bong you can make at home.
The majority of the pieces and tools can be found pretty much anywhere, scavenged if not immediately available, or purchased for cheap if absolutely necessary. The only piece you may want to carry with you is the small socket. We’ll talk about that in detail below. So without further ado, let’s get to building a simple and safe water bottle bong.
As mentioned, most of these items can be found somewhere in the house. If you can’t find the exact piece we mention, look at the purpose of the component, read the instructions below to get an idea of how it’s used, and improvise a new solution. Here are the supplies you’ll need.
- Bong: Water bottle
- Down stem: Plastic pen or mechanical pencil
- Bowl: 7/32 socket
- Screen: Small bit of screen
- Sealant: Glue, super glue, or silly putty
That’s it for the bong itself. You’ll probably also need a pin or needle, a knife or scissors, and maybe a pair of pliers. The pin or needle is just to poke a hole in the bottle. It really doesn’t matter which you choose because it’s just to get the hole started and won’t be the final size. The knife or the scissors can also be used to poke the hole but will primarily be used for doing a bit of cutting on the pen. But again, we’ll explain that in the instructions below. Now let’s get to the actual build.
The nice thing about this build is that the components can be disassembled for easy travel. A socket, a hollow pen tube, a bit of screen, and some silly putty or super glue are pretty innocent by themselves. Chances are, they wouldn’t ring anyone’s internal alarm if the pieces were accidently discovered in your bag or car. It would probably just look like a bunch of junk. Anyway, here’s step one.
1. Choose Your Water Bottle Bong
Any 16-ounce water bottle will do. Some of the water bottles out there are pretty flimsy. We like a water bottle that is a bit thicker so we don’t have to worry about squeezing too hard while we’re smoking. Remove and discard the cap unless you’re going to reuse this homemade bong for some reason.
2. Poke Holes In Your Water Bottle
With the pin or needle, poke a hole toward the top of your water bottle of choice. This will be your carb hole. Next, take your pen with the ball point end still intact, and push it through the hole to make it bigger. Remove the pen from the water bottle and pick up your pin or needle again. Your carb hole should be high enough that water won’t slosh out when you tip the bong.
Make another hole in the bottom third (toward the bottom) of your water bottle. Then push the pen through like you did with the first hole. That creates an opening just about the right size for your stem (next step) and helps keep everything more airtight. Don’t worry if the hole isn’t perfect, we’re going to seal it later on. Pull the pen out of the water bottle and move on to the next step.
3. Build Your Downstem
A simple, cheap stick pen works best in this situation. We like the kind with a plug in one end and the ball point at the other end.
Both the plug and the ball point can be removed with a pair of pliers. If you can’t find a stick pen with a plug in one end, you can always cut the sealed end with your scissors. We still recommend pulling the ball point end with the pliers but you can cut it in a pinch. Just remember that there’s a tube of ink in there and it may make a bit of a mess. Plan accordingly. Once you’ve removed both ends of the stick pen, you’ll have a hollow tube to use as a downstem.
4. Assemble Your Bowl
This is where the 7/32 socket comes into play. A small socket like this might not be easily found in some homes meaning you’ll have to buy one. That’s not usually a problem during the day, but when you’re in need of a bong for a late-night toke and everything is closed, you’ll be up a creek without a paddle. These sockets are pretty cheap (~$3.00) depending on which brand you buy, so you could purchase a few and keep them in various places so you’ll always have on handy. The 7/32 socket has one small end and one large end. The large end will be the bowl and the small end will be attached to your downstem.
Once you’ve got your socket, find a piece of screen. This screen is to keep your bud from falling into the downstem. The mesh needs to be fairly tightly woven so burned bud doesn’t fall through. An easy DIY solution to this problem is to unscrew the tip of any faucet and remove the screen. Cut the screen to fit the large end of the socket. The nice thing about this step is that once you’ve got the screen in there, you really don’t have to find a new one for a while. You can remove it to clean now and again (if you feel like it), but, really, you can just leave the screen in there all the time. It’s not like you’re going to actually use it for its intended purpose any time soon.
5. Piece Together Bowl, Downstem, & Water Bottle
Push the small end of the socket into the hollow pen tube. It should be a pretty tight fit. Next, insert the end of the hollow pen tube without the socket back into the water bottle. There’s your rudimentary bong. But hold up there Sparky! We’ve still got a few more steps to go before we’re through.
6. Seal Where Necessary
An airtight seal (or as nearly airtight as possible) between the socket and pen tube, and the pen tube and the water bottle, makes smoking with this bong so much easier. This is where the glue or silly putty comes into play. We like the silly putty because it can be peeled off and reused after your smoke session. That said, glue or super glue will work just as well but can’t be reused (nor can the pieces be disassembled).
The bulk of the sealing will need to be done where the pen tube touches the water bottle. If you’re using glue, spread a generous amount around the edge of the pen tube where it enters the water bottle. Let the glue dry for a few minutes to ensure airtightness. If you’re using silly putty, press the putty tight around the pen tube and water bottle to form a seal. Tape can also work if you have nothing else.
You may also need to seal the socket/pen tube interface as well. Keep in mind that if you glue these two pieces together, you won’t be able to get them apart again. That’s why we like silly putty for all our sealing needs.
7. Add Water, Marijuana, And Fire
DIY Will Do In A Pinch, But Glass Is Best
Homemade bongs can be fun for parties and when your regular paraphernalia isn’t available. But for regular smoke sessions, a glass bong is best. You don’t have to worry about whether everything is airtight or whether it will work correctly (it’s designed with both of those things in mind). You also don’t have to worry about hazardous chemicals being released when you heat up the components. And you don’t have to worry about the whole thing coming apart when you pass it around. We know you did a great job putting it together, but it is MacGyvered after all.
Purchasing a glass bong may set you back a twenty or two (or three or four), but it will last pretty much forever. Plus, you won’t have to stress about finding all the materials to make your own water bottle bong. You can just relax, light up, and fly away. And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?