How to Make a Water Bottle Bong

diy water bong
By Rebecca Olmos Updated April 19th

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

Fact-checked by Deb Tharp

Bongs are a great way to get full, flavorful hits of smoke from your favorite strain. They range in price, size, and features, but all use water to filter the smoke. 

Although they are relatively common in smoke shops, they are also super easy (not to mention fun and cost-effective) to make at home.

What is a Bong?

Bongs are also known as water pipes. They have been used for thousands of years for both cannabis and tobacco. 

The water sits in the water chamber and filters the smoke that travels from the bowl into the down stem. 

Dab Rig vs Bong: What’s the Difference?

Dab rigs have similar features to bongs. They both (typically) use water to filter the smoke, and both have a neck, chamber (can be a water or dry chamber), down stem, base, and mouthpiece. However, they are two different smoking tools. Bongs are for dry flower, although you can top a bowl off with concentrate. Dab rigs are for concentrates like shatter, sauce, or live resin

The main difference is the design of the bowl. When using a bong, you pack the bowl and use a lighter to burn the flower. When you use a dab rig, you heat the bottom of the nail, or banger, with a torch until it reaches at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then you apply the concentrate to the heated nail using a dab tool.

Understanding the Basics: Parts of a Bong

All bongs have the following essential features:

  • Mouthpiece. The opening of the neck where you’ll put your mouth.
  • Neck/Smoke Chamber. This is where the smoke travels.
  • Water Chamber/Base. Where the water sits and filters the smoke from the down stem to the neck.
  • Down Stem. The tunnel from the bowl to the water.
  • Bowl. Where the cannabis material is placed.

Type of Homemade Bongs

water bottle bong

You can get creative with the materials you use to make your bong at home, but a few designs are commonly duplicated.

Water Bottle Bong

This bong style is the most popular. It’s the easiest to make and use. It’s also a great way to recycle everyday household items, like plastic water bottles that might otherwise go to waste after a single use. It’s small, handheld, and user-friendly. 

Gravity Bong

Gravity bongs can take a few tries to get the hang of, because you’re lighting the flower as you pull the bottle up, removing the bowl, and then inhaling as you push the bottle back down. Many consumers love gravity bongs (and waterfall bongs) because they can provide extremely potent hits. For that reason, it’s best to attempt this bong with a friend.

Mason Jar Bong

The mason jar style is meant to last longer than a water bottle bong or gravity bong, and they’re visually beautiful once completed (so they won’t look out of place sitting on your tabletop. But mason jar bongs also require a little more effort to make. 

In this article, we’ll focus on how to make a water bottle bong at home.

What Do I Need to Make a Water Bottle Bong?

diy water bottle bong

To make a water bottle bong, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Empty water bottle. Remove the cap.
  • A lighter. To light the weed, but also help make the hole for the down stem and melt it to the bottle. 
  • Scissors or another sharp tool. Used to poke holes in the bottle for the down stem hole and carb.
  • A bowl. The bowl from an old bong (or a new bowl you purchase at a dispensary) can work well. Alternatively, consumers can use a tube-like piece (most typically a hallowed pen tube) and aluminum foil to create their own bowl. While this is more convenient for many DIYers, smoking out of aluminum foil can introduce harmful contaminants into the inhaled smoke.
  • Toothpick. This will help you make the bowl.

Step-by-step Guide to Making a Water Bottle Bong

Follow these easy steps to make a water bottle bong.

Step 1: Gather your materials

Make sure the water bottle is clean with the cap removed. You need something sharp to create the holes, a lighter, toothpick, an emptied pen tube, and foil.

Step 2: Fill the bottle ¼ full of water

It seems counterproductive to do this first, but it will help determine where to poke the holes. You can use a pen to mark this line and remove the water until you complete the piece if you’d like. You just need to know where to place the down stem. 

Step 3: Poke two holes

One is slightly above the water line, slightly smaller than the tube size (yes, smaller)  to place the down stem (the stem from your bowl, or an emptied and cleaned pen tube). The other hole is by the top of the bottle for the carb.

Step 4: Place the bowl into the lower hole

Use the lighter to slightly soften the hole before placing the bowl (or pen tube) in; this will help create a tighter seal. The tube should reach through the bottle into the water. There should be no gaps between these two pieces, so it’s better to start with a hole too small than too large so you don’t lose smoke while using your new water bottle bong.

If you’re using foil and a pen tube to make a bowl, create a small down stem by wrapping the foil around the toothpick. Now remove the toothpick and use it to add a few more holes in the foil to create a screen-like feature to help with the airflow.

Step 5: Pack your bowl and enjoy!

If you removed the water, fill it before you pack the bowl. Then you’ll use the water bottle bong just like a premade bong

Hold the bottle with your non-dominant hand and cover the carb hole with your finger. Light the flower slightly for a few seconds while inhaling through the mouth hole. Once the bottle has filled with smoke, you can release your finger from the carb and continue inhaling until the chamber is clear. 

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Why Use a Bong?

Bongs provide full-bodied flavor plumes of smoke for potent experiences. Many cannabis users have one handy and they are often shared at social events. They are a favorite way to consume cannabis flower because they offer larger pulls. And because they don’t require any paper and can be cleaned with relative ease, bongs are often considered a more flavorful, ‘healthy’ alternative to other smoking methods.  

While many consumers prefer the experience of using a bong, there is conflicting evidence as to whether or not they are actually healthier than other methods of consumption. All forms of smoking, whether tobacco or cannabis, may adversely affect the body’s overall health. 

A study in the 1960s found that the water in a bong filters a significant amount of the harmful particles that come from putting flame to herb and combusting it. However, a study out of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health found that a bong released four times more fine particles than smoked tobacco from a hooka. So although the water is filtering out some particles from the smoke, it still releases particles that may be harmful to the body.

Choosing whether or not to use a bong is entirely up to you. And if you aren’t sure – or if you’re saving your budget for cannabis flower – making your own water bottle bong is a creative and inexpensive way to learn how a bong works and test if the technology suits your needs. 

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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