Top 10 Low-Tech DIY Bongs You Can Make at Home 

Forget the latest in hi-tech bongs and vapes, go back to the old school with these DIY cannabis bongs and pipes you can make while shopping at the local grocery isle.
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So you’re ready to kick back and light up, but the problem is, your favorite piece rolled off the table and bit the proverbial dust. Ouch. We’ve all been there, and it’s a huge bummer. The good news is, with a bit of stoner ingenuity and that good old-fashioned gumption, your sesh can be saved. If you’re in a pinch, these ten low-tech smoking devices can be artfully crafted in a few minutes with a bunch of the crap you’ve got hanging out in your junk drawer. These DIY weed hacks are easy as can be and pretty fun to make. Whether you’re dealing with a glass emergency or just want to try something different, we’ve got you covered.

Why Low-Tech Smoking Devices Come in Handy

If you’re here, it’s probably an emergency. But even if it’s not, and you’re just trying to broaden those horizons with some knowledge for future reference, knowing what to do in an emergency can save you a lot of headaches when the unthinkable happens.

Sometimes life throws a curveball. But if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. Your glass piece might shatter into a million pieces, leaving you less-than-high and totally dry. Your favorite piece could also be filthy and not up for one more nightmare rotation, especially if your friends are heathens. 

Maybe you pre-gamed a little too hard for the group sesh and forgot your bowl at home. In the worst-case scenario, you might be outside hiking or camping in the middle of nowhere, and the thought of an uncomfortably sober evening isn’t even remotely appealing. I’ve been there and sacrificed a potato I was saving for dinner. 

But anyway, that’s where these DIY smoking devices come in clutch. These are the unsung heroes of your sesh, ready to step in when your usual tools aren’t available. Think of them as your smoking MacGyver kit. They’re easy to make, often using items you already have lying around, and can save the day when you’re in a pinch. Low-tech devices are all about simplicity and ingenuity, from fruits and vegetables to household items. Plus, they add a unique twist to your overall experience, often with a fun story to tell. Kinda like my potato. I’m still so damn proud of that potato pipe. 

The Top 10 Low-Tech Smoking Devices to DIY in an Emergency 

Alright, let’s get to it. For all of this stuff, you’re gonna need something sharp. 

1. DIY Apple Pipe

apple-pipe
apple-pipe

I think the first thing I ever smoked out of was an apple behind my high school. Why? Because it was cheap, accessible, and easy to make. Much easier than trying to buy a “tobacco pipe” before turning 18. But you know what they say, an apple a day keeps the boredom away— or something like that. The apple pipe is a classic, thanks to how easy it is to make. Seriously, a chimpanzee could do this. And not one of the ones from the Planet of the Apes— a normal one. As an added bonus, if you’re smoking dried-up old weed, using an apple will help impart some more flavor back into that hay-flavored weed. If you taste it, you’re getting some terps, which might help boost your high. Neat, huh? Here’s how to make one: 

  • Start with a fresh apple. Remove the stem to create a small bowl on top.
  • Use a pen or a thin screwdriver (or any other sharp, narrow thing you have on hand) to poke a hole from the top where the stem was down through the core. This will be your main air chamber.
  • Poke another hole from the side of the apple to intersect with the first hole. This will be your mouthpiece.
  • For a carb hole (optional but recommended), poke a third hole from the opposite side, intersecting the main chamber.
  • Load up the top with your herb, light it up, and inhale through the sidehole. 

The apple pipe works like a charm. You can eat it at the end if you’re into that, or you can toss it. It’s biodegradable, and super portable, baby. 

2. Build a Cantaloupe Bong

cantaloupe-bong
cantaloupe-bong

Maybe you don’t eat apples, but you have a whole melon on hand. We can work with that. A melon has a big open center once you scoop the guts out, making it perfect for a nice hollowed-out bong experience. You can even fill it with water to cool down your smoke. The cool part is that you’ll get much bigger hits out of a melon than you would with an apple. Oh, also, don’t panic if you prefer honeydew melons or watermelons. Any big round gourd-shaped fruit will do— even pumpkins or squash. Much like the apple, it’ll give dry weed a melony flavor that might boost your high. It will indeed take some doing, though. Here’s how: 

  • Cut the top off a cantaloupe (or other gourd) and scoop out the seeds to create a hollow center.
  • Use a knife or screwdriver to poke a hole near the bottom side of the cantaloupe for your downstem. Insert any leftover glass downstems you have handy, or jam a hollow pen here.
  • Poke another hole near the top side for your mouthpiece.
  • Fill the cantaloupe with water just below the downstem level, and put the top of the melon back on to help with airflow. 
  • Pack your bowl, light it, and take a hit from the mouthpiece. 

These are fun at parties, even if you have an actual bong on hand. 

3. Make a Soda Can Pipe

DALL·E---- -Create-an-image-of-a-Coca-Cola-can-that-has-been-creatively-transformed-into-a-toke-pipe -The-can-should-be-clearly-identifiable-as-a-Coke-can-with-it
Coola kolas pipe needs a disposable gauze

Growing up in rural Ohio, we called ’em pop cans, but call them whatever you want. These nostalgic throwback pipes are a go-to for a reason. Before I could buy a pipe on my own, these were all the rage. I was an avid Dr.Pepper drinker (yes, I’m a walking red flag), and since I was scared of the long-term consequences of smoking actual aluminum, I made a new one every day in the shed behind my house. Even when I had my own glass, I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve made since then, when I lost my glass, or I was out in the woods without anything to smoke out of. You can whip one of these babies up in a few minutes. It’s quick and easy, and all you need is a can and something sharp:

  • Take an empty soda or beer can and make a dent on the side so that the thing kind of leans in on itself. 
  • Use a needle, pin, pen, or the end of a paperclip to poke small holes in the dented area. This will be your bowl.
  • Poke a larger hole on the side of the can near the bottom to serve as the carb.
  • Place your herb in the dented area, light it up, and inhale through the can’s mouthpiece. Easy peasy.

These are just as easy to make as they are potentially dangerous. Smoking from aluminum cans can release all sorts of nasty chemicals, so for this one, I suggest using this method sparingly and only as a last resort.

4. Get Harder Hits with a Water Bottle Gravity Bong

gravity-bong

Pull up slow to create a creamy one 💨

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy party favor that will send you to outer space for the low cost of free, opt for a gravity bong. While I don’t love smoking out of plastic, I really hate paying hundreds of dollars for the fancy glass gravity bongs when I can get the same level of high for next to nothing. Plus, recycling kinda feels great. The process is straightforward, but hitting the thing will take some practice. Here’s how to do it: 

  • Cut the bottom off a plastic water bottle.
  • Fill a bucket or large container with water. It can even be your sink. 
  • Make a small bowl out of aluminum foil and place it over the bottle’s mouthpiece.
  • Submerge the bottle in water, leaving the mouthpiece above the surface.
  • Pack the bowl with your herb, light it, and slowly lift the bottle out of the water, creating a vacuum that fills the bottle with smoke.
  • Remove the foil bowl, place your mouth over the bottle’s mouthpiece, and push the bottle back down into the water while inhaling.

These will make you ridiculously high. Just remember that plastic bottles aren’t good to smoke out of. Like the foil itself, these are mostly single use if you want to avoid giving yourself brain damage with the carcinogens that seep out of hot plastic. 

5. Take a Hot Knife Dab

hot-knife
hot-knife

Who needs something to smoke out of, anyway? The pioneers have been using this tech for generations. Hot knifing a dab is a great way to get high, even if it might be just a smidge wasteful. You can do this with actual concentrates, or you can smoke the leftover resin from the inside of that bowl you don’t feel like cleaning if you’re in a pinch. Waste not, want not, after all. The hot knife method is a simple yet effective way to get the job done without a fancy rig. Here’s how:

  • Heat the blade of a butter knife on a stove or with a torch until it’s red hot.
  • Using a second knife or a dabber, place a small amount of concentrate on the hot knife.
  • Quickly inhale the vapor through a straw, a rolled-up piece of paper or a plastic bottle cut in half to avoid wasting any precious dabs. A funnel will work too. You really want to capture as much of that vapor as possible to make it worthwhile. 

PSA: this method can be intense, so proceed with caution. It’s a great way to enjoy concentrates in a pinch, but make sure you handle the hot knives carefully. Practice with the stove off at first; it can be a little tricky to figure out in the moment. 

6. DIY One-Hitter Pen Pipe

james-bond-canna-pipe
james-bond-canna-pipe

Everybody has a pen lying around. Check the junk drawer and in the couch cushions— you’re bound to come up with something cylindrical and hollow in the process. I’m not going to lie; these aren’t the easiest to get a good hit out of because the airflow is so restricted. You might also get a couple of scoobs in your mouth. However, in a pinch and if you only need a puff or two, a pen is one of the easiest DIY pipes to make and by far one of the most discreet. All you need is a standard pen and a bit of ingenuity:

  • Disassemble a pen to remove the ink cartridge and any other internal parts.
  • Reassemble the pen without the ink cartridge, leaving a hollow tube.
  • Use aluminum foil to create a small bowl and place it at the end where the pen tip was.
  • Load your herb into the bowl, light it, and inhale through the other end. 

The pen pipe is discreet and portable, making it a convenient option for spontaneous sessions where you don’t really want anyone else to know you’re smoking. These little babies will get you one or two hits of weed, making them portable and perfect. 

7. Make a Steamroller Out of a Carrot 

carrot-bong
What better than a DIY carrot bong?

We all need more veggies in our lives. Somehow, most produce is perfect for DIY pipes and bongs. One of the best, though, is the mighty carrot. Long, straight, and cylindrical, a good-sized carrot makes for a perfect steamroller. When I’m DIYing a pipe, this is my go-to. The shape allows for the carrot to rip like a bong without any water. The massive carb on the end makes shotgunning heavy smoke a breeze. Here’s how to make one: 

  • Select a thick, straight carrot and cut off the ends.
  • Use a knife or skewer to hollow out the center of the carrot, creating a long, straight chamber. The bigger the chamber, the better. 
  • Poke a small hole on top near one end to serve as the bowl.
  • Pack your herb into the bowl, light it, and inhale from the other end. You can put one hand on the other end to act as a carb. 

The best thing about the carrot steamroller is that, like all other produce options on this list, you can either eat it or toss it. Carrots are as eco-friendly as they come, and you don’t have to worry about smoking aluminum or plastic. 

8. Use Tin Foil to Design a Pipe

makeshift-tin-foil-pipe
makeshift-tin-foil-pipe

You can use foil to make pretty much anything. I’ve used it to make cereal bowls when I’m camping. While foil isn’t necessarily the best thing to smoke out of, most people have a ton of it on hand— especially if you’re like me and buy more, thinking you’re out of it. I have three rolls in my kitchen drawer right now. Anyway, this method can be a lot of fun because you can really be as lazy or as crazy as you want with it. It can be like a fun little arts and crafts project. Make a foil bowl, bong, dab rig, or recycler with nothing except foil and a poker. Here’s how: 

  • Take a square of aluminum foil and fold it into a thick strip.
  • Roll the strip into a cylindrical shape to form the body of the pipe.
  • Fold one end of the cylinder up to create a bowl.
  • Use a toothpick or other poker to poke a hole in the side for a carb, if you want. 
  • Place your herb in the bowl, light it, and inhale through the other end. 

Again, be cautious with this method, as aluminum foil can be harmful when heated. Use this as a last resort and sparingly. But have fun with it! The key components are foil and a poker. Add a carb and build on it as much as you like. Create a water chamber and add water, even! 

9. Build a Simple Plastic Bottle Bong

I think anyone at some point has had a bong rip out of a Gatorade bottle at some point in their lives. If you’ve never made one yourself, it’s super easy. All the hard work was already done for you when the bottle was made. Just fill it with water, slap a bowl into the side, and hit it. Remember, it’s not good to hit plastic bottles since they tend to seep nasty stuff into the water and smoke. It’ll totally work as a last resort, but when you’re done with it, you should toss it and replace it with a new bottle as soon as possible. Here’s how to make one: 

  • Find an empty plastic bottle and make a small hole near the bottom for the downstem.
  • Insert a tube, straw, or hollow pen into the hole.
  • Poke another small hole near the top for a carb.
  • Fill the bottle with water just below the downstem, so you’re not sucking water into your bowl.
  • Pack your bowl, light it, cover the carb, and inhale through the mouthpiece. 

10. Get Huge Hits From a Turkey Bag Bong

I never understood why turkey bags aren’t sold in single packs, considering most people are only cooking one turkey at a time. Anyway, odds are if you’ve ever prepped Thanksgiving turkey, you’ve got an extra oven bag somewhere in your kitchen. If you’ve ever seen one of those tabletop vaporizers that hit like an iron lung, the low-tech turkey bag setup is the same concept. You’ll pull a bunch of smoke into a bag in a lung/gravity style and smoke up. Perfect for party favors or for just getting ripped with very little material, all in one go. Here’s how to do it: 

  • Cut the bottom end off of a two-liter bottle using a pair of scissors. 
  • Attach a turkey bag to the end of the bottle, securing it with a rubber band. 
  • Create a bowl for the mouthpiece of the two-liter bottle. You can either melt a socket wrench piece into the lid, or you can remove the lid entirely and make a new bowl with foil. 
  • Attach the bowl to the top of the bottle, and stuff the bag inside the bottle.
  • As you spark it up, slowly pull the bag down and out of the bottle. This will make it work kind of like a gravity bong, filling the bag up with smoke. 
  • When you’re ready to hit it, remove the bowl from the mouthpiece and inhale. 

Since this method produces a ton of smoke, this is a great option for sharing a big hit in a gravity-type style without getting stale. The bag will fill up with smoke, so hit what you can and pass it on. Or, y’know, you can take it all to the dome on your own. Remember, it’s plastic, so you won’t want to use it more than once. 

A Few Bonus Low-Tech Weed Hacks 

You know what they say: when there’s smoke, there’s fire. If you’re up the creek without a paddle (or a smoking apparatus), there’s a good chance you’re missing a few other essentials, too. If you’re missing a grinder, a way to spark up, or just looking for ways to roll up, I’ve got you covered.

You can use pretty much anything as a rolling tray, but if you’re making a homemade pipe, you might really like using an old CD. The hole in the middle can be used to funnel your herb into whatever tiny opening you made for your pipe, making it easier to handle. Plus, it’s a nice throwback to the days before everything went digital.

For those moments when you need a grinder, try using scissors and a shot glass. Put your herb in the shot glass and chop it up with the scissors. Or, throw a coin and your herb into a small container, like a pill bottle, and give it a good shake. Voila— you’ve got yourself a quick and effective grind.

Running low on rolling papers? Look around and get resourceful. Bible pages, receipts, gum wrappers (just make sure to remove the foil), fan leaves, or even rose petals can work in a pinch. A dab of honey can help seal it up and make it burn slower, too. Again, avoid things with ink on them if possible. Getting sick as a result of getting high isn’t a good time. 

If you’re out of lighters, a dry spaghetti noodle can help. Light it on the stove, and it burns slowly enough to light your bowl without rushing. It’s stinky, don’t get me wrong. But it’ll do if you don’t have a lighter or a set of matches. Better yet, it’s infinitely easier than a magnifying glass, flint and steel, or a battery and foil. 

Last but certainly not least, turn to edibles if you find yourself without any smoking tools. Firecrackers are super easy to make with leftover shake. Spread peanut butter or Nutella on graham crackers, sprinkle your shake on top, sandwich them together, wrap in foil, and bake at 320°F for about 20-25 minutes. It’s a simple way to create a potent edible without much hassle. You can do it with a campfire, too, if you’re stranded. 

Final Thoughts

Losing your favorite pipe or bong doesn’t mean your sesh is ruined. With a bit of creativity and some bits and bobs you have lying around, these effective low-tech smoking devices and hacks get the job done. Plus, it feels pretty awesome to make a functioning pipe out of something. I imagine it’s what the cavemen felt when they discovered fire. Remember, it’s all about making the most of what you have and having fun with it. So next time disaster strikes, stay calm, get crafty, and enjoy your sesh. 

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About Author
Author Photo Nicole Flanigan

Nicole Flanigan is a cannabis industry powerhouse with over eight years of hands-on experience across the board. From cultivating top-shelf strains to fine-tuning concentrates, she's done it all— and lived... Read More

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About Author
Author Photo Nicole Flanigan

Nicole Flanigan is a cannabis industry powerhouse with over eight years of hands-on experience across the board. From cultivating top-shelf strains to fine-tuning concentrates, she's done it all— and lived... Read More

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