Stick bombs can be constructed out of most flat sticks of the appropriate dimensions. The usual material for construction is wood, but plastic can also be used. Ice pop sticks (craft sticks) and tongue depressors are popular because of availability, low cost, and because they are easily coloured. Tongue depressor sticks are strongly recommended for construction as they have lower tension than craft sticks and thus are easier to work with.
The sticks are woven together to form a reticulated grid with each stick held in place by tension created by the elasticity of wood or other material. If constructed properly, the removal of a single stick causes the other sticks to fly apart with surprising force. The speed of the shock wave depends on the materials used. If craft sticks are used, the detonation speed is approximately 3040 meters per second (6790 miles per hour); for tongue depressors, the speed is under 10 meters per second (22 miles per hour).