A simple catalytic combustion technique for synthesizing bamboo-like carbon was presented. Ethanol was used as carbon source and fuel, copper plate as substrate, and iron salt as catalyst precursors. The as-grown black powder was characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The results show that the morphology and microstructure of bamboo-like carbon nanotubes are affected by novel synthesis conditions, such as concentration of catalyst precursor solution, synthesis time, flame perturbations, and synthesis temperature etc.. According to observations and analysis of experimental results, a possible growth mechanism of bamboo-like carbon nanotubes is proposed and discussed.