How to make firestarters

I feel a little weird posting instructions on how to make firestarters, considering how much of my state is on fire at the moment, but just fast forward to those cold days of winter, and think of what a pain it is to get a fire going in your fireplace or woodstove. Plus, if you want these babies during the cold of winter (or for the holiday gift giving season), you’ll want to start now collecting the things you will need.

I’m going to describe how to make two different types: egg carton and pinecone. Check out the supply list for each to see if one will be easier for you. I’m fortunate in that my family eats a lot of eggs, generates a lot of dryer lint, and lives next door to a giant pine tree.

materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egg Carton and Dryer Lint Firestarters:

  1. Gather your supplies. For egg carton style firestarters, you need the following:
  • two small pots you will no longer devote to food use after using them for this
  • some wax. I like to get crumbles/flakes of palm wax, soy wax, or beeswax from Zenith Supplies
  • a wooden chopstick or other stirring implement you will devote to wax-only
  • a heat source for melting wax, such as your stove
  • empty cardboard egg cartons
  • dryer lint that you will have been collecting for months:

dryer lint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Next, tear off the carton lid and put a small amount of dryer lint in each egg compartment:

egg cartons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Make a doubleboiler by putting a little water in the larger pot and placing it on the heat source, then insert the smaller pot into the water pot, and put some wax into it. Stir it with a chopstick or other implement until the wax is completely liquid.

melt wax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Remove the wax pot from the heat and pour a small amount of wax over the dryer lint. It will look a little like cat barf.

pour wax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Let this cool, then cut apart each egg compartment. Each one is it’s own firestarter!

 

Pinecone Firestarters:

  1. Gather your supplies:
    • two small pots you will no longer devote to food use after using them for this
    • some wax. I like to get crumbles/flakes of palm wax, soy wax, or beeswax from Zenith Supply
    • a wooden chopstick or other stirring implement you will devote to wax-only
    • a heat source for melting wax, such as your stove
    • cupcake papers and a cup cake tin, or some old cardboard (I use lids from egg cartons)
    • pinecones aplenty
    • some candle wick from a shop like Zenith Supplies

pinecones

wick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cut pieces of wick long enough to wrap around the pine cone a time or two. I used a piece about 8-10″ long. Wrap your pine cones with wick and place them in cupcake papers which are sitting either in a cupcake tin, or on some old cardboard.

3. Make a doubleboiler by putting a little water in the larger pot and placing it on the heat source, then insert the smaller pot into the water pot, and put some wax into it. Stir it with a chopstick or other implement until the wax is completely liquid.

melt wax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pour a bit of wax over the pine cone, just enough to get some of the wick to stick to the pine cone. A little will fill the bottom of the cupcake paper, too.

pour wax on cones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Here is the finished product:

finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy crafting!

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2 thoughts on “How to make firestarters

  1. I love this. We usually use Stax, which pollute a lot less than wood in a fireplace, but these are great. I wonder if you could add powders like magnesium to these for colored flames like some commercially made pinecone starters have.

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