How To Make Your Own Fire Starters

diy firestarters

WELCOME to “Save My Sanity Saturday” at One Good Thing By Jillee….where I attempt to avoid having a nervous breakdown by actually giving myself a day off from blogging once a week!

So pull up a chair and sit back and enjoy an “oldie but goodie” from the One Good Thing By Jillee archives.

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— Originally posted – June 11, 2012 —

The backyard bonfire season has arrived at our house! Last night we had our first “s’mores by the fire” night of the summertime and it was WONDERFUL as usual. :-)  We had originally planned on doing in the night before…but it turned out to be too windy. Tonight was absolutely perfect conditions and we had a lovely time.

Even building the fire was a breeze thanks to these handy dandy little fire starters I made the day before. I’d seen them on BOTH of my sisters’ blogs before (Camp Wander and Riches To Rags By Dori) and thought they looked interesting, but saw no need to make them myself since we don’t have a “real” fireplace in our house. But then summertime rolled around and I got to wondering how these might work for backyard bonfires.

So I decided to give it a try.

 

The “ingredients” and the process couldn’t be simpler. In fact, everything you need to make these is “junk” you most likely have laying around your house right now.

*Dryer Lint
*Empty Egg Cartons
*Old Candles

It didn’t take long to save up MORE than enough dryer lint for this project. I actually had WAY more than I needed so I am saving it for another batch down the road.

The egg cartons we ALWAYS have on hand…and I had a couple of old candles stashed away in a cupboard just waiting for SOME D.I.Y. project calling for wax. :-)

 

fire starters

I took my ingredients, along with an old tin can for melting the wax in, outside to the backyard. I used my weberQ to melt the wax.

Safety Alert Update:  Since posting this I have been “educated” about the dangers of melting wax over an open flame. Janice (and others) have pointed out that any open flame, can ignite wax vapors. A double boiler (or water bath) method is recommended.

 

fire starters

While waiting for the wax to melt…I stuffed the egg carton with my lint collection. For some reason all my lint had long, blonde hair in it. Wonder where THAT came from!  Hopefully it’s very flammable. :-)

 

fire starters

When the wax was melted I carefully poured wax into each individual egg carton cup, just enough to saturate the lint. Then all you do is let them cool.

Once COMPLETELY COOLED they break apart easily and you can toss them in a bucket or some other appropriate container for your next fire!

For some reason I really had my doubts about whether these things were going to be all that they were cracked up to be, but fortunately I was proved wrong. They worked FANTASTIC!

 

fire starters

The hubster added 3 of these little nuggets to the firewood pile in our humble sandbox-turned-firepit and lit them with our grill lighter and literally within MINUTES we had a beautiful, roaring fire going! No need for any sort of “accelerant” at all. (We have been known to resort to dousing the wood with lighter fluid to get our fires going!)

 

fire starters

So now with the fire going full force, we were ready for s’mores time! I had forgotten how much I really LIKE s’mores!  YUMMM!

 

I even spent some time in the afternoon making my first batch ever of homemade gluten-free graham crackers! (The gluten-free ones are the ones on the right.)  They were a hit with No. 2 gluten-free son and everybody else! I promise to share the recipe SOON!

So you’re just going to have to check back.  See how I am??  :-)

fire starters

 UPDATE:

Here is the link to the Homemade Gluten-Free Graham Crackers post!

 

 


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Comments

  1. says

    You’re a believer now eh? Very nice! Wish we could have been there…family around the fire pit is like one big group hug :)

  2. Melissa Steckmann says

    Great idea, so much cheaper then purchasing fire starters. I like to do something similar. When I find a place that has beautiful, big pine cones I gather several bags full. I melt old candles of any color and then with a pair of tongs I dip the pine cones in the melted wax. They make wonderful fire starters and look very pretty sitting in a basket by our wood stove.

    • Penny Hannah says

      I’m with Melissa on this one. I made HUGE quantities of coloured waxy pine cones and sold them at a Christmas market, all gussied up in baskets, cellophane and big bows. My greatest triumph was selling some back to the folk I had gathered the pine cones from!!

  3. Jen C says

    I hear Fritos make good firestarters in a pinch too. Just don’t think about how much oil must be in them if you decided to eat the chips.

  4. Laff says

    I love this idea!

    I think that you may have a fire hazard w/ the method of melting the wax on the grill though. Even on a stove, it’s recommended that you melt wax using a double boiler.

    • Hannah says

      My husband and I make these all the time, and we use these ingredients, plus small squares of cut-up cereal box cardboard for a “wick” (which probably isn’t necessary, since we just light the edge of the egg carton piece). We melt our wax using an electric frying pan that is dedicated for that task only.
      We have also been saving our old scentsy wax to throw in the wax pan.

  5. says

    I also save wax tarts to melt down for the same purpose. You could probably use leftover Scentsy wax as well!

  6. Lauralee says

    We used to make these when my boys were young, mostly for scouting activities, although we used sawdust in place of the dryer lint. This post was a nice reminder.

  7. Gwen Yancey says

    Does it make a difference which type of egg carton you use? I have mostly the styrofoam type of containers.

    • Ayshela says

      I would steer clear of the styrofoam ones for two reasons:
      1. the hot wax would likely melt them
      2. styrofoam gives off toxic fumes when burned

  8. TinaG says

    Toilet paper rolls stuffed with dryer lint work great too. I’ve done both but never dipped them in wax. Not sure what the advantage is except maybe extending the life of the fire started?

    • Sherry says

      I do this, also. I wrap the whole thing in a piece of newspaper or sales flyer, and twist the paper at each end. It looks like a Christmas cracker/popper. The twisted end acts as a wick to start the fire. It’s a good way of recycling what would otherwise be trash.

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