I have been sooooo busy the past week, as I am sure you all have been too. I finally got a chance to sit down this evening and my husband got the fire going. As I watched him use the fire starters I made I thought that I would share how I make them with you.
I am all for reuse, repurpose and keep it out of the landfill. If I can give something a new life I do. I receive junk mail, don’t we all? It bothers me to just throw the unwanted junk mail into the recycle bin, so I make fire starters out of it. I also use the boxes from grocery items I buy.
The fire starters you buy at the store are just wax and paper, or you can use waxed open pine cones.
Here is what you will need to save and how to use them.
You will need an old pot for melting the bits and pieces of used candles. I went to my local thrift shop and picked one up for 50 cents. Cleaned it up and I use it to melt the wax in.
Cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper.
Junk mail like catalogs, newspapers, grocery store flyers and so on.
Also save all the bits and pieces from used candles.
Here is how to put them together for fire starters.
Step 1 – Cut your cardboard rolls. The ones from paper towels cut into 4 and the ones from toilet paper cut in half.
Step 2 – take your junk mail and roll it up, not to tight and place it within one of the cut pieces of cardboard tube. Make as many of these as you have junk mail and cardboard for.
Step 3 – All the wax I save I now melt in my pot on the stove. Set the burner on low, you do not need it too hot to melt the wax. You can use the left over wax in the bottom of jars by placing the jar in a warm oven and melting the wax left in it. I do this when I am using the oven for something else so I do not start the oven just for this. When the wax in the jar melts pour it into your pot. Caution!! The jar will be hot please use oven mitts. Now you have your wax in your pot and it is all melted you are ready to add it to your fire starters.
When you are done making your fire starters if you have wax left in your pot, just let it harden and save it for next time.
Step 4 – Cut open a paper grocery bag. (I know you don’t use plastic ones when food shopping. They are so bad for the environment) Lay it flat on your counter. Now dip your rolled junk mail tubes into the wax. You do not have to submerge them completely. Dip one end then the other. Now lay them on the paper bag to harden.
Step 5 – When they are all hardened, put them in a basket by your wood box. Make sure they are not too close to your fireplace.
Step 6 – Remember we never just toss away, so take the paper bag you have been drying your fire starters on, cut it up and use it for fire starters too. It will already have wax stuck to it.
Step 7 – You can also use open pine cones and dip them in your wax. To get them to open place them on an old cookie sheet. Once you use the cookie sheet for this please do not use it for food. Place the cookie sheet in an oven set at 200c. Keep an eye on them, the heat will make them open. Once they open, dip them in your way place on bag to harden and then use these for fire starters. Once again these are exactly what the ones in the store are.
Use these in place of store bought fire starters. Keep in mind that they have wax on them. Wax will burn fast and ignite very easy. Please use caution at all times when lighting a fire.
I have been doing this for some time now. I feel we all have a responsibility to keep as much as we can out of the landfills. I also feel good about using items that cost me nothing, that I already have and I would just toss out. So before you toss, take a look at what you have and how you can alter it and reuse it!! As always have a great day and if there are any questions please give me a shout.