Homemade Fire Starters

Sunday, October 16, 2016


 Looking for a great way to start your next fire?


Boy, do I have a dandy one that not only reuses, recycles and repurposes items that have outlived their usefulness; it’s a fun afternoon project as well.

Fire starters are small wax bundles filled with various flammable materials and threaded with a wick. The bundles are used to start a small pile of wood, kindling or pinecones that in turn creates a larger fire.

They can be made from candle scrapes, bites of wax crayons, pine needles or small cones, wood shavings, even old potpourri or dried flowers.

Life on my farm is all about the senses—the looks, the smells, the sounds all play a role in making our farm a place that we love to hunker down in, so I use scrapes of scented candles and old potpourri for my mixture.

Have fun making your own homemade potpourri fire starters, or use your own materials to create new ones.


What You’ll Need:


  • Paper cupcake wrappers and an old muffin tin. (I bought mine from a yard sale for a dime.)
  • Wax candles scrapes, wax crayon pieces, old paraffin wax or used wax tarts. (Keep a box or bucket handy and toss all these leftovers into it.)
  • Old potpourri.
  • A large pot for water and smaller one for the wax. (Think of a double boiler set-up.)
  • Old spoon and old ladle.



Fill the large pan about half full of water and bring to a steady simmer.

While the water is coming to a simmer, line the muffin tin with the cupcake papers.

Place wax pieces into the smaller pan and set in the simmering water. Melt the wax slowly. Use caution when melting wax, it is very flammable.

Once the wax is completely melted, add the potpourri into the wax and stir until all the material is completely coated. The consistency should be fairly thick. If you need more material, try adding shaving, dried pine needles or small cones and seed pods, like mulberry cones. Keep the heat on so the wax won’t solidify.

Using a ladle, fill each cupcake paper. Use the old spoon to pack down the wax mixture.

When the cupcake papers are full, place the muffin tin in a safe place to cool.

When the starters have cooled, but have not solidified, run the wick through the bottom using a large needle.


 Starting Your Fire


Place your kindling material in a small pile with the fire starter nestled in the middle. Light the wick, which in turn will set the fire starter on fire. The fire starter will create a flame that will last for about 5 minutes, giving time for the kindling to catch, and for you to add larger pieces of kindling. You should have a well started fire by then, and can add larger logs.


WARNING:  Use great caution any time you use flammable materials or work with fire.


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