Monday, December 22, 2008

Tutorial - How To Make Simple Fire Starters

With family and friends heating their homes with wood burners and fireplaces, fire starters seemed a natural gift idea. The added bonus is they are a fun craft to do using junk materials found in your recycling bin and lint trap of the dryer.

Supplies needed are cardboard egg cartons, lint from your dryer trap or vent (preferably cotton), leftover candles or wax, a coffee can and cooking pot.

Break candles into chunks and place into coffee can. Add water to your cooking pot and use the coffee can with candles as a makeshift double-boiler. (Do not melt wax without using the double-boiler method since it can burn quickly and could be a fire safety hazard.) Watch the melting wax carefully. Fill each egg carton holder completely with lint.

Carefully pour melted wax over each lint-filled egg holder approximately halfway. There is no need to fill completely, just make sure all lint is wet with wax. Set aside or place in refrigerator to harden quickly.

When wax has completely hardened, break apart each egg holder. Each of these pieces is now a fire starter that can be burned easily as-is. Just place in fireplace or wood burner and light the cardboard carton.

Since we are giving these as gifts, we decided to wrap each fire starter with a piece of burlap and include a special message with "warm" quotes. That way each time they use one of the starters they will get to read a warm and fuzzy quote or just a special message from the Allen family. Quotes can be found on sites such as or Brainy Quote.

Tie each off with a piece of twine or rope and attach the tags. Looks like Santa's sleigh is ready for take off with these little bundles of warmth for the season!

Be sure to instruct the recipient not to place directly in the fire's path when not in use (as you probably know), since these can be quite flammable. They should be set in a safe place. Ho! Ho! Ho!

As always, take care and keep on junking!

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