10.17.2012

How to Make Fire Starters

© shoutingforha
Have you ever tried to light a fire in your fireplace or outdoor fire pit with no success?  Well, today is your lucky day.  I am going to show you a simple solution to this age-old problem...  Homemade fire starters.

I have to give credit for this project to my mom.  She always had a stash of these handy little guys within easy reach of our wood-burning stove and, as a result, lighting the fire was never a problem.

Here's what you will need:

A clean tin can
Remnants of old candles
A pot of water
Muffin tin
Paper muffin cups
Dryer lint or sawdust
A pair of scissors
Pine cones, pine straw, wood chips... 

Let's get started...

© shoutingforha
Using a sharp knife, chop up the old candles and place the chunks of wax the tin can.  Make sure to set aside the wicks as you will need them later on.  Place the tin can in a pot of water and allow it to heat on the stove until the wax has completely melted. 

© shoutingforha
Meanwhile, line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

© shoutingforha
Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with dryer lint or sawdust.  My mom always used sawdust, but since I didn't have any on hand I decided to use some of my never-ending supply of lint.  Try not to be too grossed out by the dog hair and other bits of nastiness lurking in my lint.

© shoutingforha
Using your scissors, cut the wicks into 1.5 - 2 inch pieces and place one in each muffin cup.  I like to make sure that one end of the wick is tucked underneath the lint or sawdust and the other is sticking out over the edge of the muffin cup.

© shoutingforha
Add a few pine cones on top of the lint.  I'm using some of the tiny pine cones that fell off my neighbor's cypress tree.  Feel free to substitute bigger pine cones or even a bit of pine straw or wood chips.  Just use whatever you happen to have on hand.

© shoutingforha
Remember all that wax you melted?  Carefully pour the wax over the dryer lint, wick and pine cones.  Make sure you use a hot pad when you pick up the can as the metal will be hot.  Allow the wax to harden before removing the fire starters from the muffin tin.

You can store the fire starters in a basket by your fireplace for easy access.  If you plan on using your fire starters to light your outdoor fire pit, I would recommend keeping them inside during the summer months as the wax is no match for the hot temperatures.

© shoutingforha
To use one of these handy-dandy fire starters, simply place a few logs in your fire pit.  Tuck some crumpled newspaper and a few twigs between the logs.  Place one of the fire starters on top of the paper.  Place one of your fire starters on top of the paper.

© shoutingforha
Light the wick and wait for the fire to ignite all of the kindling and the logs.  It's that simple.

© shoutingforha
My fire looked like this within two minutes.  The best part is that it only took one match.

I hope you will give these simple fire starters a try.  They make a sometimes trying task so much easier.

~~~~~

This post is part of Works For Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family.  Pop by for some more handy tips. 

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