Who doesn’t love a good campfire? In an effort to avoid dousing logs with chemicals, I thought I would show you how to make some eco-friendly, yummy smelling fire starters to use or give away as gifts. The concept is simple: fill an egg carton with good-smelling and flammable botanicals and cover them with wax.
- An empty egg carton (I used an 18 egg one)
- Dryer lint or wood shavings
- Beeswax/soy candle nubs or beeswax/soy cakes for melting
- A tin can or a metal pitcher
- A small saucepan
- Cotton wicking
- Pine cones, evergreen branch pieces or any other dried herbs
- Cinnamon sticks
- Cinnamon essential oil
I used soy chips as I already had some around to make candles. You could also use old candle nubs or beeswax cakes. You could support a local beekeeper and buy some beeswax from them.
You’ll need several cinnamon sticks, cut into 3/4-inch pieces. You will also need pine cones, preferably with some needles still attached. I just got mine from from fallen ones in my yard but I’m sure you could get some from a florist (or local park).
After gathering materials, fill the base of each empty egg slot with a bed of wood shavings or lint. Since we are using beeswax/soy wax rather than more flammable paraffin wax, you should include a short length of wick to make sure the fire starters light without trouble.
Clean out a 540ml aluminum can to use to melt your wax. Add hardened wax to the tin can and place it inside a larger saucepan filled with an inch or two of water (the idea is to create a makeshift double boiler, without having to sacrifice a kitchen pan). Bring the water to a boil and keep an eye on your wax as it begins to melt. To make a dozen fire starters you’ll need about 3 cups of wax to fill most of the 540ml can.
After the wax is melted, pour it into each egg cup. I recommend pouring each cup one by one and pressing a pine cone and a piece or two of cinnamon stick into each as you pour. The wax hardens fairly quickly, so make sure that you stick the botanicals in fast so they’ll stick. Make sure your wick stays above the surface of the wax so you can light it when the time comes.
After the wax has hardened, use a pair of garden scissors to cut apart each cup. You could also give away the entire carton. Just tie with a ribbon and add some matches. I wrapped up a couple together and made some cute tags.
I made a sheet of tags for you in case you want to make these yourself. Just right click once you open it, save it, then print, colour, cut and add with a ribbon to your fire starters!! Happy crafting and if you make these yourself, take a photo and tag us at #DIYwithMVF.