These homemade fire starters are easy to make, they don’t cost a thing, and they’re totally eco-friendly! Finally – a good use for the lint from your dryer!
It’s cold! Yes, it’s winter and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. But geez, my sofa-afghan seems to be getting a lot more use these days.
Anyhow, all this chilly weather gets me in the mood for vegan hot cocoa, marathon TV watching and a blazing fire. Well, my cocoa is brewing. My TiVo is loaded. Now I need to get this fire-thang started.
In my house, a cozy fire always begins with homemade fire starters. They’re easy to make. They cost NOTHING. And they know how to spark an old fashioned, yet eco-fabulous, fire!
- Cardboard egg carton
- Old candles
- Dryer lint
- Paper from your shredder
- Natural twine
- Tin pan
Prep your wax
- Gather up all those mostly-used candles. If you’re using pillar candles, break or cut them into pieces. If you’re using jarred candles, scrape the wax out of their containers. Small chunks work best. If you can, remove the old wicks.
- Place all your wax into a tin pan.
- Heat in a 200 degree oven until all the wax is melted. It shouldn’t take long – about 30 minutes for a medium-sized pan. But it really depends on how much wax you have.
Make your starters
- I cut my carton into three equal sections. You will have four spaces in each section.
- Grab some paper out of your shredder and fill each section of your carton.
Top each individual section of the carton with lint from your dryer. This is a great project after you’ve cleaned your dryer vent (not just the screen, but everything INSIDE the vent!). Push everything down so it’s compact.
- Pour melted wax on top of your lint. This will bind the paper, lint and egg carton together. You might want to do this over a pan or on some newspaper in case anything leaks.
- Let the wax harden.
- Close up your carton and then tie a piece of twine around it. I do this partially for decorative reasons, but the natural twine also makes a good wick.
How to use your fire starter
I’ve read a lot of posts that say you need just one piece (one egg holder) of the carton to start a fire. I’ve always needed three or four. That’s why my version has four egg holders in each section. I find that’s plenty to get things off to a roaring start. But if you have small fireplace or you’re unsure, these are very easy to rip apart into smaller sections. Either way, this homemade fire starter is the perfect way to make friends with Old Man Winter!
For a step by step video tutorial on making these fire starters, watch the video tute above or click here. And be sure to watch for the adorable pine cone starter too!