Simple Homemade Fire Starters
You can make a simple fire starter for a campfire or fireplace by using a cardboard egg carton, some sawdust, and some wax. This requires adult supervision. Look around your community for a business that does woodworking for a source for sawdust, or if you know someone who cuts their own wood or if a local school or college teaches wood shop, they might have sawdust. Fill the cardboard egg carton cups with sawdust. Set aside while you melt the wax.
How to Make Wood Stove Fire Starters
My dad was out of work for over a year and we had to come up with ways to use what we already had. At a camping trip, a friend told him about saving dryer lint to start campfires. We figured it would work for our fireplace. So, I took it one step further. I now save the empty toilet paper rolls and keep them in a decorative container above the dryer. After each load, I empty the lint trap and place the lint right in the roll. When it's filled, the roll is placed in a bin on the hearth ready to light the next fire.
Homemade Fire Starters from Junk Mail
We also collect all of the white, paper mail envelopes, specials, and extra portions of bills that we don't need to keep. We have a cute basket by the fireplace to save it from looking like clutter. It's amazing how much accumulates and would ordinarily be wasted. We crumple the paper up and throw it in the fireplace. This is a great alternative to newspapers (we don't subscribe to any in the first place).
Amy in Gilbertsville, PA
Natural Homemade Fire Starters
You can also dip dry pinecones in wax and use them as fire starters (just make sure they are thoroughly dry before using). A good source for wax is old candle ends, candles you find at garage sales, etc. You can buy cubes of wax in the home canning department or hobby stores and mix it with scented candle ends, or use it plain.
Wax is flammable and can be dangerous when heated. A simple and safe way to heat it is to use one of those electric warming trivets designed to heat scented candles/oils or keep a cup of coffee warm. It's not a speedy way to do this, but you won't start a fire and won't get burned on hot wax, either.
I use my two-cup Pyrex measuring cup for melting wax for fire starters that I make in the cups of cardboard egg cartons. Fill each egg cup with some sawdust and top with melted wax. Break the egg carton apart into twelve starters.
Stretching Fire Starters
My family and I use those fire starters (they look like mini bricks) to start fires in our home fireplace. I experimented with breaking them in half to see if they would work just as well. They do and now we will get twice as much use out of the case that we buy.
Easy Homemade Fire Starter
I have discovered an easy "fire starter." Just build your fire as usual and then add chips of paraffin wax to the top of the wood. The wax melts onto the logs and kindling and gets the fire going quickly.
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