We officially have entered the season of all things cozy: fuzzy blankets, baggy sweatpants, hearty soup and gathering around a fire. Whether you prefer to warm up with a fireplace or a bonfire, getting the fire started is usually the hardest part. If you’re out of fire starters, you can make your own!
Items You’ll Need to Make a Fireplace & Campfire Starter
To make a campfire starter, you’ll need cardboard egg cartons, wax and a light, papery material like sawdust, woodchips or dryer lint. These may be items you have around your home, but a quick trip to the store will ensure you have what you need. All of the DIY fire starters below are safe for both indoor and outdoor use and can be created in 10 minutes or less.
When using wax, try to opt for a more natural wax, like soy or beeswax, as paraffin wax emits more toxins. Essential oils can be added to any of these fire starters for an enjoyable scent, just make sure that the essential oil has no additives and is safe to burn. Scents like bergamot
are great choices for your next fire.
Egg carton fire starter
This fire starter is easy and fun to make. It will burn for about nine minutes, making it a reliable, long-lasting fire starter.
- Fill egg carton cups with a mix of the cotton balls, sawdust and lint – whatever you have on hand.
- Place egg carton on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Melt wax in a double boiler. (Note: If incorporating essential oils, add a few drops to the wax.)
- Pour wax into each cup and let harden.
- Break carton cups apart. Each one acts as a highly flammable fire starter.
Simpler egg carton fire starter
This recipe is similar to the previous recipe with just a couple less steps and ingredients. It will burn fast so be prepared with several.
- Put a candle stub in each carton cup.
- Surround stubs with dryer lint.
- If desired, add a few drops essential oil to each cup.
- Break cups into individual fire starters.
Fire starter squares
These little squares are simple to make and will burn for about 4 minutes, making them effective but not too long lasting. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty on hand.
- Soy wax, beeswax or candle stubs
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet
- Chop wax into small pieces.
- Melt wax in a double boiler.
- While wax is heating, spread sawdust along the bottom of a lined baking sheet.
- Pack sawdust down lightly.
- Pour melted wax over sawdust filled pan.
- Let wax harden, then cut into 2x2-inch squares.
Two ingredient fire starters
Below are a few different quick fire starter combinations of just two ingredients that are simple yet effective.
- Wax + pinecones: Simply dip your pinecones in wax and let dry.
- Wax paper + lint: Roll dryer lint into a sheet of wax paper.
- Toilet paper roll + lint: Fill toilet paper roll with lint.
- Cotton balls + petroleum jelly: Massage petroleum jelly onto cotton ball for a very flammable combo.