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DIY Fire starters

     As summer has turned into fall I am reminded that winter is just around the corner.  I think about the winters past and I remember one word, COLD.  Do you ever remember a time when it was about 20 degrees outside and the power went out?  I do.  Cold, that is the only thing I can say.  When you get cold to the bones and all you can do is shiver, nothing seems to warm you except a nice hot fire.
     Blessed we are that we have a nice fire place in the middle of our living room.  The only way it could be better is if a fire would start itself.  Now that would be something!  Since that's not going to happen, it is often up to me to start a fire since the power usually goes out when hubby is at work.  They did not teach fire starting at the school I attended and probably not the one you went to either.  Fortunately for me, my mom and dad heated with wood so I have had a little experience.

     I know you need something to light the fire with and some material to burn easily, such as paper or cardboard, and small kindling or wood to begin with.  The only problem is that my paper and cardboard seem to burn out before my wood starts to burn.  I burn all the boxes in the recycling bin and all the paper but my wood is not burning good yet.  What can I do?
     The children and I have collected pine cones for my mom to start a fire.  She loves them.  Mom keeps a basket of pine cones by the fireplace (she has an insert with a blower) so they dry out good.  Then when needed she strikes a match to one and throws it in and WHAM-O, just like that she has a fire.  Not true with my fire place.  We have no insert or blower and I haven't been at this as long as mom.  So I need another option.
Carton filled with lint
     I came upon this idea accidentally and don't really remember what magazine I was reading when I found the article.  I believe it was Backwoods Home or Mother Earth News.  Make your own fire starter using objects you have at home.  All you need is paper egg cartons(the plastic ones don't work because they smell and melt rather than burn), dryer lint (we have a lot of that at my house) or saw dust, and some wax (if you have old candles or gather some at yard sales, they work perfect).
     I keep an egg carton on the dryer and as I do my laundry I just put the lint right into the carton instead of the trash, now that is recycling.  Once I have two or three cartons full of lint(you can do as many as you like) then I am ready to melt the wax.  If you have more saw dust at your home than lint, you just fill your cartons with saw dust.  I have even used the shavings from the pencil sharpener.  Melt the wax using a double boiler.  I don't like to get wax in my pots so I use an old bean can and I put the wax in it.  Once the wax is in the can I put the can in a pot of water and set it to boil, keeping close watch over it and stirring often.

Wax filled.  On the left the
compartment is filled with
pencil shavings.  The
other has dryer lint. 
     When the wax is melted I pour the egg carton with lint full of wax(I do this outside so I don't get wax everywhere).  Cut the carton along the egg compartment.  You have now made your very own Fire Starters!  No need to be cold anymore.  Just strike a match, add kindling and before long you have a fire as good as your mom!  Just don't wait for the days to turn cold and the power to go off to remember to make your fire starters.
Fire starter is what's
     These things are actually fun to use because they burn a long time.  I no longer need cardboard or paper to start a fire.  There is also the satisfaction of doing it myself.  Look out Mom, the sparks are fixing to fly!


  1. Hi , I'm Anne from Life on the Funny Farm ( visiting from Homestead Revival’s Barn Hop.

    What a great idea! With six kids, I have plenty of laundry and therefore plenty of lint!

    It’s nice to "meet" you. I hope you can pop over to my blog and say hi sometime if you get the chance.

    1. Anne, Great to hear from you. We found your blog the other day and we're glad to see the post about raising meat chickens. We raised our first batch this year - it wasn't easy but we were very pleased. Dad just posted a new post about our "Chicken Disassembly Line"

  2. I've been saving my dryer lint for about a month now to use for making fire starters. Only problem, where I live right now doesn't have a fire place. Bummer. But I'll save them and/or sell them.

    1. Amy,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! One good thing is that firestarters don't spoil, so they may come in handy out-of-doors or on vacation. Ours get used even in the summertime on camping trips.

    2. This is BRILLANT! Thank You Everyone
      I am on it! Sooooo fun! I love making
      stuff I can use to solve a problem!
      Can I add Fragrence anyone?

  3. I need to know if I can add a fragrance to these fire starter?

    1. I've never added scent to these, but I'm sure you can. Just remember these burn faster than a candle so you might want to start with a little and work your way up.


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