Friday, February 24, 2012

Let's Start a Fire

My husband and I hate to waste. When it comes to our crafts (sewing for me and wood for him) we are even more miserly. I will keep every last little scrap of fabric in the hopes that I can use it for something in the future. If you have seen my pony tail holders, you know what I have been doing with my scraps recently. Well, out in the wood-shop, aka my garage, there are plenty of scraps. Justin keeps just about every piece. If its too small to create with, we use it as firewood. We actually had an entire evening's fire the other day using only scrap wood left over from other projects.

Justin has been making a lot with Cedar recently. We had a fallen tree in our back yard last year and it was screaming to be made into something wonderful. The aroma coming out of the garage has been great. It does smell a bit like a hamster cage but I love it. When the lathe is in use, we don't just have left over wood, we have large curls of saw dust. Lots and lots and lots of saw dust.
I wish you could smell it through your screen. Isn't it great? We knew we just had to find something to do with it. Last year we took the finer sawdust and used it as mulch in some of the more remote areas in our backyard. That did not seem like the best way to use this stuff though. Finally, Justin found the perfect use during an Internet search.... Fire Starters!

Here is what we did.... First we went to Hobby Lobby and picked up a huge block of wax. This stuff was not cheap but with a 40% off coupon, it was not so bad.
Next we bought an inexpensive muffin tin. I really didn't want to ruin mine with wax and wood shavings. Yuck. I wanted large fire starters so I bought the jumbo muffin tin. We filled the tins generously with the shavings.
Next came the boring part. We used a hammer to break the wax into small pieces and created a water boil set up with a pan of hot water and a measuring cup. Once the water boiled, I put wax in the measuring cup and waited...and waited, for the wax to melt.
Once it melted, I added more until I had a decent amount of wax in the cup. I poured the wax right on top of the wood shavings and then smooshed them down with a plastic spoon. We really wanted to get a lot of wood chips in there so after the wax hardened a bit, we added more shavings and then more wax. We wanted to leave a nice amount of the shavings on the top for the fire to catch so the wax was about half way up each muffin tin. After the wax hardened for about an hour, we took a knife and got them loose. To our surprise, they popped right out! I think they look wonderful and they smell great too.

Now the best part of the entire process, THEY WORK! Just put one in your fireplace and light it. They catch fire immediately and they burn long enough to get a really good fire going. As a bonus, they smell good too. No more buying those chemical filled fire starters any more. We don't even need to use newspapers. What's also great is that they look adorable sitting in a basket next to my fire place.

Variations: When we initially searched for these, we found them made in dixie cups and in paper muffin wrappers. Both can be placed directly into the fire as the paper burns right along with the rest. We decided to go as naturally as possible and I like the look of ours way better. A little more rustic and natural looking :-)

Have you tried any new projects lately? I would love read about it. Post a comment or link below.


  1. I love this idea! Can't wait to have a fire in the fireplace with a cedar fire starter!

  2. These sound great! I remember making firestarters with pinecones and wax in the past.