DIY Fire Starters

DIY Fire Starters | areturntosimplicity.comWhen we moved into our “new” house last year, the previous owners very generously left all their wood stove supplies for us to use.

The chimney cleaning records, polish for the ceramic, extra long matches, and a pack of fire starters were all included.

My husband and I both grew up in houses that relied almost solely on wood heat, but neither of us had ever used pre-made fire starters. We were mostly just familiar with using leftover pieces of cardboard or newspaper to start fires with.

However, once we started using the pre-made fire starters, we realized how nice and convenient they are.

Especially with a newer style wood stove that burns wood much more quickly in order to meet emissions standards.

When we ran out of the initial batch the previous owners left for us, Matthew decided he wanted to make some more himself.

After he researched the price of the fire starters at the store, and found that they were rather expensive, he was even more set on creating a cost effective version at home.

After a couple of experiments, this is what he came up with, and it works fabulously!

To create your DIY fire starters, you will need:

  • A small piece of cardboard, or a few cardboard egg cartons.
  • Wax -old candles, beeswax, soy wax, or paraffin wax will all work, but I usually try to avoid the paraffin wax for health reasons.
  • Any combination of wood shavings, sawdust, chopped dry leaves, shredded paper, and lint.
  • If you are using flat cardboard, you will need an old flat container to hold the fire starters.

DIY Fire Starters |

If you are using a flat piece of cardboard, cut it into small squares and arrange in the bottom of your container. If you are using egg cartons, you can just skip this step.

DIY Fire Starters |

Melt your wax in an old glass jar submerged in hot water.

DIY Fire Starters |

Mix all your wood chips/leaves/lint together, and sprinkle a layer on your cardboard or in your egg cartons.

DIY Fire Starters |

Pour a layer of melted wax over the wood chips. We used an old spaghetti jar with holes poked into the lid to create a “watering can” effect. *The wax will be very hot, so use an old cloth or pot holder to grab the jar of wax! 

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Repeat the two layers again.

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Let the wax harden, then break the cardboard pieces apart or cut the egg carton in pieces to use!

DIY Fire Starters |

I am telling you- these guys work! They burn strongly for a good, long time, and completely eliminate the need for any other paper or cardboard to start the fire!

I think it’s so awesome that you can create a DIY fire starter that REALLY works from things you probably have around your house already!

DIY Fire Starters |

Want more DIY projects that help you live a more simple life? Follow me on Pinterest!!


This post has been shared at Tuesdays With a Twist, The Homestead Blog Hop, Down Home Blog Hop, The Home Acre Hop, Simple Lives, The Pin Junkie, Freedom Fridays, From the Farm Hop, Old Fashioned Fridays, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, Wildcrafting Wednesday, and The Art of Homemaking

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6 responses to “DIY Fire Starters”

  1. Kristie says:

    This is such a great idea! i’m pinning this and I will be making some-thanks for sharing!

  2. JES says:

    Great recipe! I love using what we have and starting fires is NOT one of my strengths! Thanks for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week. Am pinning this 🙂

  3. KarenLynn says:

    I chose your post as my fave this week on the From The Farm Blog Hop and it will be featured this Friday! Great post informative and interesting!

  4. Dés says:

    PERFECT! Thank you for sharing! After my last camp-out with our Scouts, where the adult “Geeser” patrol didn’t have much kindling or other fire starting means available (and had to rely on the Scouts to get us started), I was determined to be better prepared next month!
    I had heard about the dryer lint and wax, but the idea of putting it all in egg cartons and adding dried leaves, well that’s just PERFECT for our needs! Easy (and cheap) to make, can easy to pack and transport. After all, a scout is prepared, resourceful and thrifty, right?! So again, THANK YOU for sharing your wisdom!

    PS: Have you heard of paper bricks/logs? I grew up with that as a kid. Great way to reuse all your no longer needed paper. Basically, wet all the paper to a pulp (faster if you can shred the paper first), then form bricks (by hand or purchase a press), let dry, voila, you have a paper log to use in your stove or fireplace 🙂

  5. Hilda says:

    If you crochet you can make jar cozies that work like pot holders without the slippage. If not you might try a sock, or part of one. You can even keep it out of the waterbath if you use it open at both ends and only at the top of the bottle.
    There are lots of ideas in old boy scout handbooks for back to basic things that you may like. I make fire starters like they do with egg cartons.

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