I have 11 pine trees in my yard. There are pine cones EVERYWHERE. My Pinterest account is filled with pine cone crafts. I love pine cones - they're pretty and my little boy and have a wonderful time collecting them together. Also, lately my husband has really enjoyed using our out door fireplace. When I realized that I could make pine cone firestarters, I was all about it.
Aren't these adorable? And they're super easy to make. And they're practical. AND they make nice gifts when you package them up.
I had an old candle that I really liked the scent. So, I decided to use that candle as my wax for this project. It was one of those vanilla scented ones that come in glass jars they have at Dollar Tree, and I was able to make 5 pine cone firestarters with that amount of wax. I placed the candle still in it's jar, in a pan of boiling water and waited for all of the wax to melt. Then I poured the wax into a measuring cup so that I would be able to pour the wax directly into my muffin tins.
For the wicks, I use cotton twine and tied an end onto a wooden skewer. You can see how I spaced the twine to line up with each impression.
Then I carefully poured the wax into the muffin tin.
In addition to the pine cones, the little guy and I also collected pine tree bark that had fallen from the trees. We also happen to have a pecan tree in the yard, so we used some of the dried outer shells from the pecans. So, each firestarter has a pine cone, and a few pieces of bark and pecan shells for extra kindling.
Since I'm really impatient, I popped my muffin tin in the refrigerator so my wax would set faster. It took about 15 minutes before the firestarters were ready.
For real, do you know how many pine cones fall from 11 pine trees on a windy day. Besides these pine cone firestarters, I've also been making pine cone wreaths and Christmas ornaments. Check out our tree.
Any time I use pine cones, I always make sure to clean them. To do this, I first bake the pine cones in a 175 degree oven for about 2 hours and then wash them in a soap and vinegar solution. I use a small scrub brush to make sure all of the dirt gets washed away. There are plenty of little critters living in those pine trees, but I don't want to invite any of them inside.
When pine cones get wet, they close up. You may notice that my firetarters include closed up pine cones. There goes that impatience of mine again. I didn't wait for my pine cones to completely dry out and open back up. I suggest you do that first when you make your firestarters.
To use the firestarters, light the wick and place it right under your pile of logs in the fireplace. The firestarter should burn for about 20 minutes, giving your logs enough time to catch fire themselves.
If you don't have pine cones, or if you just don't want to spend the time, these firestarters (and some of my pine cone Christmas ornaments) are available in my new Etsy shop - Lone Start Home Store.