Good morning, savvy savers! Continuing with this weeks DIY Holiday Gift Ideas, I wanted to share one of my favorite tips to not only stay debt-free, but to add a festive flare around my home for the upcoming holiday season with Homemade fire starters!
I came up with this tip to help my family have a more economic way to start both our fireplace and patio fire pit during during chilly nights, or when company way over. Mind you, this project was also born out of a cheapskate moment when it dawned on me that store bought fire starter logs were over $4.00 per log, and as I like to use our fireplace nearly daily, I could easily spend over $100.00 monthly for this seasonal luxury!
Though the DIY was awesome on its own, the best part for me is that most of the items to make this project should be staples you already have around your home, making this project a perfect fun, frugal, freebie gift idea this holiday season!
Here’s what you will need to make this DIY project:
- Pine cones
- Twine ( you will need two 10″ piece per pine cone)
- Dryer lint
- Used wax (you can use scented, bees wax, or whatever you have on hand
- Wax paper (6″ Squares, and a longer sheet to use as a drip sheet for the project on your surface of choice)
- Whole, folder Newspaper sheet (to lay over wax paper)
- Used wax (wax can be from candles, wax melts, or beeswax)
- Aromatics (dried spices, herbs, etc.)
- 16″ x 16″ Decorative Brown Paper Squares
- Gardening gloves
Here’s how to make the fire starters:
1) First, you will need pine cones, basic, dry pine cones that are approximately 4-5″ tall. You can gather pine cones in your yard, the park, or from family and neighbors (with permission). Look for “pretty” pine cones, cones with their seeds emptied and their petals fully opened.
2) Make sure pine cones are cleaned out; you can also bake pine cones on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil for 11 minutes and then cooled for 1 hour, to make sure they are bug-free.
3) Once your pine cones are gathered, inspected, and clean, set your pine cones on your long strip of wax paper, topped with newspaper, to protect your work surface.
4) Plug-in your plug-in candle warmer, and melt 1 ounce (1 wax melt) per two pine cones you will be making; melting should take 15-20 minutes.
5) Take your dryer lint, and break it apart into half inch pieces, set aside.
6) Have your aromatics ready and set to the side for easy access; I like to use dried rosemary.
7) Lay your pre-cut twice to the side of your work area, prepped for easy access.
8) Using your gardening gloves, take each pine cone and stuff small pieces of dryer lint into each pine cone, making sure that the dryer lint is as far into the pine cone as possible; sometimes using a chop stick or the like can help with this.
9) Then wind 1 of your pre-cut twine strips into each pine cone. Start 1 inch down the pine cone, wrapping gingerly around the cone, and ending at the base of the cane. Be sure to leave enough twine so that it can be wrapped around the cone and into the wax in the next step.
10) Next, working quickly, dip your pine cone into your wax warmer, and then place your waxed cone on your pre-cut wax paper strips, making sure to wrap your remaining twine around the cone clockwise until all of the twine is absorbed into the wax.
11) Now, lightly drizzle more wax around and down the cone, and sprinkle your aromatics around the cone.
12) Be sure to let each cone dry for 20 minutes.
13) Finish your cones by wrapping them individually in your pre-cut 6″ x 16″ Decorative Brown Paper Squares, and tie with a bow using your second twine strip.
So, there you have it! Homemade aromatic fire starters! I make my version for around $0.25 each. Make sure to store these starters in a cool, dry place. Sometimes I will store them decoratively around my health, in a basket, during the holiday season. Also, consider making a small basket of these cones for hostess, PTA, Co-Op Groups, or for quick holiday gift ideas this coming season.
Gift Giving Idea: I plan to give these fire starters to four friends and neighbors as gifts. I generally place the starters in an open basket, lined with gingham cloth, they make for a truly traditional, charming, affordable gift-giving idea!
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