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 economical way to start both our fireplace and patio fire pit 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 perfectly fun, frugal, freebie gift idea this holiday season!
Here’s what you will need to make this DIY project:
- Pine cones
- Newspaper sheet
- Used wax (from candles or wax melts)
- Aromatics (dried spices or herbs)
- 16″ x 16″ Decorative Brown Paper Squares
Here’s how to make the fire starters:
To start, you’ll need pine cones. 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. 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.
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.
Next, plug-in your plug-in candle warmer, and melt 1 tablespoon of wax (approximately 1 wax melt amount in size) per two pine cones you will be making; melting should take 15-20 minutes. The quickly drizzle your cones with your reconstituted wax. And, with equal measure, sprinkle on your aromatics. I like to use dried rosemary but ground cloves, star anise, and cinnamon work well too.
Then lay your pre-cut twice to the side of your work area. Using gloves, take each pine cone and stuff 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.
Now, lightly drizzle more wax around and down the cone, and sprinkle your aromatics around the cone. Be sure to let each one dry for 20 minutes before packaging. 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 $0.15 each. Make sure to store these starters in a cool, dry place. 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 a hostess, PTA, Co-Op Groups, or for quick holiday gift ideas this coming season.
I hope this DIY will inspire you to step out into nature and see what other great gift-giving ideas may be waiting for you in your own backyard! Now I want to ask, do you give DIY gifts this time of year? If so, I’d love to hear about your gift-giving ideas below!