How to Make Homemade Firelighters from Recycled Materials

by Sarah - Craft Invaders


We tested out making homemade firelighters from recycled materials - and they are fabulous! We will never buy fire starters again. We even did a burn test video so you can see how long they burn for and how smoothly! Really easy and cheap to make - its the kids new job!

 

Regular readers will know that we are huge Pinterest fans. Every visit, I find something new and different to inspire us; whether it be a craft project, recipe, an amazing up-cycling project or a beautiful holiday destination. It’s like the perfect, endless, glossy magazine full of amazing images. I am aware, of course, that some of these glorious images must have teams of designers behind them, and that not everything that we see on there has been thrown together on a kitchen table, in the way you and I might!

There are a few pins that I come across again and again, and each time a little voice in my head says ‘I wonder if that really works?’ Well, there is only one way to find out! Welcome to our series of Pin-Tested; where Craft Invaders try out crafty pins that inspire us, and find out how easy it is to recreate that pin at home.

Today we try making homemade firelighters from recycled materials.

 

What we used for our homemade firelighters

Dried pine needles from a woodland floor, mixed half and half with wood shavings
Half burned and broken candles
Scrap paper (we used Kraft as we have loads, but newspaper would be a good alternative)
String
An old muffin tin as a mould and double boiler for melting wax

 

We tested out making homemade firelighters from recycled materials - and they are fabulous! We will never buy fire starters again. We even did a burn test video so you can see how long they burn for and how smoothly! Really easy and cheap to make - its the kids new job!

 

We cut out squares of paper to line our moulds with enough sticking out that we could gather it and tie with string. We wanted to be sure that if our firelighter contents didn’t hold together, that the paper would contain it. Please note this is not a tin that we use to cook in! We melted our old ends of candles in a double boiler, you could also do this in a bowl over simmering water. Please ensure you do this safely, bearing in mind that wax ignites easily! Please also remember that it is not safe to melt wax in a microwave or leave melting wax unattended.

 

We tested out making homemade firelighters from recycled materials - and they are fabulous! We will never buy fire starters again. We even did a burn test video so you can see how long they burn for and how smoothly! Really easy and cheap to make - its the kids new job!

 

How we made our homemade firelighters from recycled materials

We mixed our needles and shavings together. Our shavings are quite coarse. Clumps of very fine powders can act in an explosive manner when ignited, so please bear that in mind when selecting your materials and mixing them. We also threw in the remains of our paper, torn into pieces, and the old wicks from our melted candles.

 

We tested out making homemade firelighters from recycled materials - and they are fabulous! We will never buy fire starters again. We even did a burn test video so you can see how long they burn for and how smoothly! Really easy and cheap to make - its the kids new job!

 

We dipped lengths of our string in the melted wax to act as wicks when we tied it around our firelighters. Then poured the rest of the wax over our mixture and incorporated it well. Remember it will be hot. We aimed to use just enough wax so that the mixture would stick together when compressed, but not so much that we ended up with a puddle in the bottom of our wood-burner.


We tested out making homemade firelighters from recycled materials - and they are fabulous! We will never buy fire starters again. We even did a burn test video so you can see how long they burn for and how smoothly! Really easy and cheap to make - its the kids new job!

 

When the mixture was cool enough to handle we  pressed it firmly into our moulds lined with the paper, and tied each bundle up with the waxy string and left to set.

It turns out that these homemade firelighters work incredibly well. As this is a test, we made a video showing one of our firelighters burning. It will, if you are interested in that sort of thing, give you an idea of how effective they are, and for how long they burn. I started filming as soon as I had lit the string, and I stopped filming after 10 minutes because frankly you can only have so much of a good thing, and my arm had started to hurt!

 

 

If you have enjoyed this Pin-tested Post, why not check out our Pin-Tested! Homemade Vanilla Extract and our Pin-Tested! Bleaching Pine Cones Posts.

For more information on sustainable fuels for your fire check out of review of Lekto Wood Fuels Hardwood Heat Logs.


We test out making homemade firelighters from recycled materials - and they are fabulous! We will never need to buy fire starters again.

 

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21 comments

Debbie C. January 15, 2017 - 10:52 pm

I make a similar firelighter using melted candle scraps poured over dryer lint stuffed into egg carton cups. While most egg cartons aren’t made of cardboard anymore, you can still get them from restaurants if you ask. Those are a big holder that has spaces for 30-36 eggs. After the wax/lint mixture has hardened, just snap the cups apart. You won’t need a wick because you can just light a corner of the cup. I made and sold these at the farmers market and guess who my biggest buyer was. The boy scouts! These burn forever and will start the most stubborn fire.

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders January 16, 2017 - 9:50 pm

I’ve never tried the lint as we don’t have a dryer but I’ve heard really good things about using it, and a brilliant way to use something which would just end up in the bin, love the egg carton idea too, thanks Debbie 🙂

Reply
Mary January 15, 2017 - 5:38 pm

Another idea is to put paper cupcake liners in a muffin tin, fill with sawdust (maybe your partner does woodworking), and then pour wax in. Let it dry and then use to start fires. Make cute gifts too as they look like muffins! Nice hostess gift or holiday gifts.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 16, 2017 - 9:48 pm

Love the idea of using cupcake cases – would make it lovely and quick, and I bed they do look cute – thanks Mary 🙂

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Tess Bourque September 11, 2016 - 4:43 pm

Oh we could use these for so many things. MY mind is churning. I could use them for campfires while we are camping, to light our burn barrel. Or the one I am really thinking about a fire pit with some hot cocoa and roasted marshmallows. Oh how I wish it were cold here already.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders September 12, 2016 - 12:54 pm

I cant wait for the cold weather either – cant beat a lovely fire on a cold day!

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Jessica September 11, 2016 - 4:33 pm

How cool!! The only DIY fire lighter I have tried was one where you filled empty toilet paper rolls with dryer lint. They were okay-ish, but these look way more effective!

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Sarah - Craft Invaders September 12, 2016 - 12:53 pm

These ones burn for ages Jess, we find them really reliable 🙂

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Crummy Mummy January 5, 2016 - 9:25 am

These look almost too cute to burn! #twinklytuesday

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders January 5, 2016 - 11:44 pm

I like how they look too – some of the kid’s friends have looked at them quite hopefully when they visit – think they imagine the are stuffed with goodies 🙂

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