Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Homemade Fire Starters

(This post is a little late in the season to write about but I figure better late than never, right?) 

Fire starters are a great way to start a fire quickly and easily without any fanning or having to create a teepee out of wood!  They aren’t only great for wood burning fireplaces, but they are great to be used when having a bonfire outside or going camping!  Homemade fire starters don’t take up much space, are simple to make, extremely effective when starting a fire and cost nothing to make!


  • Sawdust
  • Candle wax
We use sawdust and candle wax.  We get sawdust by chopping the wood needed for the winter months and collecting it while it’s dry.  The candle wax has been obtained for free from and remnants of candles we have burned around the house over the year. 


  • Melt wax in a large pot enough to be able to stir easily (do not boil)
    • You can also use boiling water and a glass jar like a double boiler if you don’t want to dirty the pot with these ingredients
  • Stir in sawdust so that the sawdust is lightly coated with wax
  • Scoop out into clumps and let dry
We keep our fire starters in a couple of baskets next to the wood burning stove.  We use one to start up the fire and try to maintain the fire to a comfortable temperature.

Photo Credit

 A friend of mine  makes her own fire starters as well, but not with sawdust.  This is how she makes hers:


  • Paper egg cartons (not styrofoam)
    • You can also use little paper cups, paper cupcake liners, the cardboard core of a paper towel or toilet paper roll (cut into smaller pieces)
  • Dryer lint
  • Candle wax or broken crayons


  • Place a small pot of water on the stove to boil
  • Put candle wax remnants and/or crayons in a glass jar and place in the pot of hot water to melt down
  • Open the egg carton and cut off the top
  • Take small pieces of dryer lint and put them in each of the egg compartments of the egg carton
  • When wax in the jar is melted down, pick up with an oven mit and pour a little wax over each lint-filled egg compartment
  • Let dry / harden
  • Cut out the 12 egg compartments
  • Store for future use
  • Place one in a fire with wood in it and watch the wood catch fire!
We don’t buy eggs from the store because we have chickens to lay eggs for us. If you are in the same boat, you can ask family, friends and neighbors to keep their egg cartons so that you can make these starters, or pot an inquiry on or Craigslist. 

Good luck and have fun!

This post is linked to Homestead Revival's Barn Hop!


  1. What a great idea. Thanks fro sharing both examples. I am going to try them both.

  2. Good luck! If we run out of the wood shaving ones, I will definitely be making the egg carton firestarters to last us the rest of the season. :-) We have enough lint to make PLENTY of them!