How to make a pine cone fire starter

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How to make a pine cone fire starter
Use pine cones instead of firelighters to creat a roaring fire. (mmackinven/iStock/Getty Images)

Dry pine cones make great kindling or fire starters because they burn really well. When wax and a wick are added to the pine cones, they burn even longer, making them ideal for your own fire or as a gift for someone else.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Borax
  • Table salt
  • Paint brush
  • Double boiler
  • Waxed wicks or twine
  • Wax
  • Epsom salts
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt substitute
  • Cup cake tin
  • Glue

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Find pine cones for your fire starters. You can find pine cones in woodlands or buy them at garden centres.

  2. 2

    Prepare a cup cake tin. Grease the tin lightly with cooking oil and place a 10 cm length of waxed wick or some thick twine in the bottom, draping it over the side of each cup.

  3. 3

    Melt wax in a double boiler. Almost any type of wax will work. Paraffin wax can be purchased at any hardware pr DIY shop. For a little more colour, try using leftover candles or even crayons. Your double boiler can be as simple as an empty tin sitting in a larger pan full of boiling water. Don't add too much wax. You don't want it to overflow into your boiler.

  4. 4

    Pour wax into the cake tin. Using an oven glove to hold your pan, slowly pour wax into each cake tin cup until they are half full. While the wax is still hot, place a pine cone upright in each cup of wax. Let the pine cone fire starters harden completely.

  5. 5

    Add a little colour to your fire. Certain chemicals will react in fire to create different colors. You can use your fire starters to create a very colourful fire. Simply brush a little glue on the edges of the pine cone scales and roll in one of the following chemicals: borax for a green flame, table salt for a yellow flame, salt substitute for a violet flame and Epsom salts for white flames.

  6. 6

    Use your fire starters. Place fire starters in the same way as kindling -- with other larger pieces of wood and kindling around it. Light the wick or string on your fire starter and it should burn for around 10 minutes.

Tips and warnings

  • Add essential oils to your wax to add different scents to your fire starters.
  • If you want your pine cone fire starters to burn even longer, dip the entire pine cone in the wax and let it dry with a wick wrapped around its base.
  • Hot wax can be dangerous. Take extra precautions when handling and using it in any project.

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