How to Make Dry Paper Fire Logs

Updated February 21, 2017

If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, consider making logs out of old newspaper. Surprisingly, a paper log can burn just as long and produce the same level of heat as a wooden log. The dyes used to print newspaper are almost always vegetable based, so there is no need to worry about the newspaper producing harmful fumes. Paper logs are less expensive and more convenient than wood.

Sort through the newspaper to make sure there are no glossy pages, as they're more likely to contain chemicals that produce harmful fumes.

Lay the newspaper out flat. It should only be folded on the original fold that goes from top to bottom. Make a stack of newspaper 3/4 inches thick.

Roll the stack of newspaper like a sleeping bag. Start at the bottom, and work your way up to the top, rolling as tightly as possible.

Hold the rolled up newspaper as tightly as possible. Wrap a rubber band on one end of the newspaper as tight as possible. Try to make it tight enough that the paper does not unravel. Place additional rubber bands spaced 4 inches apart.

Soak the newspaper in water for 10 minutes to ensure all of the paper is soaked.

Place the wet newspaper in a dry, well-ventilated area. Wait at least two weeks for it to dry completely. If it feels cold or moist in any area, let it dry for at least one additional week. It can take several months for a log to dry out.

Place the dried newspaper log in your fireplace, stove or fire pit and burn it as you would a normal log.


Plain brown cardboard also can be used to make logs. Use the same method as with the paper logs.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Rubber bands
  • Water
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About the Author

Kenneth Coppens began his freelance writing career in 2008. His passions in life consist of extensive personal research on food, gardening and finding natural and eco-friendly alternatives to nearly all aspects of life.