Making natural beeswax fire starters is a popular craft project. They are easy to create and eco-friendly too! We love to sit around a campfire on cool Fall evenings. But sometimes, it is not easy to get our wood to burn. Luckily, we have plenty of excess beeswax left over from the honey harvest. With a bit of wax and a little patience you can create your own homemade fire starters.
If you enjoy making things, you may already be familiar with the thousands of uses for beeswax. A favorite of crafters it is easy to melt and blend with other ingredients. Now, lets make something awesome.
DIY Homemade Fire Starters
One of the great things about a project like this is its versatility. Homemade fire starters are a practical item that can make life easier for you or anyone.
These are so much better than commercial starters filled with nasty chemicals-who knows that is hidden in them. When you make your own starter you know what is in the finished product.
If you do a neat job with them, they can become something you share with others too. In fact, there are many small gifts you can make with beeswax. And, anyone who loves natural products will enjoy using these natural wax fire starters.
- wick or string
- cinnamon sticks (optional)
- cardboard egg carton
Of course you need some combustible material. This is your kindling – the material that coaxes the wood to catch.
You do not want something that will cause a big exciting flame up. Instead, we need something that will burn long enough to let all the other materials to catch fire.
Some crafters use dryer lint, wood chips, pieces of cork etc – but I think pinecones look really cute. Those of you who live in an area that produces natural pine cones can gather dry ones from the woods.
Small pine cones are best for this project – the mini ones are too small. Using tiny pine cones may result in the fire starter not lighting your fire. Large cones will make the carton lid unable to close. So, the medium sized ones are best.
If you do not have natural cones in your region, or wet weather makes gathering them impossible, you can buy pine cones ready to use.
Homemade beeswax fire starters are super easy to make and eco-friendly too. Of course you do not have to use beeswax.
Paraffin wax is another popular ingredient in products of this type. However, paraffin is a by-product of the petroleum industry and not as clean burning.
Does this matter? Maybe not, but you will likely be hovering over the fire as it is getting started and I would rather the cleanest burning wax possible- one of the benefits of beeswax candles.
Regular cotton wicking used for making beeswax candles work well for homemade fire starters. It will burn well enough to allow the wax in the starter to light.
Some types of cotton string may work as well but be sure to do a test burn before using it for your fire starters.
1. Safely melt your beeswax in a double boiler (or similar) container. Once the wax is melted – remove add a bit of fragrance – if you want to.
2. Place an empty cardboard egg carton on a flat surface with a sheet of foil or wax paper underneath for protection. Add a small amount of wood shavings (or similar) to each cell. Lie a section of wick into each also.
3. Place a pine cone (and cinnamon stick -optional) in each cells and loosely wrap the cotton wick around the pine cone.
4. Pour melted beeswax over the top of each pinecone-cinnamon stick and let it collect in the base of each cell. Don’t over fill – just enough to coat the pinecone and wick and pool in the cell.
Let cool completely – trim wick to about 2″. Use scissors to cut apart prior to use.
Adding Scent to Wax Fire Starters
In this tutorial, I am adding cinnamon sticks-both for looks and to add a bit of scent to the project. This makes the individual starters smell nice and you will enjoy some of the fragrance when starting your fire.
There are many other options to consider. Spices (such as cloves) can be added, or dried flowers, bits of rosemary-even a bit of your favorite essential oils.
Dried pieces of orange peels are also popular. These options become more important when you are creating beeswax fire starters for gifting rather than solely practical use.
- Some wax will leak through the carton as it cools. Place a protective sheet of foil, etc under the carton to protect surfaces.
- You don’t have to overfill the individual cells of the carton. Just add enough wax to coat the pine cone and fill a bit of a wax base in the individual cells.
- Always take proper safety measures to prevent burns or fire when dealing with any flammable substance – even beeswax.
- Beeswax can be difficult to remove from pots and pans. It is best to have special ones that are dedicated to wax use.
- Make sure your pine cones are not too large and will sit down into the carton well – and that you can close the carton if you wish to make a gift of the whole thing.
- When making them or using them be careful to avoid burns –
One of the most wonderful aspects of this type of beeswax craft is the adaptability. Don’t have an egg carton? You can use a muffin pan with cupcake liners as your holder. But, be advised that getting wax off your pan may be a chore.
There are so many different beeswax crafts that you will probably never create them all. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, right?
If you are looking for something unique – try these beeswax luminaries. They look so elegant and give a warm glow to any occasion – everyone will wonder how you make them.
Another fun seasonal craft is to preserve the bright Fall color of leaves with beeswax. They will last for several months and can be a part of home decor for Fall.
If you enjoy crafting DIY health and beauty projects, whip up a batch of this natural beeswax foot balm – a soothing aid for dry, cracked heels.
If you want to try several projects, consider the small items like homemade beeswax lip balm, beeswax soy tarts or even the basic beeswax melts. They can be combined into a larger, personalized bee gift basket.
DIY beeswax fire starters will make starting your next campfire, or outdoor firepit so much easier. They do not flame up like some types of accelerants and make starting the wood easier.
They also make great small gifts for any occasion. Put a ribbon around the carton and give the whole thing to a lucky camper or outdoor fan.
How to Make Beeswax Fire Starters
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- Melt beeswax: Melt approximately 9 oz (net weight) of beeswax in a double boiler. Beeswax is relatively easy to melt and only needs to reach a temperature of about 147 ° F.It will flame if it gets too hot so watch it closely. Yes you “could” use the microwave but a double boiler is much safer.
- Prepare egg carton: Open the empty cardboard egg carton. It should be relatively clean but a few stains or spots in the bottom of the cells is no cause for concern. We are going to cover those up anyway!
- Fill cavities with shavingsFill each section of the empty egg carton with wood shavings (or sawdust-if that’s what you have). Pack the shavings down gently into the bottom. They should be about 1/2″ to 3/4″ of shavings in each section.
- Assemble the beeswax fire starter: Pour wax into each section of the egg carton – it is best to do this one section at a time. Your wick may start to float so place a medium sized pine cone into the section. Hold it down until it stays-if necessary. The wax will cool relatively quickly.Once the pine cone is staying in place, add a 3″ piece of cinnamon stick to the section. You can use other herbs, pine needles etc to beautify your starter. Press it down firmly into the wax and shavings.
- Check wick location: Be sure the open end of the wick is sticking up out of the wax surface and wrap the wick around the pine cone.
- Now, pour a small amount of beeswax on the top of each pinecone/wick section. This helps attach the wick to the cone.
- Let the wax cool completely. Then, use scissors to trim the wicks to a uniform length of an inch or 2.When it is time to use them, use scissors to cut the sections apart and use one for your campfire or in the fireplace.