Keeping the Home Fires Burning
We love our fireplace! We love that our fireplace is wood burning. We love the sounds, the sight and smell of a wonderful wood fire. I know many people enjoy the ease of turning a key, flipping a switch or pressing a button to start a gas or electric fire. But I for one LOVE the old fashioned (really? old fashioned?) wood burning fires. The picture above was taken a few days before Christmas w/ my iPhone. I was enjoying a cozy fire, a cup of Christmas Tea and a sweet Christmas Book. Ahhh!!! That chair is a favorite spot of mine. But I digress.... OK, so back to the fireplace. After almost 20 years in our home we have become very savvy at starting a fire in the fireplace. For many years we bought duraflame type starters, or even cut up duraflame type logs to use as firestarters. Over the years, Martha Stewart among others have provided up w/ valuable tips on how to start the perfect fire! We make donuts out of newspaper, we collect sticks and twigs from our yard for kindling. We have received wonderful gifts for the fireplace over the years such as baskets of fatwood, "magic pinecones" that burn beautiful colors and utensils. However last year I decided to try my hand at making homemade firestarters out of saw dust, wax and egg cartons! My attempt worked marvelously! I made another batch this past Sunday & decided it would be a fun project to share! It's not too difficult, you just have to be careful as you are working w/ hot wax.
The wax I collect comes from old jar candles, tapers that are nothing but stubs etc. The easiest way to remove wax from jars or votive holders - place them in the freezer. After a short time in the freezer the wax will just pop out. Sometimes you have to use a butter knife to section wax in a larger jar.
Cardboard Egg Cartons (not Styrofoam)
I collect wax throughout the year and store it in ziploc baggies
I have a melt setting on my range...
however I do set it a bit higher so the wax melts quicker
Be careful that you don't set the temp to high! No fires on the rangetop please!
Fill each egg section w/ your wood shavings or sawdust
This particular time I used wood shavings from the logs that Jim
used to make his woodpecker feeders
Make sure you place a thick layer of newspaper under
the egg cartons as the wax will seep through the bottom
This is the pan I use for melting my wax.
Be careful the wax is HOT!
Pour the wax (careful as it's very hot)
over the shavings
Let the wax harden and you are ready to tear the sections apart
They aren't the prettiest things, but they do the job!
One starter per fire is all we use!
PLEASE NOTE! DO NOT USE THESE IN A GAS FIREPLACE!
Use extreme care whenever fire is involved!