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DIY firestarters

Do you like firepits? Do you have a wood stove? How easy do you find it to light that fire up? This can be less than easy for some so I thought I would make some DIY firestarters for stocking stuffers this year.

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Firestarters are pretty darn easy to DIY and odds are you might just have a lot of the ingredients on hand if DIY is your jam.

supplies needed for diy firestarters muffin tin, wood shavings, paraffin wax, cupcake liners and cotton string, arranged on a granite countertop

Supply List

Assembly

I wanted to see which type of firestarter I liked best so I decided to make them two ways- one with paper cupcake liners and no wick (the paper outside behaves like the wick) and no liner with a simple wick.

two muffin tins ready to start making diy firestarters one with paper cupcake liners and the other empty

For easy release later, I used a wipe down of vegetable oil on the “no liner” tin (one point for cupcake liners).

There is a HUGE bag of walnut shavings in my workshop given to me by my buddy Alex (shoutout to him- thanks man!) FOREVER ago. These are a great repurpose for this type of thing and major bonus that walnut wood is SO pretty!

a large black garbage bag of walnut wood shavings

Quick tip:

If you didn’t have a ridiculous amount of wood shavings or sawdust, you could use wood chips for a smoker, paper shreds or twists (note: they wouldn’t burn as long to help the fire start though), dryer lint, or even mulch (be careful if it’s treated).

I grabbed a cup of the wood shavings and placed them in the recesses of both tins, packing them in a bit to make sure I can fit as much as possible.

two muffin tins filled with wood shavings one with paper cupcake liners and wood shavings and the other with only wood shavings

I wanted the easiest way to melt the wax so I pulled out my crock pot. HOWEVER, I did not want to clean it up after so I grabbed these:

box of Reynolds kitchens slow cooker liners on a wooden stool in front of kitchen cabinets

Liners make cleanup a breeze for food and non food “projects” alike. I don’t use them when making food as that seems wasteful, but when using the crock pot for craft projects, they just seem an extra layer of “protection” against cross contamination. I “could buy another crock pot.. but I of course never think about it until I am ready to get started.

Paraffin wax is your best bet for firestarters you might use in a wood stove. It burns more cleanly and nearly completely away so there is far less risk of a fire hazard from waxy buildup. For firepots and campfires, it doesn’t matter as much and you can use, soy, beeswax, or even just leftover candle bits and pieces…

It’s a bit faster to melt the wax when it can heat most evenly so I tossed in a couple cups of water then the liner on top. Inside the liner I put the wax bars. That way the water and wax won’t mix (another good reason to use the liners for this…. I can justify anything…

interior of crock pot with liner and wax bricks ready to be melted

Once it was all melted, I used a ladle to move the hot wax from the crock pot to the muffin tins. Tap them down, and use a skewer, toothpick, knife, whatever to move the shavings around a bit so the wax gets all the way to the bottom of the cup. If the wax spills or drips a bit, it’s no big deal, just let it dry, scrape it up, and drop it back in the pot. It will remelt almost immediately.

muffin tin with no paper liners. some tins are filled with liquid wax and wicks and others are only wood shavings

To make the wicks, I just dipped the cotton string in the wax and let it dry. I put a thin first layer of wax into the no paper tin and then pressed my wick into the mass. Then I cut it long and let it rest on the side of the tin so it didn’t fall in and get buried. Then I filled up the tin the rest of the way with wax. Go slow, so the wax has a chance to really get in there.

I did the same thing in the paper wrapper tins without the wick, so it did go a bit faster.

two muffin tins side by side one with paper liners and the other with only wood shavings and wicks.

Give them a bit to dry and then just turn the muffin pan over. They fall out really easily.

finished diy firestarters two with paper liners and one with a long wick to make lighting easy displayed on a granite countertop

Last thing to do is fire them up for testing….

interior shot of a wood stove with logs and ash bed. diy firestarters in the center being lit with a long nosed lighter.

Worked like a charm and made getting that fire going a breeze.

Happy Thanksgiving this week to my US friends!

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pinnable image of diy firestarter supplies

If you enjoyed this simple craft, you may like these projects too: small succulents, sweet and simple gift, and wine balancer.

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