Christi, from ShopChristi.com, explains how to make colorful fire starters using pine cones. You can add some color and sparkle to your fire! Pine cone fire starters are helpful when getting your fire started, whether it be in the fireplace or at a campfire.
- Age Guideline: 8 Years and Up
- Time Required: 30+ minutes (Does not include drying time)
The above age and time guidelines are estimates. This project can be modified to suit other ages and may take more or less time depending on your circumstances.
- Pine Cones
- Coffee Can
- Epsom Salt
- Medium Sauce Pan
- Paraffin Wax (Gulf wax for canning)
- Fragrance Oil (Scent of your choice)
- Cooking Spray
- Muffin Pans
- Candle wicks
Christi says, "My girlfriend, Paula, has once again proven without a doubt that she is the most creative person I know. I visited her in Hope, Arkansas last week. We had a great time being creative together once again. Paula was prepared with a fun and easy craft idea for the holidays. We made pine cone fire starter gift baskets. The pine cones ended up looking like miniature Christmas trees. We were thrilled with the results. This is an easy, inexpensive, environmentally-friendly craft project that works great as a gift for anyone with a fireplace. I have tried to summarize the process for you."
Soak pine cones in Epsom salt water (1lb of Epsom salt for every gallon of water) for 24 hours.
Ice chests work great for soaking a large number of pine cones. Lay the pine cones out on a towel and let them dry completely.
Make sure your coffee can will fit on top of the saucepan. Begin boiling 1-2 cups of water in medium saucepan. Just enough to fill about 1/4 of the pan. Place coffee can on top of boiling water (like a homemade double boiler).
CAUTION: Be VERY careful while melting and handling the wax.
Carefully begin melting paraffin wax in the coffee can. Be sure to use pot holders or mitts to hold the coffee can as it heats up. Mix in your crayons to create the desired color. Add a little fragrance oil to the wax mixture. Once the wax and crayons are completely melted, remove from the heat.
Use tongs to dip pine cones in the wax mixture. Dip pine cones several times to coat them thoroughly with wax. Be careful not to coat too thick. Just keep in mind; they will be used in fireplaces. If desired, add glitter to pine cones before wax completely dries.
Coat your muffin pan with cooking spray. Insert a candle wick in each muffin pan cup. Pour leftover wax in the muffin pan cups, about 1/3 full. Place pine cones in muffin pan cups to create a bottom for the pine cone to stand up. Place the entire pan of pine cones in the refrigerator to harden. When the wax has completely cooled, remove pine cones from the pan and your pine cone fire starters are ready to use and give.
To give as a gift, simply decorate a gift basket with basket fill or tissue paper. Insert your pine cone fire starters. Embellish the basket with Holiday flowers, berries, and ribbon.
You will have gift baskets of pine cone starters for great holiday gifts that people will love for their beauty and functionality.
Here are some useful tips shared by Christi:
- Collect your own pine cones instead of purchasing them. We found over 50 in one, quick walk.
- Find old, worn out crayons around the house.
- Save your old coffee cans. Use them to melt the wax in and then recycle it when you’re done.
- Lay paper (packing paper or newspaper) on your working surface for easy cleanup.
- Be VERY careful while melting and handling the wax.
Variation from Mikey: "Wrap yarn or something similar around the pine cone. We always melted crayons or you can use bees wax with crayons and dip it in as if you were making a candle. When you are done let it dry on parchment paper. They make a great holiday gift."