diy project: pinecone fire starter


[today i’m thrilled to announce the the talented sisters from bbb craft, who had one of the most popular guest blogging stints we’ve seen at d*s, will be joining d*s as diy contributors! twice a month they’ll share a project with us and we’re so thrilled to have them. and a big congratulations to anna who just welcomed a new baby!]

we first spotted these pinecone fire starters at the cool UK site hen and hammock, and thought we would try our hand at making our own. they are so easy and satisfying to make, and by adding essential oils, like eucalyptus, pine, or cinnamon, you can make your whole home smell amazing and cozy. they also make a great housewarming gift, so we stamped muslin tags and tied them onto the wicks. even for those without fireplaces, they are a pretty (and prettily scented) decoration! -the bbb craft sisters

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


materials:

1. pinecones
2. twine (candle wick would work too)
3. double broiler (or a saucepan and large glass measuring cup)
4. cooking oil
5. essential oils (optional)
6. candle wax, about ¾ cup per pinecone (we used white beeswax which worked well but have read that paraffin is more flammable)
7. various bowls/containers for setting the pinecone in wax

instructions:

1.boil water in your double boiler, or in your pot and place the glass measuring cup in the boiling water. pour wax beads into the glass measuring cup (each pinecone took about ¾ of a cup) and a few drops of essential oil.

2. wrap the twine around and through the base of the pinecone. stay farther down on the pinecone but don’t be afraid to wrap it many times around. do not cut the twine.

3. find a bowl, jar or cup that the pincone fits into well. you want the base of the bowl to be close to the sides of the pinecone. we used about 6 various vessels from the kitchen.

4. using a dish cloth, rub oil all around the inside of the bowl (oil well, as it will be much easier to both pull the pinecone out as well as clean when you are done). place the pinecone with the twine “wick” inside the bowl. let the twine sit outside the bowl.

5. when the wax has fully melted, slowly poor the wax into the bowl with the pincone. if the bowl is not clear it is a bit harder to tell how much you should poor but ours all had about ¾ inch of wax once they were removed. don’t worry too much about this because they dry fast and once you pull them out you can always put them back in (re-oil your bowl!) and add more wax.

6. after about five minutes, pull the pinecone out slowly with a twisting motion.

7. cut the wick. you’re finished!

Becky

Love this idea. Looks very do-able for those of us who aren’t all that crafty. Plus, I already have a pine cone collecting battalion (kids). These may make good holiday gifts!

Meghan

Great idea, I would love to make these for my sister, but not sure if she can use them for an indoor cast-iron wood burning stove. Anyone know??

Erin

I grew up using a cast iron wood stove and I don’t think you can use them in cast iron stoves…. I could be wrong but I’d google it or ask a stove salesman before I tried it.

megan

from what I know and have read-pine cones should be fine in a wood burning stove. However- they pop so you should be careful to make sure the door is closed

I can say- these would be great for them too as we have one now and they are a pain to get going!

I can’t wait to try these for our fireplace and W.S. !

rebecca

These are adorable, but I would say that it wouldn’t be a good idea to use them in indoor fireplaces. The wax getting on the floor of the fireplace wouldn’t be good. However, totally sweet for outdoor camping. I definitely wouldn’t use them in a cast iron stove. :(

Maybe if you could make the wax part with paper mache or something that was dense but fully combustable they would be better for indoor fires.

Summer

Oh, I’m so glad that these gals are staying on! I really like this project…great for xmas gifts! (No, I’m not that ambitious to start now)

Michelle

I’ve made these for years using leftover stubbs of candles (thrown into a jar as they get too small to be useful anymore), a pack of cheap ones thrown in to boost wax volume and the wicks that came with the cheap ones cut to length. They’re perfect for starting even the toughest fire with ease.

Lauren

Lighting pine cones on fire will now forever remind me of Fantastic Mr. Fox (the movie).

Hot box!

Erena

Oh! So cool! Im from the southern hemishpere, and we’re just getting that first cold snap. I can’t wait to sit by a roaring fire again!
And I def. want to make some of these :)

Rebecca, the wax will burn up into nothing (much like it does with a hot burning candle). You will be fine with indoor fires, just have to be careful if the pops if you have an open fireplace. :)

kelly

Sp glad you posted this — I had seen something similar a while ago but haven’t been able to find it since.

One quick question, though: do you trim the wick where it comes out of the wax, or leave long like the top photo? And I presume you light the twine to use as a firestarter?

Sorry for the maybe obvious questions, and thanks for another great and pretty idea!

Lisa

Pour, pour, pour….

I think I could use these in my cast iron stove, which also has an air grate on the bottom, but I would only dab a tiny bit of wax on the pinecone and toss it in like a piece of kindling. In a hot fire, the wax should burn off quickly.

bbbcraft

you can trim the wick! we left them long to attach the tags-we wanted to give them as gifts. the smell wonderful!

Sara

This is so beautiful! It looks wonderful, nearly too good to burn. Thank you for sharing! I love pinecones … and the labels ..!

Jamie

I adore these! They are so great! I am still not certain how to start a fire with them, though? Can you explain that process a little more?

Julie

I love these! I saw something siomilar at Eddie Bauer and wondered how to make them myself, now I know!

Mica

bbb, these are very nice! Love the tag. Perfect for those of us who have a fire pit or real fireplace.

Talia

These are beautiful! A wonderful idea.
Where is a good place to purchase paraffin wax beads? Thanks so much!

Joyce Walrath

I would like to know how to make the
ones that burn with fantastic colors. Do these do that or do you have to add something else to them?

BirthdayPartyBabble.com

Always looking for great party favors. This works for a fall, winter, Christmas, so many different one. I don’t know why I didn’t think of these before. Someone even gave me some as a gift! Thanks.

Whitney

I have used an old muffin pan (or even aluminum disposable pans) instead of the individual bowls. That works well if you have the right size pine cones for it.

leigh

i love this idea and have about 100 large pine cones that i ordered a few years back with the intent of creating a fire kindling kit for Christmas gifts. Dying to try this idea instead.

Sue Turner

I used to make these several years ago i used a muffinn pan to pour the wax and then put the very small pine cone in wax. If the pine cones are very dry there is no need for a wick. I also tinted the wax red. Very pretty a Christmas time

Shirley

And to think I have hauled all of those pine cones to the garbage dump.
I have more though.
Sounds like a good idea to me.

Paulina

I love these but I wouldn’t use them in my wood stove. I’m thinking that since they don’t recommend you even burn wood with a lot of sap (like pine), it’s probably a really bad idea to burn wax in it! What happens is it sticks to the inside of your chimney when it cools down, and you’ll have to clean/change your pipe chimney much sooner, or, worst case scenario, you’ll have a much larger fire than what you intended.

Ruth

We have used ends of old candles -already scented. We put the melted wax/pine ones into an old muffin tin coated with nonstick spray. Works great!

MermaidSue

People have been using wax in fire starters for 100 years (or more). We used to make fire starters for girl scout camp with wax and sawdust/wood shavings/shredded newspaper in paper egg cartons. These are so much cuter.

Rita Holden

I have saved all of my scentsy wax for these. Even tho the smell is gone, I can add smell and wick without having to pay for wax!!

Mary

We used muffin papers for the base – less messy – and provides a bit more fuel and just a wick.

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