Pinecone Fire Starters

Make fire starters from old pinecones!

Even though I have a gas fireplace, these are a great winter decoration sitting on my hearth. When I decorate for spring, I will put these in a Ziploc bag and use these whenever we have a campfire or wiener roast. Don't ever tell the kids where all their crayons went!

Pinecone Fire Starters Necessary Materials

  • Assortment of Pine Cones
  • Wax
  • Sawdust
  • Table Salt (burns yellow)
  • No-salt Substitute (burns violet)
  • Borax (burns green)
  • Greenery, assortment
  • Basket
  • Newspaper

Make sure that the pinecones haven't been treated with any chemicals. If you are using ones from outside, just make sure they are completely dry before starting.

For the sawdust, I had my brother saw some old wood to get the sawdust to give to me.  You can also find all the sawdust you want at a sawmill or even home improvement store.

You can use any old candles around your house to get the wax. Or, even use old crayons (just don't let your kids see you using these!) :) I used about 4 candles, which would be about 16 crayons.

DIY Steps

  1. Melt the wax or candles.
    Note: there is no need to remove the wick from the candle, just cut it into smaller pieces so it melts faster. Be sure to remove the paper from any crayons before melting. Melt over a double boiler. Do not melt directly over the heat due to the wax being able to ignite.
  2. Mix about 1 cup of sawdust together with about 1/2 cup of either Borax, Table Salt or No-Salt Substitute. Keep the mixture in a bowl to prepare for the next step.
  3. Dip the pinecones in the melted wax and sawdust mixture.
  4. Use tongs to turn and coat. Place each dipped pinecone in the sawdust mixture and coat.
  5. Put the pinecones on newspaper to dry after they have been dipped in wax and coated with the sawdust mixture.

Arrange greenery in basket and place dried pinecones on top until ready to use.

When I finished, I started a fire outside to see what color they would burn. There wasn't much color to them but they burned for the longest time. They will work just like store bought fire starters.

After all the ingredients were purchased, I spent around $6 which gave me 12 total fire starters. Looking at the cost, the Borax alone is around $6. If you don't want to spend the money on this ingredient, I wouldn't suggest it. It didn't burn the green as it should have. If you want a fire starter without the colors, save the money and skip the Borax!

Find MORE Easy Crafts HERE

Easy DIY for fire starters from pinecones!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on January 24, 2011

1 Comment

  • Alyssa - January 24, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

    Another cheap firestarter with ingredients even easier to come by….

    Dryer lint fire starters! I save my dryer lint in a big bag. I use a disposable muffin tin (I reuse the same one over and over) put paper muffin cups in (I have a big thing of them I got on 75% off clearance after Halloween several years ago), fill the muffin cups with dryer lint then pour melted wax over the top until the cups start overflowing slightly. Let cool & remove from tins.

    Not very pretty, but very cheap and effective! You can also use shredded newspaper (or results of your paper shredder), sawdust or anything else that is flammable in place of the dryer lint.

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