On a cold winter day, I can’t think of anything more relaxing than a crackling fire. No one associates starting the fire with relaxation, though. Just when you think you have the flames going, you turn your back for a moment, and then pfft! All you’re left with is a wistful wisp of smoke. This is where this pinecone crafts project really come in handy. Made with wax, they burn longer than crumpled paper, so the kindling has a better chance to get going. Learn how to make pinecone firestarters for yourself or as a gift – they make a great housewarming gift for those with fireplaces!
- Medium saucepan
- Large tin can
- 2 pounds of beeswax, paraffin or wax from old candles (mix as desired)
- Candle wicking or cotton twine
- Essential oil (optional)
- Waxed paper
- Small heatproof containers, such as bowls, cups or dishes, one per pinecone
- Cooking spray
Fill the saucepan about halfway up with water and place the tin can in it. Add the wax to the can, and place the pan on the stove over low heat. (Heating this way in a water bath will prevent combustion.) If you want to scent the wax, stir in about 2 teaspoons of your favorite essential oil once the wax is melted.
Prepare the pinecones. Wrap the wicking or twine around the base of each cone, and tie a simple knot to secure. Cut the wick, leaving a 4-inch tail.
Using pliers, hold a pinecone by the tip and dip it, wick and all, into the wax. Lift it out promptly. Allow excess wax to drip back into the can for a moment, and then set the cone on a piece of waxed paper. Continue with the other cones.
Tip: For a more frosted look, dip the cone a few more times, until wax has accumulated on the scales.
Spray the containers with cooking spray. These will be the base of the fire starters. Place one cone upright in each container. Carefully pour melted wax over the cones to fill the containers to a depth of about an inch.
Once the wax is completely cool, pick up the cones and pop them out of the containers. They should come out cleanly if the containers were greased.