Do you have beeswax remaining from a candle that has burned as much as it can and will not light anymore? All of these little scraps can be put to use! Save them up until you have a medium or large ziploc baggie full and make yourself some fire starters to use with your woodstove, campfires or gifting!
Note: If you have a whole candle left and are having trouble with it, try referring to this post for tips on burning candles.
First of all, you will need to collect some materials. I like to save egg cartons to make my fire starters in, but you can also use paper muffin tin liners. Use the list below to collect your supplies ahead of melting your wax pieces.
- beeswax; as mentioned above, collect tiny pieces until you have at minimum a medium sized ziplock baggie full.
- an egg carton or ~12 paper muffin tin liners; how many you use will depend how much wax you have.
- dry burnable materials; I like to use dried flowers, coniferous cones & leaves, wood chips, paper towel that is dirty/waxy from cleaning out a candle holder, bits of already used parchment paper or shredded documents, and anything else that is dry and burnable.
- cotton string for wicking your firestarter - I often used twigs and dried plant on top of my firestarters to light them, so you can get away without string if you want.
Once you have saved up enough wax and collected your materials to make your firestarters, melt the wax. I used a special water jacketed pour pot, called a bain marie, but you can also use a stainless steel bowl in your oven at 170˚F. The wax will take awhile to melt, check on it every 10-15 minutes to see how it is doing. While waiting, prepare your firestarters.
Place a piece of parchment paper underneath your egg carton to collect any wax that seeps through the carton later. If using string, place a piece of string into the bottom of each firestarter and hang it out the side for lighting later. Crush up any dried leaves/flowers and sprinkle evenly between the carton cavities, along with woodchips, paper shreds and any other burnables you've decided to add. Coniferous cones usually result in a firestarter that makes a loud pop while burning.
Once your wax is melted, pour it evenly and slowly over the cavities, go slowly, and don't fill them all the way up. The wax may be hot enough to penetrate through the carton, so let your first pour cool down before adding the rest of the wax, this will decrease seepage through the carton.
Once the wax is almost cool and the firestarters are lukewarm to the touch, rip apart the sections of egg carton into individual firestarters and let cool the rest of the way. If using paper muffin tin liners, just let them cool. Place them in a basket by your fire and enjoy!