How To Make Fire Starters with Pine Cones & Wax

On our recent visit to Hampton Court Palace I saw that each of their gift shops was selling packs of scented pine cones as to use as fire starters and I nearly died when I saw the price!  I know that they are priced for tourists but – Damn!  So, like a good know-it-all, I forced my mum to come collecting pine cones with me and the result is four huge bags of pine cones that you can see in the photos. These fire starters work out a few pence each and look pretty in the basket by our fireplace until it’s time to use them.

To make your scented fire starters you need the following:07 - cake pine cones small

  • pine cones
  • some candle wick
  • paraffin wax
  • a large saucepan
  • a large metal mixing bowl
  • a cup-cake tray
  • a metal jug
  • some mixed spice
  1. Take your large saucepan and bring a shallow volume of water to the boil. If you only half-fill your saucepan, there will be plenty of room for the hot steam to melt the wax quickly.  As the water starts boiling put your large metal mixing bowl on top of the saucepan.
  2. Put your parrafin wax into the bowl and stay with it while it melts. Wax is flammable so you can’t leave it unattended.
  3. Add some mixed spice into the wax so that it smells fabulous when you burn the cones.
  4. Take your cup cake baking tray and place one pine cone in each cake hole.
  5. Next, cut just one inch or so of your candle wick and dip them into the melted wax.
  6. Once you have dipped the wicks, place each one in a cup cake hole with the pine cone. Remember that each wick needs to be hanging out so that it can be lit to start the fire.
  7. Now carefully pour the hot melted wax into the metal jug and then pour the wax into the small cup cake holes. We always pour the wax through the pine cone so that it is coated slightly and is extra flammable when we add them to the fire.
  8. You should now have a pool of hot wax with a pine cone in the middle and a wick balanced out of one side of the wax
  9. Just leave the tray and wait for the wax to set. As these are only shallow pots of wax they will be solid in less than an hour.
  10. Once the wax has set, you can gently flex the tray and you will see each cone and pot of wax gently pop out without breaking.
  11. Scrape off any excess wax and put it into a pot or carrier bag ready to be recycled for the next batch.

And that’s it!  Enjoy your new fire-starters.

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