DIY Wax Pinecone Fire Starters
It’s not too late to make some super easy stocking stuffers. Or really, they work for any time of the year. If you have a wood burning fireplace, they’re great for winter. If you have an outdoor fire pit, you can use them in the summer and fall to get the bonfire going. Either way, let’s say you need an easy and inexpensive gift idea for someone who likes to have a fire. This DIY is for you.
We looked up a few “recipes” before making these, and after experimenting with a few, we’re putting our official stamp of approval on them. Without any other logs, sticks or newspaper, this wax pinecone burned independently for almost 20 minutes. (The video is super sped up.) Sorry, you’ll have to watch it over and over again if you’re the type of person who could stare at the holiday yule log all day.
This project takes a few hours, depending on how many pinecone fire starters you intend to make. It’s pretty easy, luckily. You will need:
- Pinecones (collected or from a craft store)
- Candle wax or old crayons
- Twine or candle wicks
- Essential oils of your choice
- Wax paper or nonstick drying rack
- Salt (optional)
- Glitter (optional)
- Stove/heat source
- Double boiler or two pots
I wish I could accurately say how much wax you’ll need per pinecone… For us, this made about 50 pinecones with just one brick of wax and a hand full of crayons.
Making the Pinecone Fire Starters
First, collect your pinecones. Make sure they are dry! There are ways to dry them out: Low bake them in the oven for 1 hour, or let them dry out naturally over time. Fun fact: Pinecones close up when they’re wet and open when they’re dry. I just learned that 🙂
Step 2: Set up your wax paper station
Step 3: Get your wax into a double boiler. This is some seriously vintage wax!
If you don’t have a double boiler, use two pots like this. Fill your large pot with water and bring to a boil. Set the little pot inside without letting any water in. The wax will probably be hard to clean off, so don’t use your best pot as the little one.
Important: Do NOT put wax straight into a pot on the stovetop. This could start a fire. Wax is extremely flammable, which is why we’re using it for our fire starters. But be careful.
If you want to add coloring to your wax, now’s the time to do it. Once the wax has melted down, add some crayons. If you have a bunch of old crayons, like I do for some reason, you can use these exclusively and save yourself a trip to the store for candle wax.
Green or red would be great for the holidays, but feel free to mix colors too. This is one box of wax and about three green crayons. Food coloring would also probably work.
Step 4: Add a few drops of your scent to the melting wax. I used this Holiday Blend. If you had some other ones, I’d suggest orange + peppermint. Or if there’s something cinnamon scented or balsam fir scented, that would be wonderful.
Step 5: Get your pinecones ready for dipping.
Wrap a piece of twine around the top half of your pinecone. You can tie it at the tip if you like, but I found it wasn’t necessary. The pinecones grab onto the twine pretty nicely. Cut your length of twine so there’s a few inches left for the “wick.”
Step 6: Dip your pinecones into the hot wax, one at a time. Set them on the wax paper to dry. Repeat once they’re dry for a total of two coats of wax each. I just dunked them by the wick. It really doesn’t matter if all the twine gets coated or not; it will ignite either way.
Step 7: Decorate! Time to get them festive. While still wet the second time, sprinkle glitter all over the pinecones. Also, now’s the time to sprinkle them with table salt. This adds a crackle and yellow glow when you light them. I’d definitely recommend doing this step if you can!
Let them dry overnight. Keep them out of extreme heat or extreme cold for best results.
Simply light the twine wick, put it in the fireplace or fire pit, and watch it burn! Add small sticks, newspaper or logs for your fire to grow. Or just let the pinecone burn (each one goes for 10-20 mins.)
If these are for personal use, you probably don’t need to do anything more. But if they’re for gifts on the other hand, you might want to go the extra mile.
We added some labels with instructions, and bows.
You should be able to whip some up in any computer editing software. There are many label templates out there. Or do some handwritten labels.
When receiving a pinecone for Christmas, it’s kind of nice knowing exactly what you’re supposed to do with it.
We found some little plastic treat bags to put them in, and that’s all it takes to turn pinecones into amazing gifts!
We saved a bunch for ourselves too. We keep them by the fireplace. They work wonders getting a fire started, especially when you only have big logs or if your firewood is a little wet. Plus, they’re fun to watch!