If you live in the mountains or plan to visit a mountainous area soon, go on a pine cone-collecting mission. Then, make up a big batch of pine cone fire starters for your own use and to give as gifts. The process is easy and takes 30 minutes or less (not counting the pine cone-collecting time, which does not count, since it is quite fun). Read on to learn how to make fire starters from the pine cones you have collected.
Supplies You'll Need
You will need to gather a few supplies before getting started, including:
- Dry pine cones
- Wax, such as candle or crayons stubs, paraffin, or beeswax
- A double boiler
- Foil or wax paper
If you like, you can also use essential oils and spices to add a bit of aroma and candle dye or crayons to add some color to your project.
Making the Fire Starters
To make your pine cone fire starters, follow these simple steps.
- Melt wax in a double boiler (do not leave unattended).
- Add a few drops of essential oil to the wax if desired.
- Add candle dye or a few broken crayon pieces to the wax for color if desired.
- Dip the first pine cone into the wax using tongs. Coat the pine cone thoroughly.
- Hold the cone over the melted wax until it stops dripping. Then, place it on a piece of foil or wax paper to dry.
- Repeat with the remaining pine cones.
Once the wax has hardened, your pine cone fire starters are ready for use. Just stick one in the fireplace with some kindling and light.
- To dry freshly gathered pine cones, place them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 150 F for one to two hours. Once the pine cones open up, they are done.
- To add more fragrance, sprinkle your favorite spice onto the pine cones before the wax dries. Try cinnamon, thyme, or rosemary.
Pine Cone Projects
If you have a batch of pine cones leftover after making fire starters, consider making some fun pine cone projects. You can easily make an angel or snowman, a bird feeder, and even a mini Christmas tree.
You can even make crafts, such as a pine cone air freshener, to sell at fundraisers, church bazaars, and other places. The only thing that can stop you from making fun—and free or inexpensive—pine cone projects is the limit of your imagination.