I'm getting in to the winter season by sharing with you how I make my pine cone fire starters. Here's a way to recycle all of that old candle wax I've saved. I hate wasting that last 1/2 inch of the candle that doesn't burn, so I end up digging out the bottom of the jar to save the left over wax. I finally figured out what I could do with it! There's nothing better then snuggling up next to a cozy fire to get warm on a cold winter night and now I have great smelling fire starters to help me out!
gather your supplies ...
I gather and save the leftovers from the candles that I burn all year, and keep them in a large glass jar (or two). I usually leave them in the closets until I am ready, and it makes it smell so good in there!
It's very simple to make these fire starters with the pinecones my kids have gathered from around our house here in the mountains, so it's relatively cheap to make these since pine cones are free (thank you Mother Nature) and most of the wax I use is just leftover pieces I've saved. If you do not live in an area that has pinecones, then try a bag from Michaels Craft Store for about $5 per bag (find a 50% off coupon in your local paper to make it more economical). I also found some here, but again, Michaels or Joannes Fabric Store is much less expensive.
Here's what you will need:
1 pound of gulf wax
about 40 small pinecones
leftover candle wax broken in to smaller pieces
a cookie sheet covered with wax paper
tongs to hold the pinecones while dipping in hot wax
double boiler (use a small pot from the thrift store to hold the melted wax incase you can't remove it all)
you can choose to dye your pinecones different colors by adding the dye to the melted wax. For this batch, my wax was actually a golden color because all of my candle scraps happened to be a cinnamon pumpkin flavor. If you choose to have yours colored, then use dye made specifically for candle making.
Directions are simple:
First melt the gulf paraffin wax squares in the pot (keep the flame on "low" heat). The pot should not have direct contact with the flame, since you are using a double boiler. Once the gulf wax is melted, fill the pot with the broken pieces of leftover candle wax. It should melt in to a liquid form in about 10 minutes. Once it is liquid, use the tongs to dip the pine cone. You can choose to only cover the bottom half of the pine cone, or the full pine cone, depending on how far you want the wax to stretch.
There is no need to add any scents or aromatherapy because your left over candles should already smell heavenly! I have mixed many waxes of different colors, brands and scents and it always turns out great.
Lay the pinecones out over the wax paper until they dry. Gather your finished pinecones in a basket and put them on your dining room table as a beautiful accent until you are ready to use them!
I usually don't use more than 2 to 3 small pinecones to start my fire along with a tiny bit of wood kindling. Please don't pile a bunch of pine cones in your fireplace! This will cause your fire to burn too hot and you could be hurt. Burn them slowly and savor the smell!
Enjoy! and hey, please share if you have any other great ideas that I can use with my leftover candle wax. I would love to hear them!