Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Recycled wax and pine cone firelighters

On my walk to the shop today, I noticed a load of dry pine cones littering the path.  On my way back, I stopped and collected around 20, good sized pine cones.  Not too small and not too big.

A friend had recently mentioned she was going to make some firelighters by dipping pine cones in wax.  I had other things to be doing but decided I'd much prefer to have a go at making some with my pine cone stash (the moon IS in Leo!).  I had lots of tea light candle stubs, another old candle that was almost all gone, and some old taper candles.

I placed all the old wax in a plastic soup tub and into a pan of water (like a bain marie) and left it simmering.  While the wax was melting, I wrapped some waxed cord around the pine cones.  I had waxed jewellery cord to hand and wanted to use why I could find, so decided it would do the job! You could use cotton or jute string.

Once the wax was melted, I took it out of the hot pan and left it to cool a little.  I added some old, out of date clove essential oil.  No good for use on me, but all good for the firelighters!  You could use up any old essential oils in this way.  You still only need a few drops, as too much oil added to the mix will stop the wax from setting hard.

If you dip the cones when the wax is very hot, not much sticks and you'll have to dip again, if you leave it too long, each dip will go on a lot thicker. If it starts getting solid, just place back in the pan of water and heat up again. I ran out of the first lot that I'd melted, so melted 3 more taper candles to complete all my pine cones.

They don't need to look pretty (unless you're making them as a gift), so leave it 5 mins then dip one, if you think the coating is too runny, wait a little longer. I placed mine in some old fairy cake cups as I thought they would be messy, but actually, I needn't have bothered. The paper would have been fine.

Leave them to cool and harden.

Place in your fire stack and light the cord near to the top of the cone.  Lighting paper around the cones will help get them going too.  I've stored mine in an old chocolate tin.

Voila! recycled wax and pine cone firelighters!

I made 22 in a couple of hours (if that).  I'll definitely be doing that again.

You will need -

Dry pine cones
Wick - cotton or jute, thin string or cord.
Old candles, left over bits and unused stubs of wax.
Old essential oils, out of date is good! Can't use it on the skin, may as well fragrance the fire!
Old plastic tub for melting wax in.
Pan of water to use as a bain marie.

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