A great way to reuse and recycle old candle wax and paper is to make fire starters for your wood burning fireplace. We've assembled three different fire starter projects that you can make at home with materials you probably already have on hand or can get easily.
These projects make great homemade gifts. Place your fire starters in a wicker basket or cellophane bag with decorative ribbon. Add a card with directions and safety instructions and you've made a useful inexpensive gift with things you've reused and recycled from home.
For this project, we used pine cones that we found outside. You can save money by collecting them yourself if you have pine trees in your area. The drier the better, as when they're wet or cold they don't open well. You can also purchase them at a craft store if necessary. Leftover wax from other candle projects is a great way to reuse and recycle.
Place the wax in a pouring pot on a hot plate or in a double boiler and heat to about 170 degrees. Remove wax from heat source. While the wax is cooling, prepare the pine cones by tying a piece of string or wick firmly around the top of the cone. When the wax cools to about 130 degrees, hold the wick or string and dip each pine cone in the melted wax. Let the excess wax drip back into your pot. Stand pine cones upright on wax paper to begin cooling. Let the heated wax continue to cool to about 105-110 degrees and re-dip the pine cones. At this temperature, the wax will completely adhere to the pine cone. Stand upright on wax paper and let cool overnight. Trim the wick to about one fourth inch.
Here's another easy idea using materials you probably have around the house.
Place the wax in a pouring pot on a double boiler and heat to about 170 degrees. Remove wax from heat source. While the wax is cooling (to about 130 degrees), prepare the cupcake tin by placing a paper cupcake liner in each section. Mix some melted wax with some shredded paper. Pour wax into the prepared cupcake tin. Add more shredded paper and a little more wax until the liner is full.
Here's one more using a star shaped mold - great for the upcoming holiday season!
Remove wax from heat source. While the wax is cooling, prepare the star shaped molds by placing shredded paper in each mold. When the wax cools to about 130 degrees, mix some shredded paper in with the melted wax and mix gently. Pour into prepared molds. Add a little more shredded paper and pat gently.
Important Safety Instructions:
Safety should always be your first priority. These fire starters are not made for gas fireplaces or interior wood stoves. To light a fire in a wood burning fireplace, place one of the fire starters in between your dried logs and light. If you are making fire starters to sell, you need to include safety information in the package. As always, never leave a fire unattended and keep out of the reach of children.