PHOTO: Patricia Lehnhardt
Starting a fire in your fireplace or fire pit can be easy—and fragrant!—if you make your own fire starters. Taking an hour to gather and create these beautiful little cubes will pay you back in ease and delightful spicy aromas to make fire building much more enjoyable.
The instructions below will yield 12 fire starters. Make them in layers to build up the starter, or else the fragrant additions will float to the top of the wax.
What You’ll Need:
- pressed-paper egg carton
- 8 ounces beeswax
- 1 cup crushed peanut shells or wood shavings
- 12 votive candle wicks, or 2-inch cut pieces of wicking
- 6 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- orange peel, stripped from one orange with a vegetable peeler
- small clippings of evergreens
- 1 T. whole cloves
- 1 T. whole allspice berries
Melt the wax in a double boiler. I used an old canning jar in a small pot of water.
Pour about 1 tablespoon of liquid wax in the bottom of each egg cup. Set a candle wick in the center, and quickly add the peanut shells, pushing them into the wax.
Pour another tablespoon of liquid wax on top of the peanut shells.
Push the cinnamon sticks, orange peel and evergreen clippings into the wax. Fill up the cup with the remaining wax and sprinkle on the cloves and allspice berries.
Let cool completely and cut into individual cups.
Starting A Fire
When making the fire, place one or more starters under the kindling and light the wick and paper egg cup. The wax will keep the starter burning long enough to catch the wood, and the spices and greens will add a delightful fragrance in the process.