They look almost edible don’t they? They’re not though, they are homemade firelighters. They are really simple to make, and if you have a friend with an open fire or log burner, a small box of them would make a great Yule present. You will need:
Wax (I used the ends of some old candles)
Cotton string or candle wick
Essential oils (optional)
Lay out the muffin cases and stand a pinecone in each.
Melt the wax, using a double boiler, Bain Marie, or as I did, one saucepan over another saucepan of boiling water. It’s best not to heat the wax directly in a single pan over the heat, as it may burn or even ignite. It’s also best to use an old saucepan for this, as getting the wax of it later is difficult, and I have one I keep for the purpose of candle making.
When the wax has melted, dip in your string or wick – it’s important to do this as it is hard to light unless it is primed with wax. Cut it into wick lengths of a couple of inches, and put one in each muffin case.
Remove the wax from the heat and add essential oils if you wish. If you have an open fire, this can create a beautiful scent as your firelighter burns. Woody scents such as pine and cedar work well.
Carefully pour wax into your muffin cases, filling to about halfway up the pinecones.
To light your fire, pop one amid the kindling and light the wick, and hey presto, the wax starts to melt, and the wax coated pinecone gives a sustained burn so that the kindling can catch. Easy!
© Anna Franklin, 2020