Easy Homemade Firestarters.
Made even EASIER.

Just about a year ago I publicly thanked my good friend Jennifer.  Jennifer, whom I’ve never met, introduced me to firestarters by way of an email. I will forever be indebted to my most beloved friend in the world, Jennifer (whose name I now think may have been Joyce) for getting me started on these little packages of flaming wonders.

As a thank you to Jackie, I did a post on the easiest way to make homemade firestarters.

So it is now, with shame and regret, I have to admit … it wasn’t actually the easiest way.  I’m so sorry Cathy.  I mislead you.

I’ve spent the past week or so figuring out an even easier way to make firestarters using the same materials in the original firestarters.

Egg cartons, dryer lint and candle wax.

I was forced to do this when I ran out of my regular homemade firestarters but couldn’t be bothered to make anymore.

If you read my original post you’ll see making the original homemade firestarters involved shoving some dryer lint into an egg carton and pouring melted wax over it.

This new and IMPROVED version takes out the melting of the wax step.  As seen in  this handy, step by step guide, lovingly created by me, for my friend Gertrude.


Collage Firestarters

As you can see, you don’t need to melt the wax.  Just putting a candle stub in the centre of the egg carton and surrounding it with lint works just fine.

In fact, just using a small hunk of wax in the centre works  fine.   If you have any leftover bits of wax just sprinkle them on top.

I did a  test between a variety of different firestarters to test their burning time.

These are the results …




So I’ve taken all the guess work out.  No more need for experiments.  Instead of lint you can use wood shavings or sawdust but I figured everyone has dryer lint, so it’s probably the most accessible for all involved.

The 6 minutes and 30 seconds is definitely a long enough burn time to get a fire going.   The advantage to using the original firestarters that have melted wax is you can make them in advance and throw them in a bucket.  The ones without melted wax have to be placed on a shelf or something so they don’t tip over, otherwise all their guts will fall out.

Finally, I would like to take this last moment to again apologize for originally misleading my good friend 李秀英.

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  1. Catherine says:

    If you use one of those wax melt-y scented things, that was is super as a wax source for fire starters. And, Bonus, it’s already melted. When I don’t have egg crates, I use small Dixie drinking cups. these are also a waxy paper, burn great, and stow in a bog bag for camping trips, and fires outside. We don’t even have a fireplace and I knew there had to be something I could do with the leftover melted scent wax.

    But, I’d never use good beeswax for fire starters, That stuff is precious and better used for making waxed fabric. Everyone I know wants me to wax their aprons. No more wet tummies from the sink.

  2. Agnes says:

    You must not come across too many egg cartons these days…you know, having your own chickens and all. I’ve seen these made with muffin liners too…though I think using your garbage method is better.

  3. debra says:

    No need to melt wax to keep it together–just wrap each little cup in a twist of newspaper.

  4. Leona says:

    Hi Karen,

    (Late post here) I make these too, the only real difference is that I don’t use whole candles. I use the scraps of wax from old candles and cheap ones from the thrift store.

    Optional: Sometimes I can pick up 40 incense cones for a buck and some dated potpourri (sp) at the dollar store and tuck those in the middle but that does take away from the “free” concept.

    My friends love’en them and love’en me for the gifts.


    This site is not mine but I post stuff here as Ravens Trove for fun.

  5. Miriam says:

    Would these be harmful in a wood burning stove? My sister has one, but I wouldn’t want to gunk up her flue with wax.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Miriam! I can only speak for my own self and my own fireplace, but I get my fireplace cleaned every fall and I’ve asked the guys cleaning it if there’s any problem with them and they haven’t seen any ill effects. ~ karen!

  6. Barbie says:

    Although I don’t have a wood burning fireplace I so enjoyed this post! Even though I’am reading it rather late in the day! I WILL be making these for our camping trips this summer. SO glad that you and your J named BFF figured it all out!

  7. Andrea Meyers says:

    hm, wonder if wood shavings from my daughters constantly sharpening pencils would work. OH and those little paper doohickies (yeah, that’s a word) that fall all over the place from your hole puncher too??

  8. amy watson says:

    That was supposed to be *wash* a whole lot of red fuzzy stuff :) I am not very good at proof reading ny comments before I post, I need to work on that.

  9. amy watson says:

    You must was a whole lot of red fuzzy stuff, your lint is always red :) I too am a girlscout from waaaaay back and we made them with the melted wax version and i still make them that way to this day, because I can toss them all in a basket and when we get ready for an outside fire n the fire pit, I can just grab one and not have to worry about the guts spilling all over, I also put some shredded paper in mine, Gotta do something with all that shredded paper that the mail insists on bringing to my mail box every single day :)

  10. Debbie says:

    Love fires and have plenty of lint I am almost there.

  11. Larraine says:

    Paraffin — maybe left from canning at this time of year. Stove. Pan. Melt paraffin. Dip dry pinecones — plentiful at this time of the year — indeed, they’re all over everywhere. Add sparkles for fun and beauty, if desired. Can make piles of these ahead of time. Enjoy starting fire while sitting back with a good merlot and luxuriating.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve actually tried that method Larraine and found well … it didn’t really work. Perhaps I didn’t drink enough merlot to be fooled into thinking the fire was actually burning. :) ~ karen!

  12. Cindy Marlow says:

    I’m amazed at how many responses an article on fire starters can generate in the 21st Century. My heat comes on magically all by itself with little input from me. (Said in jest because I actually heat my 1950s Cape Cod with a beautiful Jotul wood stove and Jasmin’s original fire starters are lifesavers!)

  13. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Do you think these would work good for us country dwellers who burn our trash too?? Just toss one in the barrel with the trash and fire it up! Thanks to you & Marsha!!

  14. Darlene says:

    Good morning!! As I dont have a fireplace in my home, I do however have a fire pit in my yard…. I have always used paper towel rolls and dryer lint for fire starter’s…. I find they last longer than toilet paper rolls… Hope everyone stays warm whatever you choose to do!!

  15. Feral Turtle says:

    I almost had coffee come out my nose reading this post! Thanks for the chuckle this morning! Cheers.

  16. Mickey says:

    You have very pretty dryer lint.

  17. Sally A. says:

    Thought there was going to be a Drew Barrymore reference. So here it is: Drew Barrymore. Steven King. I know, I know, I am hilarious.

  18. Karen Dyck says:

    Egg carton + saw dust + diesel fuel. ( it’s a guy thing) easy, available (in my house) cheap!

  19. NikiDee says:

    I learned to make these with toilet paper rolls. I think the egg carton makes more sense (and is more attractive. There’s something about whipping out a toilet paper roll around friends that seems a bit odd). A smaller compact starter that takes less lint & wax. I’ll be switching my “recipe”.

  20. jainegayer says:

    I will be trying this method today with the bits of wax. I don’t have cardboard egg cartons but have found that the toilet paper tubes work well. Now all I need to do is stuff the lint in with the wax. Maybe I can wrap the tubes with wax paper so they look like firecrackers. That would keep all the guts inside. Thank you so much, Karen for finding the easier way.

  21. Jamie H. says:

    Funny that you call Jennifer your good friend, because that’s kind of how I think of you. Each day when my email pops up an Art of Doing stuff email, I say, “What are you up to now , Karen?” And you always have something fun/entertaining/educational for me ;) Thanks

  22. Maria says:

    For your latest version, why not stack one on top of another and put in a container of some kind (a pringles potato chip can, a rubber maid container, etc) to keep them upright and unspilled? Love this place :)

  23. Tigersmom says:

    Almost everyone has dryer lint, but not everyone has festive, holiday red dryer lint. I wonder if Gertrude, or was it Camelia, has festive red dryer lint, too?

    Our fireplace is started and run on gas which eliminates the need for firestarters, but did provide the rare, legitimate opportunity to use a favorite line (actually a question) from Mythbusters,

    “Am I missing an eyebrow?”

    I actually had genuine call to ask this of my husband the first time we tried out our fireplace after buying our house. He swears he’s not trying to kill me. We’ll see……..

  24. Jody says:

    Did you and 李秀英 (Lee Soo Young) meet through your blog?

  25. Jasper says:

    I made thes a couple days ago, but i added saw dust to mine. Ans just poued candle wax over them.

    Thanks Karen

  26. Klaus says:

    Hi Karren,

    i’m from Munich in Germany and a regular reader of your great blog. About the firestarters, there is a guy using the same lint based “technology” Perhaps you want to have a look here:


    Greetings from Bavaria in Germany, Klaus

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Klaus, I had a look. He seems to use A LOT of wax, LOL. I’ve found that you don’t really need that much but if it works for him and he likes it …. then that’s just fine. :) ~ karen!

  27. Stephanie says:

    Awesomeness! New to fireplace ownership, questions: 1) Does the spent wax leave residue/mess in bottom of fireplace that has to be scraped out 2) Could I use melted beeswax instead of candle wax ?? Thanks!!

  28. Louise says:

    Wow! Now that’s easy! And when the little kids want to make fire starters, these fulfill their request with no danger of spilled wax and little to no cleanup. Perfect for those with short attention spans or who are incredibly lazy (me, not the kids). Thanks, Karen. Your blog is always a treat at the end of my day!

  29. zerilla says:

    I can assure you, it wasn’t Jackie, Joyce, Cathy OR Gertrude that turned you on to her original “recipe” for fire starters. It was indeed Jennifer….my dear BF whom is multi-talented, sweet, funny and an overall good thing! I’m glad her idea made your blog…I’m sure she would appreciate your fine tuning as well!

  30. Jessa says:

    Hi, I am not sure if you are making these for just your home or for camping, but the melted wax going all over everything ensures: 1. the little fluffy bits do not catch flame and scatter to the wind and cause a forest fire and 2. everything is encapsulated in wax, making it water proof in case it gets wet while camping. We used to make them for camping in Girl Scouts, but we used sawdust instead of dryer lint inside of the egg cartons and then poured the wax into each cup.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jessa – They’re meant for fireplaces. Also, i’ve tried both … sawdust and lint. The lint actually works better believe it or not. The very best is thin wood shavings, but I rarely find those in my lint trap. ;) ~ karen

      • Jessa says:

        I just thought I’d put it out there in case someone saw it and wanted to make them for camping. Makes me wish we had a fireplace for all the dryer lint we toss out. Love your blog by the way, sent my mom here the other day when she asked me if I had heard of using yogurt for a yeastie beastie.

  31. LuAnn Agustin says:

    hmmm… I believe I remember making these in Girl Scouts. Yes, yes I did.

  32. Marti says:

    Well done. Great tutorial. Had all the stuff… the information. The whys. The comparisons. The pictures. And of course plenty of gratitude to Ли Су Молодые.

  33. Irena says:

    Someone somewhere suggested toilet paper tubes stuffed with lint, then wrapped in wax paper.

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