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Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for By Kate Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for in Homing Instinct, Making Tags: autumn, christmas gifts, cinnamon, craft, fall, fir, firelighters, holiday craft, ikea, log fire, pineconesTags: autumn, christmas gifts, cinnamon, craft, fall, fir, firelighters, holiday craft, ikea, log fire, pinecones

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

Log fires, blankets, mugs of hot chocolate, toasty warm socks… there’s something magical about this time of year. It’s been a misty, cold day here and we’re planning to light the first fire of the season tonight to celebrate the start of ¬†the weekend and our hibernation from the winter weather. ¬†In preparation I’ve made these pinecone firelighters, lightly scented with cinnamon and guaranteed to set the kindling alight with a pop and a crackle.

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for I’d seen similar firelighters in the ever-divine Cox and Cox catalogue, but they’re not cheap and we have fires every night, so I decided to have a go at making my own, using research, trial and error to work out a way of creating them simply at home. ¬†My research uncovered scarily complicated instructions involving double-boilers, safety goggles, wick-trimming and dipping and general scientific sorcery… so I applied some lateral thinking and came up with a much simpler approach. ¬†It’s very safe and quick, though perhaps the only downside of this is that you’re unlikely to need to attract your local Firemen for manly assistance.

You’ll need:

  • A pocketful of pine cones
  • Pack of tea-lights or small candles; I used IKEA’s gorgeous white Fenomen ones.
  • Cupcake cases, slightly larger than your pine cones
  • Optional candle scent; cinnamon, pine, cranberry and sandalwood are all divine.

Firstly, gather all your pine cones. ¬†Size doesn’t matter here, but give them a quick brush to remove dust and bits of forest-floor debris. ¬†Pinecones which are tightly closed will open once exposed to the warm, so you may want to store them inside for a week before using.

When you’re ready to ‘cook’, line a cupcake tin with cases and place one of your tea lights or candles into each. ¬†Make sure you remove the little metal cases if using tea lights, and tweak the wicks so that they are standing upright and proud of the wax; it’s much easier than fishing for them later. ¬†Place in a moderate oven and keep checking until the wax melts and resembles water. ¬†At this point you can add a drop of candle scent to each, or simply leave plain.

Once the wax has melted, move the wicks gently to one side of the case, using tweezers (or with your best pointy fingers; remember that some people claim to quite enjoy being covered in hot wax…hmmm). ¬†This will ensure that the wicks don’t get lost underneath the cones.

Then simply place a pinecone into each case; the wax will rise around it and hold it firmly in place as it sets.

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

When the wax has cooled and set, lift the cases out of the pans and peel away the cupcake case, revealing your firelighters in all of their glory…

These also look very pretty when left in their cases; I’ll be tying a bundle of these (below) up in cellophane bags or small burlap sacks to take as gifts for those we visit during the festive season (though I’ll probably check that they have an open fireplace first…).

 

And now the light is fading, the kettle is on, and we’re almost all home; have a wonderful weekend whatever you’re doing!

*Update*; a few people have asked via email or comments how these work; to use these firelighters, simply place them at the base of your fire and arrange kindling over the top before lighting the wick; the wax ensures that the pinecone will catch light and burn for long enough to ignite the kindling and create a real blaze; at that point you can add bigger logs and settle back for an evening watching the flames. ¬†Here’s how ours turned out this evening;

 

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85 Comments

  1. Alastair

    Magical, you are amazing, except for the bit about manly firemen of course

  2. homemadekids
    homemadekids

    Fab idea. I’ve been put off by the complicated stuff that’s on the internet too. But I also look forward to a report from you about how these firelilghters work – seems like it should be a fantastic alternative to what I currently use.

    • Kate
      Kate

      Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Hi Nicola, I’m delighted to say – they work! Hooray! Photos of our cheery roaring blaze now uploaded… now I just need to find my marshmallows and my toasting fork..

      Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

      • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for HipsterApproved.net

        Look in a drawer in your kitchen…

  3. mandy

    Hello Kate … just stumbled on your site this week, and spotted this fire lighter tip.
    At the risk of sounding a bit thick (!) will the candles not just melt all over the fire???
    Mandy

    • Kate

      Hi Mandy; a very good question and not a thick one at all! I’ve just updated the post to answer your question (it will be a common thought, I’m sure..); essentially, you place the pinecones at the base of your fire before you build it, and the wax base ensures that the cone burns for long enough to set everything alight and get a reliably strong blaze. The wax burns itself out quietly as the flames take hold, and at that point you can toss the big logs on and retire to a big chair with a glass of red wine..

  4. shinyinlove

    I love this idea! I have never seen them before but I think it is so cute! I was wondering though if you can smell the cinnamon when it is lit?

    • Kate

      Hi, thank you Yes you can smell it, but it’s quite subtle; next time I think I will add a little cinnamon stick to the wax when I drop in the pine cone for a much more resonant aroma

  5. lovinghomemade

    What a brilliant idea – lit my fire for the first time last night, it’s such a lovely thing to have.

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  6. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for mamasgotblueeyes

    Mmm cinnamon, sounds just lovely! Would you mind telling me where your for 1 last update 2020/08/07 stove is from? We are researching at the moment, and yours has pretty proportions.Mmm cinnamon, sounds just lovely! Would you mind telling me where your stove is from? We are researching at the moment, and yours has pretty proportions.

  7. mamasgotblueeyes

    Mmm cinnamon, sounds just lovely! Would you mind telling me the 1 last update 2020/08/07 where you got your stove? We are researching at the moment, and yours has pretty proportions.Mmm cinnamon, sounds just lovely! Would you mind telling me where you got your stove? We are researching at the moment, and yours has pretty proportions.

    • Kate

      Hi yes of course… ours was from Chesneys (www.chesneys.com) – we love it because it’s both large and square… in our period house the fireplaces are huge and so many other stoves were dwarfed in the space.

  8. Kate Lilley

    These are lovely…such a great idea…I am useless at the 1 last update 2020/08/07 lighting fires so may have more luck using these!These are lovely…such a great idea…I am useless at lighting fires so may have more luck using these!

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  9. April
    April

    This is a great gift idea!

  10. Gillian

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Once again, I am wishing that we’d put a “proper” fire in our living room when we renovated it. Our house was built in the 1940′s and we thought that it would just look wrong, but when people talk of first fires of the season, and log piles, I wish we’d just installed one anyway. To hell with the clashing of decorating styles, I love a wood burning stove so much. x

  11. Rebecca

    Just saw these in the Plow ‘n Hearth catalog last night and the 1 last update 2020/08/07 was wondering the best way to go about making them. And then lo and behold, here’s your post! I love the white candles. Plow ‘n Hearth used a deep red and a deep green. That was pretty, too. Definitely going to be making these. Thanks for the post!Just saw these in the Plow ‘n Hearth catalog last night and was wondering the best way to go about making them. And then lo and behold, here’s your post! I love the white candles. Plow ‘n Hearth used a deep red and a deep green. That was pretty, too. Definitely going to be making these. Thanks for the post!

    • Kate
      Kate

      I’m so glad you’re planning to give it a go; they really were so easy, yet look delightfully complicated and time-consuming so when given as gifts the effort looks great . I love the idea of using festive colours – I must try that next time..

      for 1 last update 2020/08/07

  12. Hat

    Does it matter about the little metal plates? Did you remove them when the candles were melted or leave? Thx h x

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

    • Kate

      Good question! I left them in so that the wick stayed centred / in the right place when the wax was melting in the oven. They’ve burned just fine in both our wood burner and open fire, and we’ve simply scooped out the little tin discs with the ash at the end; the wax seems to burn away completely. So, no adverse effects, so far… good luck! x

  13. Anonymous

    My husband & I make firestarters every year out of cardboard egg crates & coarse saw dust then pour melted wax over top, not quite as fancy but they work great. We use a lot of recycled candles from the church & old spent candles & used Scentsy wax. Last year I decided to take some fishing line & tie around the pine cones and dip them several times to make pinecone firestarters they worked great too.

  14. JoNeaIsisMarie

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Reblogged this on JoNeaIsisMarie and commented:
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    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  15. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for jeaninjackson

    Reblogged this on Jean's place and commented:
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  16. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Better Half Weddings & Events, Inc.

    So cute! So clever! Love this!

  17. a different daylight

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for so beautiful! i love the idea of using cupcake cases =D

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  18. segmation

    What beautiful and natural art! Love these pinecones! So awesome!

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  19. katrinamillen
    katrinamillen

    Great Idea, they look so christmassy

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  20. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Re3ecca

    Wow, what a great idea! We have two woodburners at home so I will definitely try these out when I’m back for christmas

  21. Lisa Shaw

    Clever and beautiful!

  22. jenniesisler

    Reblogged this on Jen's Rambling Thoughts and commented:
    This is a brilliant handmade firestarter. If I had a fireplace I’d try these, but I may have to eventually make some as gifts anyway. Thought I’d share this with my readers just to pass on the handmade crafty goodness:)

  23. allforblogging33

    Next time, I won’t just look and admire pine cone, i will make good use of it. Appreciate the creativity.

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  24. beautifulthingchicago
    beautifulthingchicago

    Awesome idea!!!!

    the 1 last update 2020/08/07

  25. mdprincing

    great idea and we live in the woods with lots of pine cones

    for 1 last update 2020/08/07

  26. legendsofyouth

    Wow, thats an awesome idea, not to mention cute! Thanks for sharing and congrats on FP!

  27. jenniesisler

    I reblogged this to share with my crafty friends. The pinecones really make me wish I had a fireplace.

  28. heyinfinity
    heyinfinity

    I want a fireplace just so I can make these. Very cool.

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  29. Gwenniesmom

    THIS. IS. AWESOME!!!

  30. Homemade Pinecone Firelighters « Chrissy'sCreativeCreations

    [...] Homemade Pinecone Firelighters. [...]

  31. peterjfoster

    What a lovely cozy Post.

  32. Kavi

    What a creative and useful idea! I’m definitely going to try this for our fireplace. Now to find some pine cones…

  33. icittadiniprimaditutto

    Reblogged this on i cittadini prima di tutto and commented:
    Add for 1 last update 2020/08/07 your thoughts here… (optional)Reblogged this on i cittadini prima di tutto and commented:
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  34. bonniemanning

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Love!

  35. emmasmith2012
    emmasmith2012

    What a super idea!

  36. Barbara Backer-Gray

    This is great! I never get around to doing crafty stuff, but this is fast and easy, and it makes lighting a fire faster and easier. Perfect.

  37. accountkeepingplus

    Great blog – although it is summer here in Australia – still a great way to get the open bbq going – thanks for the idea and congrats on being Freshly Pressed

  38. Victoria

    Another great and creative idea! You come up with such pretty, lovely things! This will be great for Christmas presents!

  39. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for travelgardeneat

    What a great idea for an always-needed cabin item! Thank you for sharing (adding to my Pinterest boards!) ~ Kat

  40. willtravelwithkids

    Perfect! Love an easy project I can do with my daughter. Under my supervision, I can have her place each pinecone in the wax. And we can collect the pinecones on a walk and use the scent leftover from another project untold Christmases ago. Cheap, easy, practical = best ideas ever.

  41. themoonwalkingmanakin

    Love these, such a great idea. would love to try with a lovely christmassy scent

    for 1 last update 2020/08/07

  42. breakinthechains

    Awesome, that¬īs creative and what a nice survival tool it makes for starting fire in an environment which humidity reach over 90% !!!!

    Awesome !

  43. OyiaBrown

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
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  44. gabby
    gabby

    Wow, do you REALLY keep your wood stacked touching the stove? We’ve been heating with wood for 25 years and are very comfortable with the fire but that looks too close for comfort!

  45. Samonii''http://samonii.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/%d0%ba%d1%80%d0%b5%d0%b0%d1%82%d0%b8%d0%b2%d0%bd%d1%8b%d0%b5-%d0%b8%d0%b4%d0%b5%d0%b8-%d0%b2-%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%b5%d0%b4%d0%b4%d0%b2%d0%b5%d1%80%d0%b8%d0%b8-%d0%bd''external nofollow''url''''http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/c34c1b7a972ac74fdc8c60e45e647c98?s=68&d=http%3A%2F%2F0.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D68&r=G''image''avatar avatar-68 photo''68''68''http://clutterfreenow.wordpress.com''external nofollow''url''''http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/a485e6f149bcb7e69a231d1c22e84475?s=68&d=http%3A%2F%2F0.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D68&r=G''image''avatar avatar-68 photo''68''68''http://afinedayforanepiphany.wordpress.com''external nofollow''url''Donnell

    Love this!

  46. sweetlab

    Love! I’m going to the woods right now in search of pine cones to try this lovely idea out.

  47. Washington, DC

    Look at you! Super crafty and creative. I love stuff like this for the holidays.

  48. jamesalexkaiser

    I’ll have to make a couple of these for my buddy’s firepit. Thanks!

    for 1 last update 2020/08/07

  49. LubbyGirl
    LubbyGirl

    OK, now I have GOT to try this, as I have all the materials.
    Oh…I can tell I’m sleep-deprived right now…when I first saw the title, i thought it said homemeade pinecone firefighters, so HAD to see what that was all about. Now that I see what it REALLY says, I love the idea, as we use wood heat. And congrats on being Freshly Pressed – love seeing craft blogs featured.

  50. Festive Pinecone Fire lighters | Fifty Two Create

    [...] have seen many images of these pinecone the 1 last update 2020/08/07 firestarters gracing the boards of pinterest. Kate’s Creative Space in particular had a great post on making them which inspired me [...][...] have seen many images of these pinecone firestarters gracing the boards of pinterest. Kate’s Creative Space in particular had a great post on making them which inspired me [...]

    for 1 last update 2020/08/07

  51. trialsinfood

    very nice! neat idea!

  52. Cindy Hancock

    What a magical idea! Very festive for the holidays, great idea! xx

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  53. g.karampelas

    These are great! I just pinned on Pinterest. These would be great for camping too!

  54. Bubba & Mama

    It’s beautiful! Your blog makes me wish I’m living the winter away with a fireplace and these firelighters! They are just gorgeous!

  55. moxey

    Made a go at these with the thought of using them as gifts. Proof positive that I am NOT Martha Stewart, these did not turn out as lovely as yours. I found that the tea lights were just for 1 last update 2020/08/07 too small to work with (after I bought 100 of them! ha!) and my smallish skinny pinecones were also not a good choice. That, and the candle wax seeped through the paper cupcake liners, which made for a fun time with the scrubber at the sink. Made a go at these with the thought of using them as gifts. Proof positive that I am NOT Martha Stewart, these did not turn out as lovely as yours. I found that the tea lights were just too small to work with (after I bought 100 of them! ha!) and my smallish skinny pinecones were also not a good choice. That, and the candle wax seeped through the paper cupcake liners, which made for a fun time with the scrubber at the sink.

    As with any “recipe” one must tinker with it to make it work sometimes. Will use 1) foil liners, 2) votive sized candles and 3) fatter pinecones on the next go.

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for But thank you for a wonderful idea!

  56. Focus On: Seasonal Craft & DIY Blogs | The Daily Post
    Focus On: Seasonal Craft & DIY Blogs | The Daily Post

    [...] outskirts of London, England, shares wonderful seasonal projects she does with her son, Harry. From homemade pinecone firelighters¬†to ornament-like winter birdseed feeders, Kate’s arts and crafts activities are not only fun [...]

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  57. Dittie

    Can you use Cinnamon scented pine cones?

    • Kate

      Yes, they would be beautiful – and much easier than scenting the wax

      Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  58. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Inspire Me Heather

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for I love your firestarters! On my next batch of collected pine cones, I’m going to do this – thanks! Oh and I have this linked to my pine cones post too today!

  59. Gifts from the heart and home « Kate's Creative Space

    [...] also made a couple more batches of pinecone firelighters, bagged in cellophane and tied up with ribbon.  Our central heating blew up yesterday so I confess [...]

  60. Handmade gifts « lvbaby

    [...] These pine cone¬†firelighters are lightly scented with cinnamon and easy to make. From Kate’s Creative Space. [...]

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  61. Homemade Pinecone for 1 last update 2020/08/07 Firelighters « HOBBIT HOUSE
    Homemade Pinecone Firelighters « HOBBIT HOUSE

    [...] Homemade Pinecone Firelighters. [...]

    for 1 last update 2020/08/07

  62. Anonymous

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Hello. I see you have your fuel piled each side of your stove. While this looks very nice it is also very dangerous. In the UK combustible materials should not be kept within 15cm of the woodburner.

    the 1 last update 2020/08/07

  63. melissa

    This is an awesome idea, but what happens to the wax in the fireplace? Doesn’t it run all over and become impossible to clean?

    for 1 last update 2020/08/07

  64. Do, Buy, Try | Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat
    Do, Buy, Try | Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat

  65. Sweet Sunday Finds – A Collection of DIY Ideas for the Holidays

    [...] Craft your own DIY Homemade Pinecone Firestarters from found pinecones, tea lights and your favorite fragrance. Not only are they a cinch to make, [...]

  66. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Link Love: Pinecone Crafts

    […] Homemade Pinecone Firelighters from Kate’s Creative Space […]

    for 1 last update 2020/08/07

  67. Julia

    Hi Kate,

    What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of pinecone crafts! Check it out here: http://www.favecraftsblog.com/pinecone-crafts/

    Have a great day!

  68. Lots Of Homemade Stocking Stuffer Ideas | Rustic Crafts & Chic Decor

    […] ¬†Homemade pinecone fire starters by Kates Creative […]

    the 1 last update 07 Aug 2020

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  69. me plus molly: DIY pine cone firelighters

    […] followed the DIY that I stumbled upon on twitter last year via Modcloth. You can find the DIY instructions for making them on Kate’s Creative Space. They are very simple to make, look great when […]

  70. Carina

    Beautiful! But don’t bbq marchmallows or other edibles while the cones are still burning. Cones containing high levels of lignin. This provides a high fuel value, but the incomplete combustion also produces various kinds of polyaromates (also in cigarette smoke). However, it has been said that one should not use cones as “charcoal” because of the risk of for 1 last update 2020/08/07 formation of polyaromatics. Some polyaromates considered carcinogenic but only when exposed for long time. (English is not my native language, so I’m sorry for any miss spellings)Beautiful! But don’t bbq marchmallows or other edibles while the cones are still burning. Cones containing high levels of lignin. This provides a high fuel value, but the incomplete combustion also produces various kinds of polyaromates (also in cigarette smoke). However, it has been said that one should not use cones as “charcoal” because of the risk of formation of polyaromatics. Some polyaromates considered carcinogenic but only when exposed for long time. (English is not my native language, so I’m sorry for any miss spellings)

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

  71. 12 DIY Pinecone Crafts - Perfect To Keep You Busy On A Cold Fall Day

    […] Here’s an interesting craft: a pinecone firelighter. It’s very useful if you have a fireplace and it looks good. To make one you need a pinecone, a cupcake case and a small candle.{found on site}. […]

  72. Anonymous

    Hi, I am going to have a go at making these this year….quick question…do you think I could add essential oil to the wax rather than candle scent? Thanks

  73. Anonymous

    U don’t even need kindling. Just paper and a log.

  74. Lily B

    Hi, thanks for the instructions, I saw a tiny column on making these in a magazine but your technique looks much easier. I wonder if you could help me with a question…all the pinecones I’ve collected around my neighborhood have small black spores on them. Do you know if it’s harmful to use infected pinecones to burn as firelighters? What if I clean and dry them?

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