I first heard about using a waxed pinecone firestarter from my mom, and then came across these cool wax-bottomed pinecones from Plow and Hearth, when I decided to try my hand at making my own. Since we just recently moved, I have a large box full of old candles in my laundry room, many of which were un-lightable because the wax melted down too far past the wick. Because I wanted to try going the frugal route, I decided to use what we had on hand to make these!
Well, I sort of accomplished using what we had on hand. I first took my wee ones on a park date to hike the trails and find as many pinecones as we could. Before we realized it, we were talking and laughing our way through the two mile trail, and happily emerged from the maze of hiking paths with bags full of pokey little pinecones.
Still, even with the park date, the pinecones were free and the wax was recycled!
Supplies needed: Pinecones, old candles to melt down, a double boiler or a pot and large glass (heat-proof) measuring cup, twine, essential oils (like cinnamon, peppermint, pine or eucalyptus if you want to add scent), cups, bowls or a cupcake pan that fits the bottom of your pinecones and cooking oil spray.
1/ Wrap twine around each pinecone liberally starting at the bottom and leave a long wick near the top for easy lighting.
2/ Find cups, bowls or use a cupcake pan that fits the bottom of your pinecones. This will be the mold for your wax, so make sure to grease well so that the wax doesn’t stick and try to find the tightest fit possible.
3/ If you don’t have a double boiler, don’t worry, I don’t have one either! I just boiled water in a small pot and used my glass measuring pitcher (well greased) to melt down the wax. I used a couple of old red candles and just put them in the glass measuring cup while the pot of water boiled. Once the wax melted, I fished out the old wick and added some cinnamon oil to scent it. Then I just poured the melted wax into the prepared bowls with the pinecones sitting in them. I poured about half an inch of wax into each container and then set aside to let cool. Here’s the hard part… don’t touch them for about half an hour! You want the wax to cool and set with the pinecone intact.
After I was done with the red wax, I melted down a few old white/cream colored candle pieces and added peppermint oil to the batch once it had melted. I poured that mixture into the remaining prepared dishes and set aside to let cool.
4/ Once the dish feels cool to the touch on the outside, slowly pull out the pinecones using a twisting motion so that the wax releases without the pinecones breaking. Voila, you’re done!
To use, just set a pinecone on the lowest log in the fireplace and light the wick. It will help to light the wood on fire, and if you’ve scented the wax, will fill your home with that delicious aroma.
These would make great homemade gifts with a tag added to the wick and a few pinecones gathered up into muslin bags! Christmas is just around the corner, wink, wink.
I can’t wait to get back home and let a cozy, and scented, fire roar in our fireplace!