5 Frugal Ways to Make Diy Fire Starters From Supplies You Already Have on Hand. These Are a Must for Your 72-hour Emergency Kit or Around the Fire Pit.
I was in the dollar store the other day when I happened upon a package of cotton makeup removers. There are 80 in the pack for $1, so they are about a penny each. Now I don’t really need 80 cotton makeup remover pads because I’m mostly a natural girl. What to do with them?
And a light goes off in my head.
If I can make waterproof matches, I can use my spent Scentsy wax to make DIY fire starters with these. It couldn’t be more frugal or easy.
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Fire starters are handy to have around during the summer for those backyard campfire nights. They are handy to have around during the winter if your area is prone to blackouts. You can buy them as sticks at the outdoor store, but these homemade ones are so easy to make, I just can’t see spending the money.
You really have no excuse – get prepared! Once your DIY fire starters are finished, make yourself a compact, waterproof kit. Vacuum seal several of them with waterproof matches.
Frugal Way#1 – Cotton Pads
Just dip a cotton pad (or a cotton ball) into the wax melt and let it dry on a piece of wax paper. I kept a small area free of wax for easy fire starting. I’ve also seen them cut or torn before lighting. It doesn’t take much wax to make your DIY fire starters, so keep a few cotton pads close and make them as you go.
Frugal Way#2 – Waxed Cardboard
Save your old cardboard. Cut it into 3”x 3” pieces. Dip them in wax and let them dry. They stack easily for storage. I always have extra cardboard around, how about you?
DIY Fire Starters -Way#3 – Twisted Paper
Make a Twisted Newspaper Fire Starter – only one ingredient required! Using newspaper to get a flame going usually results in just another flash in the fireplace. An old-fashioned solution is these newspaper twists.
Tightly roll a sheet of newspaper, bend it in half, twist the ends together, and fasten with twine. Mine aren’t as pretty as Martha’s but they’re functional!
Frugal Way#4 – Egg Cartons
I can always rely on this old standby from my Girl Scout days. It’s great because you can make these from supplies that are already around the house.
Related read: Preparedness in the 1954 Girl Scout Handbook
Gather cardboard egg cartons, shredded paper, saw dust, or dryer lint, and candle wax. I think I have enough shredded paper to make 1,000 of these and I bet I could use my Scentsy wax for this too! One drawback – this method uses the most wax.
Just stuff the dryer lint, shredded paper, or saw dust into the egg cartons, pour the liquid wax on top until well soaked, then cut each section apart and store them in a Ziploc bag. If you’re using saw dust, just let it air dry first.
Related read: 14 Clever Uses for Shredded Paper Around the Homestead
Frugal Way #5 – Toilet Paper Rolls
Cut a toilet paper roll in half. Stuff dryer lint into each piece. Roll it up in wax paper and twist the ends to close. Use the wax paper as the wick. See this Ready Nutrition post for another version with wax.
The wax version will burn up to 30 minutes and start a fire even with dry wood. It takes more time and effort to make than wax paper toilet paper roll fire starter, but it is well worth the effort. Just keep it stored in a Ziploc bag to avoid moisture.
If you are more of a visual person, here’s a clip on how to make the melted wax toilet paper roll fire starters.
…and here are even more ideas if you’re really into this!
Rural North Carolina has instructions for mop head wicks – cool!
- Hand sanitizer is also a good homemade fire starter that you can use in case of emergency; just use a product that has alcohol in it as there are some alcohol-free hand sanitizers out there, and they’re are worthless as fire starters;
- Cardboard strips imbibed in melted wax are also a cheap fire starter alternative if you’re drowning in cardboard boxes (online shopaholics might relate);
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What is your most effective (and frugal) way to make your own fire starters? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!