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How to Make Homemade Fire Starters with Herbs

Cupcake papers filled with beautiful herbs and spice.

Sitting beside a fire is one of my favorite pastimes. The full sensory experience offers so many aspects of comfort: the sensation of being warm and cozy, the abstract performance of the flames dancing, the crackling sound of the wood changing form, the taste of herbal tea or a craft libation I’m likely sipping on, and of course the aroma! Each of these elements brings me closer to a place of peace and contentment.

One enjoyable element that I began incorporating in my summer campfires was the burning of herbs and resins to enliven the smell of the fire. I was pleasantly surprised at how much of a distinct aroma I was able to create. I thought about bringing this practice into my home fireplace, but I was performing this action in a way that was a bit cruder than would be wise indoors (though throwing herbal powders into the flames definitely made me feel like a fairy, as it combusts in the air in what looks like fairy-dust).

HerbalFireStarter (1)

 

A few months later, I learned from a friend who is a bit of an “outdoor enthusiast” that if you create little beeswax starters, it helps to kindle a fire. The ones that he made were crafted with beeswax and sawdust/small woodchips. I had an ah-ha moment of realizing that I could substitute the wood elements for those lovely, scented herbs I was throwing on my campfires.

These little fire starter bundles are really fun to make and also offered a productive way for me to use up some older herbs and spices in my pantry. And best of all, I can now bring my newly discovered love of creating herbal smokes into my home without the mess.

Homemade fire starters with herbs and beeswax on a rustic table.

How to Make Natural Fire Starters

Ingredients

Possible herbs, spices and resins:

Other supplies and ingredients:

    • Cupcake Papers
    • Beeswax (2 cups of beeswax pastilles or about 230 grams will make about 12 fire starters)
    • Candle wick or string—12 pieces cut to about 4 inches
    • Parchment paper

Directions

  1. Begin heating beeswax in a double boiler.
  2. Place cupcake papers in a cupcake pan.
  3. Fill cupcake liners 1/4 to 1/2 full with herb mixture of choice. (You’ll want to reserve your more beautiful herbs for the topping, so I like to use evergreens, herbal powders, resins and orange peel in the bottom of the liners).
  4. Once beeswax is melted, dip your wicks to lightly coat with wax and set aside on parchment paper.
  5. Begin pouring rest of melted wax over the herbs in the cupcake liners until it just covers the material (about 2-3 tablespoons each).
  6. Using a cinnamon stick or chop stick, push a wick down to the bottom of each cupcake paper OR create a U-shape with the wick and stuff both ends all the way down. You can then snip after drying to create a double-wick for faster burning.
  7. Add your more decorative ingredients on the top and allow to fully cool.
  8. Snip your wicks to about 1 inch.

Pro Tips

  • Pouring three fire starters at a time makes it easy to check on them as they begin to dry. Sometimes the wicks need rebalancing.
  • If your mixture dries before you can add your toppings, you can pop the cupcake pan in the oven on the lowest settling to melt the wax.
  • Cleaning a beeswax mess is always a common question! The best way is to melt the wax on your utensils or cupcake pan and then wipe away with a disposable rag or paper towel. Then you can wash it with soap and hot water.
  • You can fill the cupcake papers all the way if you’d like, but they take much longer to burn and if you’re looking to get your fire going faster, I recommend only filling to the 1/4 or 1/2 mark.

Looking for other herbal crafts for the home?

Try these DIY Spiced Orange Candles

 

You may also enjoy:
How the Make Homemade Potpourri
8 Natural Cleaning Recipes for the Home
Zero-Waste Backpacking and Camping Hacks

Pinterest image for Homemade Natural Fire Starters

 


Topics: Aromatherapy, Herbal Gift Ideas, Recipes, Green Living

Jessicka

Written by Jessicka on December 30, 2020

Jessicka Nebesni works as a Marketing Strategist and is always working towards sharing the most educational, empowering, and useful resources with our herbal community. Having practiced Macrobiotic food preparations in California, beekeeping in Oregon and making herbal crafts for local farmers markets in New Jersey, she has a wide variety of experiences and knowledge to share. She is currently enrolled in Rosemary Gladstar’s "The Science and Art of Herbalism" and is eagerly awaiting open enrollment for the Master Food Preservers course this coming spring. Her passions include preserving food, gardening, practicing herbal wellness, making DIY skin and body care recipes, and living a lifestyle of minimal impact on the Earth.


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