10 Ways to Make Frugal Firestarter

Firestarter image courtesy of motherdaughterproject.com.

With campfires and grills in full swing, I’ve watched people struggle to start a fire. Some think it is as easy as pouring lighter fluid on wood or coals. But often that flash fire dies quickly, and more lighter fluid is sprayed on smoldering – or worse, on a small fire. Find out why that method is dangerous.

As an aging Girl Scout and Cadet, I’ve seen many types of homemade firestarter. I can attest that the following recipes and instructions are tried and true. So make them ahead and enjoy the fruits of your efforts. As always, remember to use caution working with melted wax and lighting firestarter.

Lint on left, Cotton on right. Both make good bases for firestarter. Image courtesy of AmericanPreppers.com

Wax and Lint Egg Carton Cubes

Push dryer lint (or cotton) inside a empty paper egg carton. Melt wax on low/med in a small pot, pour over carton. Note: wax can come from broken or leftover pieces of candles or Paraffin wax. I have even used broken crayons. When cool and hardened, break into pieces.

  • FYI: a double boiler is not necessary, just keep temp. on stove lower for regular pot.


Wax and Mini Newspaper Rolls: Fold a single page of newspaper accordian-style, then roll into a circle akin to a cinnamon bun. Tie a small piece of wire around the roll to secure. Dip each roll into melted wax and let dry.

Pinecones and Wax:  Melt wax in a pot over low/med.heat. If wax starts smoking, lower the temp. With tongs, dip each cone long enough to absorb melted wax, then lay them down in muffin tins to dry.

Toilet Paper Tubes and Lint : Fill a toilet paper tube with lint, and either dip in wax or cover in wax paper, twisting the ends like a candy wrapper as shown in Sadie Seasongoods.

Candle Roll-ups: Find leftover candles (birthday, tapered, tea light), cut small pieces of wax paper about 2 inches bigger than candle piece, and wrap each one like a piece of candy, twisting the ends closed (see link above). * If using birthday candles, bundle them in groups of 4 or 5, then wrap in wax paper.

Although I haven’t tried the below ideas, a plethora of people stand by their success:

Herbal and Orange Firestarters

Vaseline and Cotton Ball Firestarter

Sawdust Firestarter

Wax Shredded Paper

Wine Cork Firestarter