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DIY Fire Starters You Can Make for FREE

By Jacqueline Wilt, R.N., C.E.M.T.

Tags: Camping, Fire Starters, Free, DIY, Recycle, Dryer Lint, Jacqueline Wilt,

Life and Adventures at Diamond W RanchThese are so easy to make! There are a couple of different ways to do it, but they are both CHEAP and EASY to do!



Gather your supplies

You will need:

Cardboard egg carton OR cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls

Leftover dryer lint

Wax – optional (can be leftover candles!)

String (hemp or jute twine work best)

Scissors to cut string and/or cardboard tubes

Stuff egg carton with dryer lint

Cut the cardboard egg carton into sections. If using cardboard tubes, cut paper towel roll tubes in half.

Stuff dryer lint into egg carton well. If using cardboard tubes, fold one of the open ends over to close it off, then stuff with dryer lint.


 Stuff tube with dryer lint  Fold end of paper tube to close

Fold edges of egg carton over the dryer lint and then tie with twine to secure. If using cardboard tubes, fold the remaining open end over to close it, then tie tube with twine to secure the ends shut.

Fold edges of egg carton over to close  Fold over edges and tie with twine

 Paper tube all tied up and ready to light

If you want to make your fire starters waterproof, dip them in melted wax. I use what is left at the bottom of jar candles. Place on waxed paper or parchment paper to dry.

Melt leftover candle wax and dip fire starter in  All done and ready to go

Set on wax paper to dry.

To use: Place fire starter on top of a piece of bark or small pile of dry leaves or (if using in your wood stove) shredded paper. Light the edge of the cardboard egg carton or tube. The fire will slowly burn and the dryer lint is quite flammable. This will give you anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes of burn time, depending on the size of the fire starter and how much dryer lint you packed in. Also, if you dipped the fire starter in wax, it will be a little more difficult to light. I have found that if you light the knot where you tied the twine, it will light better. And next time I make them, I will get thicker jute or hemp twine to use. I think it will light better.

These work great for camp outs or in emergency kits! Put one or two fire starters in a vacuum seal bag along with a few matches and vacuum seal. This will keep them dry, and you’ll have a handy take-along that fits great into a backpack or saddlebag!