See all of the crafts featured so far in the Handmade Holidays series.
If you have someone on your gift list who loves camping or building wood fires in the fireplace, these simple, rustic firestarters are the perfect gift and easy to make. You can usually make them from items you have lying around the house and yard, so the price is right, too.
I learned how to make these from my friend Margaret Hahn, who said she got the idea from the original Heloise. Hahn has been making these for years.
Dryer lint (start saving now to have enough before Christmas)
Broken candles or candles that no longer burn
Wood chips or nut shells
Dried flowers and other dried plant material
Cardboard egg carton (just the portion that held the eggs. Discard the top half, or tear up into small pieces to use with the other materials)
After covering your working surface, fill the egg carton cups about two-thirds full of lint, then add wood chip or nut shells and cover with dried flowers or other dried plants.
For one egg carton's worth, or one dozen, firestarters, melt enough candles to get between 1 cup and 1½ cups of melted wax (I usually eyeball it). Make sure you strain out any decorative pieces that would not burn. Pour melted wax evenly over lint mixture.
Once wax has cooled, carefully tear the firestarters apart, arrange in a basket, put on a bow and you're done.
Difficulty: 1 out of 4