Herbal Fire Starters
Simple things made beautiful. These botanical fire starters give me the opportunity to rummage through my dried apothecary shelf and kitchen pantry to pull herbs that have expired or are discoloring. My youngest son, who loves counting and organizing, was in charge of placing the muffin liners in the tins and adding all the contents into each liner before I pour the wax. He was also charged with foraging wind-blown cedar branches and tiny pinecones from around the property. My favorite organic dried botanicals to gather for this project are eucalyptus, cedar, lavender, sage, mint, rose, and rosemary. My favorite spices to add are cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole cloves, and dried orange or lemon peel.
Supplies You Will Need
- muffin tin(s)
- natural paper muffin liners
- double boiler or large pot and heavy glass measuring cup (I picked up a used double boiler for $5 from the thrift store that I use solely for crafting)
Ingredients You Will Need
- organic beeswax bars or pastilles (approximately ¼ cup for ever full-sized muffin liner; so 3 cups [682 g] creates a 12-pack of fire starters)
- wood shavings (I use the pretty wood curls collected from around my husband's workbench, but any type of wood shavings, chips, or freshly-foraged twigs will do)
- dried herbs and spices
- foraged wind-blown tree debris
- Prepare your muffin tin(s) with natural paper muffin liners.
- Collect your fresh and dried plant ingredients and arrange them in the liners. (Reserve your favorite ingredients to add as "topping" later on in the project.)
- Using a double boiler to melt the beeswax. Once completely translucent, carefully drizzle it over the plant materials in each of the muffin liners; approximately 3 tablespoons (45 ml) worth in each liner. Fill three liners at a time, alternating between this step and the following one. Doing so will ensure that the wax doesn't begin to dry before you have a chance to add your "toppings".
- Before your wax dries, add your favorite, most attractive herbs to the top, setting them into the wax so they adhere. For my fire starters, I reserved the star anise, rose buds and tiny pinecones for last. Allow the starters to fully cool.
This recipe creates a 12-pack of fire starters.
Note: many fire starter recipes online require resin and candlewicks, however, in my experience neither of those ingredients are necessary. Because I like to keep my recipes as simple and achievable as possible, I've omitted both of those from this tried-and-true recipe.
Pro Tip! Beeswax can leave quite a mess on your pots and utensils. To clean them, melt the wax overheat and then quickly wipe away the wax residue with a paper towel. Lastly, wash with soap and hot water.
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This DIY was inspired by the incredibly talented Jessicka Nebesni of Mountain Rose Herbs.