Monday, January 11, 2016

Bad at Crafts: Fire Starters

I think a good craft project meets these 2 criteria:
  1. It does not have to look pretty
  2. It gets used up so you don't have to keep it forever
When my Mom told me about the fire starter project I thought, "finally, here's a way to use up all that excess candle wax and dryer lint I've been hoarding."

Pouring hot wax over dryer lint in an old egg carton -
Yep, we were that bored

To be honest (yeah, I spelled it out, so what?) I was not hoarding dryer lint....   yet.  But I did have 3 VERY good smelling candles that I had burned until the wicks were gone and the wax still smelled amazing so I was reluctant to get rid of it.  I thought maybe I would break down and get one of those Walmart brand wax burners (I'm way too cheap to get Scentsy).  But, then Mom told me about this easy and fun way to use up the wax.  

You will need to find the following objects:
  1. Some old candle wax - the more the better
  2. One or more cardboard egg cartons - not the Styrofoam kind
  3. A whole bunch of dryer lint
  4. An old coffee can or soup can - coffee now comes in plastic or cardboard canisters and those will not work
When my daughter Cissy came home from college she asked me, "Why are we saving the purple dryer lint?"  

I said, "We're saving all of the dryer lint, not just the purple lint."  I can't help it if all of our sheets, towels, and clothing just happen to be purple.  

Anyway, I hadn't realized I'd left a box of dryer lint on top of the china cabinet so I threw it away because Buffy (the younger daughter) and I had already done the craft project and we don't have that many cold days in Houston so we don't really need more than 12 fire starters.

Here's what you do.
  • Break up the wax into small pieces about the size of cherry tomatoes 
  • Toss them into the can and set it into a saucepan with about 2 inches of water in the pan, not in the can with the wax
  • Heat that on medium until all the wax is melted
  • While it's melting (or maybe even before) stuff the egg carton with clumps of dryer lint
  • When all the wax is liquefied, pour it over the dryer lint, filling each compartment of the egg carton
  • I forgot to mention, you should tear the top part of the egg carton off because you won't need it
  • Let it harden, then cut the compartments apart 
That's it!  Easy as pie.  Easier really.

The finished product - almost, the wax has to finish hardening.
I told you it wasn't pretty.

Then, wait for a cold night to light a fire.  Set one or two of the fire starters under your logs and light them.  You will be pleasantly surprised that it really, really works.  The fire starters burn for more than 20 minutes, more than enough time to get your logs going.  And, there's the added benefit of the lovely candle scent.  

This is a fun activity you can do with children of all ages - okay not the really young ones because they might burn themselves.  But probably ages 9 and up.  Boys will like it because you get to set them on fire!  Girls will like it because...  you get to set them on fire!  

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