If you’ve been following me for long, you know how much I love a roaring fire burning in the woodstove on cold winter days. If you’re new to Growing Up Herbal, then let me welcome you, friend. I’m so glad you’re here! One of my favorite simple pleasures in life is a fire in the woodstove. (You can learn even more about me here.)
Now that everyone knows about my love for wood stoves and warm fires, we can move on to the point of this post, which is herbal beeswax fire starters.
When it comes to having a fire burning in our stove, my husband always starts it. And while my dad taught me how to start a fire when I was younger, I find that I rarely need to. My man takes good care of me, and he keeps the home fires regularly burning when they are required.
A few years ago, though, I stumbled across the idea of making beeswax fire starters from one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers (Hi, Emily!!) and immediately knew I wanted to try them. Not only are they mostly made of recycled materials, but they cut down on using paper or cardboard to get fires started. Once I decided to make them, I spent some time saving up supplies. Unfortunately, though, I never got around to actually making them. Yes, for two years, every time it was cold enough for fires, I remembered all the fire starter supplies sitting in our attic, just waiting to be used. But, as you can imagine, life is busy with four little boys, and I kept putting it off… until now.
With the help of my 9-year-old, we finally made beeswax fire starters earlier this year because I was determined not to go another year without making them. Plus, I saw the supplies sitting in my attic, and I can’t stand clutter. They had to go!
Now, these beeswax fire starters are not just any old beeswax fire starters. The kind we made are herbal beeswax fire starters!
Being an herbalist, I have a closet full of herbs, and if I don’t get around to using my dried herbs quick enough, they begin to lose potency. When that time comes, I try to find a way to put them to good use if they’re no longer best used for herbal preparations. Sometimes this is composting or something similar, but this time, it was using the herbs in our herbal beeswax fire starters. The herbs serve no real purpose so you can make these fire starters without them. I merely wanted to see if it would help with smell or something, which it did not because the scent of the wood smoke overpowered any scent the herbs put off. It was a nice idea, though. If you have herbs to get rid of, feel free to use them. If not, I would not recommend using good quality herbs in these.
Seeing how we’d never used any sort of fire starter (other than some kind of paper or cardboard), I wasn’t sure if they would work, but I’m happy to report they work well. The fire starters catch fire quickly and stay lit long enough for kindling and other small sticks to catch and light the larger pieces of wood on top.
If you’d like to learn how to make these herbal beeswax fire starters, I’m sharing a tutorial on how I did it below.
Herbal Beeswax Fire Starter Tutorial
- beeswax (sustainably sourced, please)
- dryer lint
- cardboard egg cartons
- old dried herbs
Begin by placing a large amount of beeswax (or other wax) in a saucepan to melt. Next, fill cardboard egg cartons with lint from your dryer, packing it down as much as you can. Sprinkle herbs on top. I used aromatic herbs like lavender, sage, and rosemary.
Once your beeswax melts, carefully pour the wax over the herbs and lint. The goal isn’t to saturate the herbs and wax, but to put enough on so everything sticks to the egg carton and there’s enough wax to keep the fire burning once you light the herbal beeswax fire starter. After the wax is poured on and has cooled a bit, you can cut the cardboard egg carton apart and store the herbal beeswax fire starters in an easy to access place near your stove, just not too close! 😉
Enjoy, and here’s to staying warm and cozy on cold days of the year!