With the coming of cold weather, I recently turned my attention to making new fire starters. Since I do not have on hand a number of the restaurant cups that I previously used to make fire starters, I turned to cardboard egg cartons to provide another base. I began by lining each cup with dryer lint. I had been given a lump of candles that had melted together and, not really able to think of another used for them, I decided to melt them down and use them for this project. I used an old food can to serve as my “double boiler”. I simply squeezed the top edge of the can together to form a spout, added my wax (I chopped it up a bit to speed the melting process), and set it in a pot of boiling water on the stove. After the wax had melted down, I removed the bits of wick that were in the bottom of the can and began to pour a small amount of wax into each cup of the lint-lined egg carton. As soon as I had poured wax in a section, I immediately took an egg-sized pine cone (gathered from sides of the road on our street) and pressed it into the cup before the wax could set. This way, the wax held the pine cone, lint, and egg carton together as a unit. The final step was to cut the carton apart into segments. The neat thing about using the egg carton is that each individual fire starter has a natural wick; simply light anyone of the four corners! My son (typical boy!) felt very strongly that we should make sure these worked well, so I allowed him to burn one and see how long it would take for the fire to go out. The test starter only burned for eleven minutes, five minutes less than my first model, but it was smaller and used fewer supplies. It still burned long enough to get a fire going!

The final verse in Hebrews chapter twelve states, “For our God is a consuming fire”.
A fire started is used to begin a larger fire -something that provides both light and heat. And in the process of starting this fire, the fire starter is consumed. I was reminded by this project that a Christian is like a fire starter. In the process of displaying the holiness, goodness, and glory of our God, we are called on to give our all -to be consumed. Our all may be not be much. Our light may only be visible for a few minutes in this life which is like a vapor and will vanish away (James 4:14). But how wonderful to know that we can, for even a brief time, by the grace of God, “shew forth the praises of him who hath called (us) out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Peter 2:9)!

This entry was posted in New Purpose for Cardboard, New Purpose for Misc. Items and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Linda says:

    I am going to try this to use as a charcoal starter. I’ll let you know how that comes out!

  2. Kerrie says:

    Does the wax make a mess inside the fireplace?

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