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How to make your own Firestarters with leftover tarts!

Anyone who melts a lot of tarts has a ton of wax that either gets tossed in the trash everyday or stored in a container then tossed later. Well now you can recycle that wax into something useful using ordinary household items that you already have lying around your house.
Here are instructions on how to make your own firestarters for your fireplace or outdoor fire pit.

This is probably the simplest project you will ever do and you can get really creative with it if you want. First you will need a few things. Ordinary paper Dixie cups, some dryer lint which we all have or shredded paper from your handy dandy paper shredder and your old leftover tart wax.

1. Lay a few sheets of newspaper on your countertop to protect the surface from wax drips and for easy clean up.
2. Line up your paper Dixie cups on the counter.One tart will be enough for one or two cups.
3. Fill the cups about ¾ of the way with some dryer lint, or shredded paper.
4. Pour your melted wax into the cups over the lint or paper leaving about a half an inch of space from the top of the cup.
5. Let the wax harden and you're done. That was it, you just made a fire starter.

Now when you are ready to start a fire simply tear the edge of the cup, light it then place it on the logs. The fire starter will start the fire and wax will melt on the logs and keep the fire going. It is essentially fuel for your fire. The wax completely disappears just like when you burn a candle. There will not be a residue in your fireplace so don’t worry.

You can do these one a time simply by keeping a few Dixie cups on your counter and pour out one tart at a time out of your tart burner when you are ready to change them out.
If you want to do these in bulk follow directions as instructed above. Store all of your melted wax in a metal coffee can. Simply set the coffee can in a pan filled half way with water on your stove. The same principles apply like a double boiler here so make sure you don‘t walk away or get distracted ,stay with your stove. Melt all the wax down, put your potholder gloves on because the can will be hot. Pour the wax into each individual cup. It helps if you make a pour spout on the edge of the can for easy pouring. I did this with a pair of pliers by just bending the metal down. It’s really easy ~grab an edge, pinch with the pliers and pull down- there is your spout. You can also ladle it out with an old gravy ladle. If you don’t want to use the double boiler method then store the wax in an old candle jar and set it on a candle warmer then pour the wax right out of the jar.

You can do this over and over and store your fire starters in a basket for yourself or get creative and give them gifts.

This is where the creativity comes in.
You can buy Dixie cups in all sorts of designs- Christmas themes for example.
Take a few sheets of green and red construction paper and run it through your shredder.
Follow steps 1-4 above and now you have made giftable fire starters.
You can also use cedar or pine chips or even pine cones instead of the paper.
I use these all the time in my own fireplaces in my home and my fire pit outside. I would not know how to start a fire with out one.

Here are a few pictures of my fire pit in my back yard, I used 2 fire starters for this. One in the center of the logs and one on top. As you can see, they work! : )

Now for some general common sense safety:
Do not light these unless you plan on using them in a fire pit or fireplace right away. These are not make shift candles. Once they are lit , anything the wax comes in contact with will catch on fire. You could burn your house down if you are careless, so please do not light these on your counter to see how they work. They do, Light it and immediately toss it in your fire pit. They are called fire starters for a reason. Always practice good judgment and fire safety around any open flame.

This article is for informational purposes only. Thanks for reading and I hope you found this information useful.
© Tarrah Zimmerman~ September 13th 2009

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