Fire Starter Project

By Bob Sherman

Fire Starters are a great way to use up small scraps of leftover wax, used candle remains, drippings, etc... Wax is never garbage and can always be re melted until it is finally consumed by flames.

I use these extensively in my campfires, wood burning stove, and fireplace. They burn very hot with a large flame for 10 to 15 minutes. One is usually enough to light wet wood or hardwood without kindling.

DO NOT CONFUSE THESE WITH CANDLES! - Although made with wax they are not designed to burn in a controlled manner and should only be used in a suitable place such as a fire pit, fireplace, or wood burning stove.

These are basic fire starters - there are several other styles I will discuss in future articles.

PLEASE NOTE!! - Candle making can be dangerous if proper safety procedures are not followed. Please read these Safety Rules before attempting any candle making projects.

Making these may be a bit messy, so protect the floor and surrounding work surfaces.


Any paraffin wax you have laying around works well for these - no special formula is needed.

Step By Step Instructions

1. These are most economical when made with recycled wax. 2. Optional - Adding sawdust or wood shavings will provide a longer burn time. Some folks like to use dryer lint for this.
3. My preferred method is to use paper / cardboard egg crates to make these with 100% recycled materials. Some bakeries will save you their commercial egg crates which are approximately 12 inches square and work great. If using sawdust fill each cavity approximately half way. Do not use plastic or foam egg crates. 4. Paper baking cups are an alternate to egg crates. These work best if placed in a muffin pan.
5. Fill the cavities with melted wax. Temperature is not critical as long as it is within a safe working range. 5b. Same except in baking cups.
6. Allow to cool and you are done. 6b. Same.



You may have noticed there is no wick on these - that's because a wick would provide a much smaller flame than we desire for lighting a fire. Since these are made in paper, we can use the entire top edge as a wick. Simply break off a piece of egg crate and light the torn edge. In the case of cups, tear the edge slightly before lighting. The torn edge will catch fire much more readily. Position the wood 1 to 3 inches above the fire starter.


  1. Do not use these in any areas unsuitable for a fire - they will burn uncontrollably.
  2. These are not candles - do not attempt to use them as candles.
  3. Flame size may vary, but flame heights of 15 inches are not uncommon.
  4. Fire starter containing sawdust from softwoods (such as construction lumber) should not be used indoors because it may cause creosote buildup in your flue. I use only paraffin wax in fire starters for my home.

Candle Making Supplies

The following candle making supplies and other materials were used to make this candle. Clicking on the item name will bring you to that item's page with a full description and ordering information.

Scrap Wax
Sawdust or Wood Shavings - optional
Paper Egg Crates or Paper Cups

Support Free Projects
You can help ensure the continued availability and production of free candle making projects and instructions by telling your friends about them. The more popular they are the more we can produce so tell your friends, mention them on message boards, link to them from your web site, etc... More information is available here.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and common candle making practices as of the time of this writing Originally published in the late 1990's and updated in March 2006 and June 2011. The author and the publisher accept no liability for the use or misuse of any of the information presented in this article. This article is presented for informational purposes and is used at your own risk.

Author: Bob Sherman

Publisher: Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc.

This article is provided free of charge for use. Candles may be made and sold using this design royalty free, however no portion of this article may be reproduced for publication elsewhere without express permission from Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc. with the following exceptions: