Repurposed, Less Waste, Cleaner & Safer Firestarters

I was a girl scout as a child and have not forgotten the skills I learned as a young girl. It was so empowering to learn with other strong girls and from women role models that told us we could do anything! I remember learning how to build a fire, cook over an open flame, pitch the tent, sew a sit-upon and craft a thousand types of keychains and bracelets with boondoggle. Ahhhh time to start planning our next camping trip….

One of my favorite skills, was learning how to make firestarters. My mother was a troop leader which was a source of great pride. Not only was she strong and smart, but she was related to me and she taught us how to make firestarters. Cool mom status.


If you were ever a girl scout (and enjoyed the experience) you will agree that you can’t take the girl scout out of ya. As a troop leader to my own daughter now, I have this inexplicable need to teach my daughter how to pitch a tent, create a campfire, cook over an open flame, sew a sit-upon, craft with boondoggle and of course, make homemade firestarters. And my mother, even though she hasn’t lead a girl scout meeting in over 30 years, is still saving the ends of her candles to make firestarters with….(can’t take the girl scout out of her either!)

The best thing about firestarters is that they use the waste in your home to give it a new purpose. This is in total alignment with my recent need to move to a more waste free household. Reusing and repurposing items is such a kick for me. Since my mother gave me a huge bag of candle “ends”, I cannot wait to make firestarters with our girls.

The other reason for loving these cute little items is because it stops people from trying to use flammable chemicals to start their fires. Let’s face it, even the best girl scout can have trouble getting a fire going sometimes – but using chemicals is NOT the answer and just makes that fire no good for S’mores making. And that is just NO GOOD.

I am saving cardboard tubes, dryer lint and cardboard egg cartons like a kindergarten room mom! Luckily, there are tons of firestarter recipes on Pinterest these days and depending on what you have lying around, you can create the one that suits your needs best. My favorite method involves dryer lint and leftover candle wax. But, I am going to venture out of the simple and offer you up some more exciting and even beautiful firestarter recipes.

Let’s get started…

First of all – as I stated before – save your dryer lint, your cardboard egg cartons, candle ends, toilet paper tubes, newspaper, etc. You can even save cedar chips, pinecones, orange rinds, cinnamon sticks and other fragrant herbs like Sage which will help keep away mosquitos if you are outside and create a lovely scent if you are indoors. I have recently dried some orange peels and have an abundance of sage in my garden, so will be doing a Sage + Citrus scent for my firestarters.

Super Simple method: from Adventures in Self Reliance


Simple & Scented method: from Gardenista


Simple Method/ no Melted Wax: from Simply Frugal


Beautiful Pinecone Gift Idea: from Something Turquoise


Dry Herb/ no Wax Method: from Hearth & Vine


Herbs & Wax method: from Hello Glow


There ya go! Lots of great ideas for making your own firestarters. Whatever you choose, be aware that all of these are good for outdoor use, but you wont want to use some of them in a wood burning stove. Instead of using flammable chemicals, try these firestarters that actually create less waste. Always be safe with fires!


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