DIY Fire Starters

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These homemade fire starters are an easy way to start any campfire. Made with just a few supplies you already have at home, these are a great item to have on hand for your camping season.

Homemade fire starter in fire pit with text overlay.

Sometimes, starting a campfire is more work than it needs to be. And even if you are a seasoned pro, an Eagle Scout, or the best woodsman ever, there are times when starting a fire can be tedious.

Especially when you have kids running around who want to help!

Why you want to make these

These homemade fire starters are an amazing way to make lighting a fire a quick and easy task that kids can help with (with supervision, of course!).

They always light, and are easy to light, and they burn well enough on their own that the firewood around them can catch on fire, too.

They are definitely an item you need to put on your family camping packing list.

Here is how you can make them yourself (Psst…. This is a great activity to have kids help with, too!)

egg cartons, dryer lint, shredded paper and white taper candles on wooden board

How to make homemade fire starters

Here is everything you need to know to make your own fire starters:

Supplies needed:

  • cardboard egg cartons
  • shredded pepper or paper towels
  • dryer lint or sawdust
  • candle wax, old crayons, or beeswax pellets ( I find that about 2.5 – 3 taper candles per egg carton is perfect) Just keep in mind if you use scented or colored candles or crayons, your fire starters will take on those colors and scents!
  • Clean empty tin can (for melting the wax)

Optional: A lot of people like to add other items into their fire starters, too. You could add leaves, pinecones, and other dried natural things that burn well. Some people even like to add aromatic items like cinnamon sticks, dried rosemary, or dried orange peels.


  1. Fill each egg crate well about half way full with shredded paper. You can pack the paper down as much as possible, but don’t worry about how neat it looks.
  2. Top the shredded paper with a small piece of dryer lint.
  3. Melt the candle wax and pour over the dryer lint and shredded paper, making sure it soaks all the way through the egg carton well. There are two good ways to melt candle wax. The best is to place the candle pieces in a clean, empty tin can and place the can into a small saucepan filled with water. Allow the water to come to a simmer until the candle wax is melted. Another way is to place the broken candle pieces into a glass jar and microwave in 30 second intervals until the wax is melted.
  4. Allow to sit until the wax hardens again, and then cut the egg cartons

Hint: Remember to protect your work surface either with a thick towel or newspapers in case the melted wax drips.

How to store DIY fire starters

Once the wax has hardened, and you have cut each individual piece apart, you can store them until your next camping trip. I like to store them in a bin with a lid, but a bag would work as well.

How to use homemade fire starters

These fire starters are so easy to use! Just place them in your designated fire pit area and light! Then you can build your fire around them as you normally do.

These typically burn for a good ten minutes, giving you plenty of time to assemble your campfire.

*NOTE: These are made for campfires, fire pits, charcoal grills and wood burning fire places. Do not use in a gas burning fire place.

fire starter in fire pit just beginning to smoke and catch on fire

These fire starters are so simple to make and really help setting a campfire so much easier!

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