by Tarrah Zimmerman
owner of The Spotted Hog Candles
Anyone who melts a lot of tarts has a ton of wax that either gets tossed in the trash 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.
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 small paper Dixie cups, some dryer lint (which we all have) or shredded paper along with your old leftover tart wax.
1. Line up your cups on a counter lined with some newspaper so you don’t get wax on your countertop.
2. Fill the cups about ¾ full mixed with some dryer lint – or shredded paper.
3. Pour your melted wax into the cups over the lint or paper and let it harden.
4. Your done! That was it, you just made a fire starter.
You can do these one at a time simply by keeping a few Dixie cups on your counter and pour out one tart at a time from your tart burner when you’re ready to change them out. Or, you can do a mass pour depending on your mood and the time you have.
If you want to do these in bulk – follow directions as instructed above. Store all of your melted wax in a metal coffee can letting it accumulate however long you want. Then when you’re ready to make your firestarters, simply set the coffee can of hardened wax 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 as 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 without one.
About the Author:
Tarrah Zimmerman is the owner of The Spotted Hog Candle Co, a NY based e-tailer. Tarrah lives in NY with her husband of 10 years and two boys, Johnny and Joey.