Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pinecone Firestarters

Every fall I ask the kids to go to a little valley on our property affectionately known as "Pinecone Valley".  We have lots of Ponderosa Pine trees and that particular valley is full to overflowing with pinecones.

When the weather gets that tell-tale nip in the air we collect all of the pinecones we can find and dip them in paraffin wax that has been scented with Fir Needle Balsam (I know, not pine, but it's what we have!).  They smell SO good and make phenomenal fire starters.  We love to give them out as hostess gifts, even if the recipient doesn't have a fireplace or wood stove, because they look beautiful in a basket and make the whole room smell wonderful.

Yesterday, we got out the wax pot, the fir needle balsam and the pinecones and started dipping.  Neighbor girl happened to be here, so Miss Calamity, Princess Dragon Snack and dear Neighbor Girl did all of the work (which they happened to think was quite fun).  I don't think I have ever had pinecones so full of wax before, but, let me tell you, they sure will start a fire!

Paraffin is available in grocery stores in the canning department
You can melt it to make candles or seal jams or make pinecone firestarters!
I like to add essential oil because they smell heavenly
Neighbor Girl, Princess Dragon Snack and Miss Calamity
Everybody dipping at once!
It is smelling like fall!


  1. Enola,
    hope this doesn't double post as I had problems posting earlier.
    I am interested in making these but I am wondering about the use of wax in the wood stove. Does the wax just burn off or does it leave any residue ( in the stove pipe) that you are aware of?
    Thanks for the info.


  2. Yes, fall is in the air. The days are getting cooler and the leaves are dropping. I love summer, but autumn is a beautiful time of year.
    Warm apple cider, wool socks, smoke from the stovepipe....nah, I miss summer!!!!!

    NoCal Gal

  3. Thanks for a great post. I can't wait to try this. We are still waiting for fall in TX. Hopefully it will begin to cool off soon. I'm ready for all those things that NoCal Gal mentioned!

  4. how do you do this step by step. like how much wax how many drops of oil? thank you cheryl

  5. Anonymous;
    These burn right up, with no residue in the stove. I have used them for years in our wood cookstove with no problems!

    I don't measure anything when I make these, but it's really pretty easy. It will depend on the size of you pot, but I just melt enough wax to be able to dip the pinecones (either the whole cone or just the big end) and then add enough essential oil to have a nice scent. I add the essential oil after I have taken the wax off the heat. I usually use a half a bottle or so because I like my pinecones to have a heady aroma. Give it a try - It is easy and fun.

  6. thank you for the help i will try it cheryl

  7. Thanks for the directions--I was wondering too! We just recently moved into a new home and we've got our very first fireplace ever--not a necessity where we are, but definitely a welcome luxury on our rare rainy nights.

    Desert Bird