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DIY Fire Starter Logs

Have trouble getting a campfire to stay lit? Try a homemade Fire Starter Log for a one-match fire each time.

a fire starter on fire in a fire ring at a campground

Have you ever wondered how to make fire starters? We have been creating our own for years using lint and cardboard egg cartons for years.

We have tried them with and without wax and even created these scented fire starters. Those work, but I have found more success with these fire starter logs.

a fire getting started with a fire starter log

These logs are particularly helpful with getting a fire to stay lit when it is damp out, which is most of the time here in the Midwest. Our kids enjoy making pinecone fire starters.

After getting the fire started, keep warm sitting around it with homemade fire reflectors.

How to Make Fire Starter Logs

You likely have all the supplies for this homemade fire starters project on hand at home. If you are like us and do not keep candles on hand, just pick some up at the Dollar Tree. Scroll down to see how we made these.

a pile of fire starters made with toilet paper rolls

It is amazing how these fire starters help get a campfire going so quickly.

We just light the edge of the cardboard and let the log do the rest of the work. For an instant light, we use a homemade cotton ball fire starter.

a fire starter log being used to start a campfire

We have been foolish and tried to start a few fires without these starters and were unable to get the flame going. Our lesson has been learned, so we do not build a fire without one anymore.

These DIY fire starter logs are fun and cost hardly anything to make. Everyone should have empty toilet paper rolls and dryer lint on hand.

campfire being started by a cardboard fire starter

We like to add potpourri to our campfire starters. This gives off a good scent and sometimes an interesting flame color. We pick up the scented candles and potpourri at Dollar Tree.

No need to spend money on commercial fire starters when you can follow this easy tutorial. Yes, that is Diana’s hair in the lint.

What is your favorite way to start a fire? Check out the mod we did to our favorite campfire log grabber tool.

Yield: 12 logs

DIY Fire Starter Logs

Make Your Own Fire Starter Logs - Have trouble getting a campfire to stay lit? Make your own fire starter logs for a one match fire each time. These are cheap and easy to make with supplies you probably already have on hand.

Light a fire with one match each time with these homemade fire starters.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $0

Materials

  • 12 Cardboard tubes
  • Dryer Lint
  • optional: Potpourri
  • Cookie Tin
  • Candles
  • Empty can
  • Pan with water

Tools

  • potholder

Instructions

  1. Create a double boiler by placing the empty can in the pan with water. Make sure the can is clean and dry.
  2. Place the candle into the can.
  3. Heat the water to melt the candle wax.
  4. Stand the cardboard tubes up on end in the cookie tin. If you want to keep wax from sticking to the tin, line it with wax paper.
  5. Stuff some lint into each tube. I like to leave a little gap at the bottom of the tube. That gap provides a little lip of cardboard to catch the flame from the match.
  6. Stuff potpourri into each tube.
  7. Stuff more lint on top of the potpourri, leaving a gap at the top of the tube.
  8. Carefully pour the melted candle wax into each tube.
  9. Let the wax harden.
  10. Remove the tubes from the tin.
  11. Use one fire starter log to start a campfire.

Notes

Create larger logs by using paper towel roll tubes or cut down the cardboard from a roll of wrapping paper.

Did you make this project?

Please share a photo on our Facebook page or on Pinterest!

Debi

Saturday 16th of March 2024

This a great idea if you don't have alternatives. We use pine tree stumps that have turned into what we call "lightered" woof. It is stumps that have aged for a few years in the woods and it turns into something like kerosene soaked wood. We split little pieces off of it and use these to start fires in our wood heaters. It burns for a while so it will get the bigger pieces of wood going easily. My brother had a logging business a few years ago and found some stumps. They save for years or indefinitely. If you know anyone who has this business or know how to find the stumps this is a great product that lasts forever if you keep it dry and it is like homemade gas logs

Diana Hansen

Thursday 21st of March 2024

I'll keep my eye out!

Bree-Arna

Friday 30th of June 2023

Hi I absolutely LOVE this idea! My only issue is, mine will be used in my pot belly stove, so I don't think wax melting inside that would be a great idea. Any thoughts on a dupe or workaround for use in the belly?

Diana Hansen

Monday 3rd of July 2023

Have you seen this post? https://letscampsmore.com/cotton-ball-fire-starters/ If you can't use oil at all, then just pack it with a lot of lint.

Jeff

Saturday 28th of January 2023

I am currently.aking these as I write this so not sure how well this will work but instead of potpourri I stuffed saw dust and wood chips from a freshly cut pine tree. Seems like the same concept as stuffing potpourri in it, doesn't it? Anyways I love the idea of this thank you so much.

Diana Hansen

Monday 30th of January 2023

Yes, those are great to add, Jeff!

Shelly

Saturday 4th of June 2022

Love using toilet paper rolls for this which we always have on hand! I've made them by stuffing lint into cardboard egg cartons (which makes a dozen at a time), then just light a candle and drip it over the lint bundles. Self-contained and easy for kids to do too! We don't eat eggs that often though so the toilet paper holders are a great alternative!

Diana Hansen

Monday 6th of June 2022

Same with us. I will use cut paper towel or wrapping paper tubes. I've even resorted to using small cardboard boxes cut up.

Vivianne

Thursday 16th of December 2021

I love this idea and have been collecting lint in a jar to do this but Im wondering what the wax is added for. Is it to keep the lint in place? And also, what happens to the wax after the fire is out? There is wax buildup left behind ?

Karen

Saturday 18th of March 2023

@Vivianne, The lint acts as a wick for the wax. It's the wax that provides the starter flame. It should burn almost completely up...that's what it's there for. You need BOTH. Wax and some kind of wick.

Diana Hansen

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

The wax does help keep the lint in place, but it also keeps the log burning longer. We have only used this in campfires, so we are unsure of any wax buildup. We have never seen wax left after the campfire.

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