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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!

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 ?

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.

Dana

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

I’ve tried this with dryer lint, didn’t work too well-I didn’t know about adding wax to it.

Let's Camp S'more

Saturday 14th of August 2021

Yes. Lint will but too quickly to be effective without wax.

Krystal

Wednesday 28th of July 2021

Or, instead of lining your pan with was paper, cover it in a plastic grocery store bag, then when you are done, lift it up and tie it. Boom, ready to go

Let's Camp S'more

Saturday 31st of July 2021

Great idea!

Michelle

Monday 31st of May 2021

This is such a good idea! If you add some dried Rosemary, it will keep away the mosquitoes!

Let's Camp S'more

Friday 4th of June 2021

Love that idea. I will try with our next batch.

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