I am a part of a year long series called Recycle and Create. Each month I, along with several other bloggers, bring you crafts, upcycle options, and projects to use re-use what would otherwise be thrown away. This month our material is egg cartons. Though egg cartons come in many materials, this project is for diy fire starting pods using cardboard egg cartons.
With spring and summer quickly approaching, many families are considering going camping and having fun family adventures. I thought that giving you an idea for some great, portable fire starters would be both a fun project with the kids and a handy item to have with you! Furthermore with all the eggs being purchased for Easter crafts this month, egg cartons make the perfect material to discuss.
Egg Carton Fire Starters
First of all, these fire starters should not require any new materials. They can (and in my opinion, should be) made with materials that would otherwise be thrown away or recycled. In our case, we even use materials that might get composted!
What you need:
- Cardboard egg cartons
- Candles – Any type or fragrance will do meaning you can buy the ugly ones from garage sales and thrift shops. You can find tea lights, candles, sticks, or blocks of wax.
- “Brown matter” – What I mean by brown matter is anything that you would put in a compost pile that does not emit nitrogen. Some ideas include:
- sunflower seed, pistachio, and/or nut casings
- shredded paper
- leaves and twigs
- An old pot/pan and a cookie sheet
1. Take your cardboard egg cartons and cut off the lid. And place on a cookie sheet.
2. Fill each space with some of your brown matter. I prefer to put lint on top regardless of what is underneath. It’s a cleaner top and it catches fire faster.
3. Put all candles in an old pot or pan that you have. If you don’t have one, you can get a really cheap one at a thrift store. This ensures that nothing gets ruined. Make sure that when you put candles in there the only parts going in are wax and wick. So pop the wax out of tea lights and make sure there are no piece on the bottom on your candle sticks.
4. Place them on the stove until melted or in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until melted.
5. Pour hot wax all over the tops of each space. As the wax cools, it will harden, encasing the materials underneath. Also, as you pour the wax, it will seep into the side of the egg carton. This is actually very important because it means the carton itself won’t just burn away quickly.
6. Let cool and harden. Then cut each one and and put them in a storage container for easy transport and storage.
7. When using them to start a fire, place them underneath your wood pile. Light the bottom of the egg carton pod so that it engulfs the entire pod.
We made some with several materials and we tested them all in a row. We were certain that the egg cartons with just dryer lint would burn up too quickly to really get a fire going, but we found out that it wasn’t the case.
Hope you are enjoying the Ultimate Earth Day Guide and that you will continue to read more of these great posts!
For more ideas on how to utilize those egg cartons as you use them this month, check out the ideas linked below from my Project Recycle and Create Co-Hosts!
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!