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Make These Simple and Inexpensive Wax Camping Fire Starters

Forget a perfectly stacked log cabin and helplessly blowing on your tiny flame. Spend time enjoying your summer nights, not getting frustrated trying to start a fire. These camping fire starters are one of the easiest ways to start a fire, whether that’s out in the woods or in your backyard.

best campfire starter

Besides being out in the garden, you’ll also find me out in the woods come summertime. And just like gardening, I didn’t grow up as a camper.

It was always something I wanted to try out, and when I first saw my pop top camper van, it was love at first sight. I knew it would the perfect little home on wheels for kiddo and I. You can see it on my camping blog!

One of the most beloved parts of camping is the nights spent around the campfire under the stars. While I have a propane fire that I often use for ease, you can’t deny the magic that comes from the crackling wood and smell of a real campfire.

Starting a campfire can take some finessing (are you team teepee or log cabin?), and sometimes, no matter how much newspaper and kindling you have, the fire just doesn’t catch.

This is precisely why I like to use wax fire starters. They’re much more reliable and easier to use! Better yet, they don’t require you to have pounds of sawdust or go foraging for witch’s hair lichen to make them.

Here’s how to make fire starters to use for camping or your backyard!

campfire starter made with dried flowerscampfire starter made with dried flowers
Dried flowers are an easy way to dress up your wax fire starters and are perfect for the summer.

Homemade Camping Fire Starters

These camping fire starters are quite simple to make, especially if you’ve made candles before! While they can be simple and plain, I like to turn these campfire starters into a little bit of a craft project. Because who doesn’t love pretty things?

Equipment

Materials

camping fire starter suppliescamping fire starter supplies
Get creative with all the different decor items you add. Just make sure they’re fire-safe!

Melt the Wax

When making these wax fire starters, I use standard soy wax. It’s what I use for most of my candle-making projects. Soy burns quite clean and produces less soot. They’re also pretty affordable compared to beeswax.

That being said, you can use just about any wax for this project. Feel free to use the leftover wax from the bottom of old candles to give them a second life.

Melt your wax in a large pot over low heat. If needed, break up your wax into smaller chunks beforehand to help it melt faster.

You can also add a few drops of food colouring to the wax once fully melted if you want it to be a specific colour. I’ve also popped in an old crayon to change the colour.

You can also add fragrance oil for a delicious-smelling campfire! The right scent, like citronella, might even repel mosquitoes.

melting soy wax flakes in a potmelting soy wax flakes in a pot
Melt on low and stir frequently so your wax doesn’t catch fire.

Prepare Your Liners

Line up your paper muffin liners in a muffin tin like you’re about to make a batch of cupcakes. This is the easiest way to make a shape for your DIY campfire starter.

Next, add in your cotton wick. You can use metal wick tabs as well as candle glue dots to hold your wick in place. Just know that the metal tab won’t burn, and you will have to remove this from the ashes when you’re cleaning up your fire.

If you’re okay with a wick that’s a little loosey-goosey rather than straight, it’s easiest to skip the metal wick tabs altogether.

paper muffin liners with wicks in tabs ready for waxpaper muffin liners with wicks in tabs ready for wax
Once you add your decorative elements, they will also help to keep your wicks upright.

Pour Your Wax

Pour your wax directly into the liners, filling them about 2/3 of the way full. To make this step a little easier, you can pour directly from the pot or use a ladle or smaller vessel with a pour spout.

pouring wax into paper muffin linerspouring wax into paper muffin liners
Don’t worry about being exact with how much you pour into each vessel.

Add Your Decorative Elements

These wax fire starts can be as simple as just straight wax. But where’s the fun in that? In my summer themed camping fire starters, I used dried flowers such as hops, calendula, rose, and lavender to make them really pretty.

But here are some more ideas of what you can add:

  • Pinecones
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Fresh pine
  • Fresh herbs like rosemary
  • Star anise
  • Dried lichen or moss
  • Bay leaves
  • Bits of recycled paper like books or sheet music
adjusting wicks in wax wire startersadjusting wicks in wax wire starters
Don’t place your decorations all the way in. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see them.

Let The Camping Fire Starters Cool

Once you’re satisfied with all your decorative elements, let your wax fire starters completely cool before you remove them from the muffin tin.

And then they’re ready to use! Simply light the wick to ignite your camping fire starter.

finished camping fire starter waiting for the wax to coolfinished camping fire starter waiting for the wax to cool
DIY campfire starterDIY campfire starter
These are my more winter or fall-themed wax fire starters.

Make These Wax Fire Starters as Gifts!

I make these wax fire starters year-round. While they’re perfect for camping, you can use them in the summer for backyard fires.

They also work wonderfully indoors during the winter. They’re pretty enough to be on display on the fire mantle or nearby in a stack. For a winter version, you can add different additions, such as pinecones or cinnamon sticks.

Wax fire starters are a wonderful hostess gift. If you know someone who has a wood-burning stove or fireplace in their home, these can be a unique handmade gift for the winter season.

wax fire starterswax fire starters
camping fire starter with pinecone and mosscamping fire starter with pinecone and moss

I think these are just the best campfire starters because they’re easy to use and make. And they don’t cost much in materials at all! Let me know if you use these for a summer night under the stars in the comments below.

More Fun Crafty Projects to Try

Wax Camping Fire Starters

Use these simple and inexpensive camping fire starters to easily light up a campfire while out in the woods or in your backyard.

  • Melt wax in a large pot over low heat. If needed, break up wax into smaller chunks beforehand to lessen melting time.

  • Add in food colouring or a crayon to dye the wax if wanted.

  • Line up muffin liners in a muffin tin. Add in the cotton wick, using wick tabs and glue dots if wanted. These help to hold the wick in place, though the wick tab will not burn.

  • Pour melted wax into the liners until they’re about 2/3 full.

  • Add in decorative elements, allowing the tops of the decorations to stick out of the wax. Adjust the wick placement if needed.

  • Allow the wax to cool fully. Light the wick to use your fire starter!

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