Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade Christmas gift idea

Here it is December already.  This year has just zipped by! The photo on the top of my blog is a shot I took looking off my front porch down the valley this morning.  It was 20 degrees when we got up.  A bit chilly, but the good thing is the sun shines during the day and it is beautiful and dry.

We are doing  homemade gifts for Christmas this year.  I made something today that is really inexpensive to make.  Made from recycled items we probably all have in our homes.  They are fire starters.  They make some nice gifts for those who have fireplaces or wood stoves, or for camp fires or putting in your emergency kit.

The things you need are:
Cardboard egg cartons
Old candles
Dryer lint

I saved my dryer lint for about a week. Depending on how much laundry you do and how much lint comes off each load determines how long you need to save it.
Take the lint and fill each hole of the egg carton. Isn't it amazing the different colors you get from each load?  LOL!

Take your old candles and chop them up a bit and put them in a double boiler over medium heat. The first ones I used were a purple color and then I added this old white pillar candle.  Make sure to remove the wicks from the candles before putting in the pan to melt down.
Here you can see I have a pan inside of another pan.  I put water in the lower pan to keep the wax from getting too hot.  Be very careful while doing this!  DO NOT WALK AWAY WHILE THE WAX IS MELTING!!   It is flammable and will catch on fire easily.  So use extreme caution while working with the melting wax.  As soon as it has melted, turn off the heat.

Next pour the melted wax over your lint, filling each cup.  I used a small measuring cup to dip the wax out of the larger pot.  Be very careful not to spill it on yourself.  I put the carton in the freezer for about 15 minutes to set the wax. You can just let it sit out at room temperature and it will harden in time.

After they are hardened up, take some shears and cut apart the cups.  To use them put them on the bottom of your fireplace/wood stove and put your kindling on top just like you would build your fire using other fire starters or paper.  I am putting these in tins for gifts.  Simple, frugal and useful! 

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