Home-made kindle pine cones are a great idea to save from buying chemical fire lighters and a whole lot better for your family's health, and of course the environment.
Dry pine cones burn very well and with the added oil and wax they make excellent fire starters and quite beautiful natural gifts.
These natural fuellers are very easy to make. In preparation you need to collect fallen pine cones (some craft stores stock them) and keep all the wax from your old used candles (you can also by clean pelletted wax from many craft stores).
1) Prepare paper cases or grease proof muffin tins ready for setting wax.
2) Clean off any labels and pull out the remaining wick.
3) Melt your wax in a double boiler, adding essential oils for an extra room filling aroma when the pine cones burn. Lemongrass or Rose Geranium work well with the natural scent of pine.
4) Dip the pine cones into the hot wax and place into paper cases.
5) Leave for 30 minutes or until set.
6) For a colourful flame roll tips of the scales of the pine cone in a little salt for a yellow flame, salt substitute for a violet flame and Epsom salts for white flames.
7) Place a few cones beneath and above kindling to help light your fire. The pine cone, depending on its size, should burn for up to 10 minutes.
Some places charge up to £4 for wax coated pine cones but we think it's far prettier and a whole lot more eco-friendly to make our own - and it couldn't be easier if we tried!