Friday 18 December 2009

festive firelighters

Today a certain peace has descended as I've pretty much finished work now until the New Year (which seems like a long way away). I still have a few loose ends to tie up, but don't have to go anywhere. All can be done from home. Bliss!

This afternoon I made some more fragrant firelighters - easily done in half an hour.

You need:

pinecones - you have a liitle stash, don't you?
wax granules, old candle remains, or ordinary household candles
essential oils of your choice - I used sweet orange and clove
greaseproof paper
a double boiler, or glass or metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water


Note: wax and essential oils are flammable. Take care! If you're a messy worker, protect your work surface with old newspaper

Put the wax in the double boiler or bowl over pan of water, and slowly bring the water up to a simmer. The wax will melt slowly. No need to stir. Once melted, fish out any old wicks if you're using candles. Take off the heat.

While the wax is melting, shake the pinecones so any loose debris falls out. It's best to use pinecones that have really opened out. If you have closed ones, put them in a warm place for a few days and they'll open. I've had a pile of wet, closed pinecones sitting on top of the boiler for a week - they've slowly 'blossomed', making little cracking and creaking sounds as they've dried out.

Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a wire rack.

Choose your essential oils and put about 15 drops of each in the melted wax, and swirl round a bit to mix in.

Now test your wax with your first pinecone: hold at the tip (top) and dip in to the wax, then gently shake off the excess. If the wax is at the right temperature the pinecone will look slightly 'frosted'. Too hot, and you can't see the wax on the pinecones, too cool and the wax goes all gloopy. It takes a bit of trial and error.

Line up your pinecones on the greaseproof paper as you go. They'll harden in seconds.

And there you have it! Fragrant firelighters, ready to scent an open fire or to get the woodburner going. Pile into an old terracotta pot and wrap with brown paper and string, and you have a quick present.

And talking of fires, I'm off to an outdoor christmas barbequeue. It's freezing out there. Lots of layers are required I think! And mulled wine...


dottycookie said...

That's a lovely idea - and it would make a good stocking filler for my husband. Thanks for the idea!

jotatters said...

Thank you so much for this 'recipe'. I've been a lurker for a while following your lovely blog (and others like Pipany) in the area (local to me).

Sorry to take so long to comment, but this is such a lovely idea that I was compelled to thank you. It's lovely that you are sharing it.

We have some friends down the road from us with trees that have gorgeous big pine cones so I'll definitely be on the scrounge this weekend!

Thank you
Jo (Mullion)

Simone said...

The firelighters are a wonderful idea. I guess they could also be used as a scented decoration if you don't have a real fire.x

Pipany said...

And IO can vouch for how lovely they are as we have been burning the ones you gave us last weekend. Just gorgeous. Mst make some myself. have a great time at the icy barbecue Diana xx

kristina said...

Oh what a fabulous project. How I long for a wood fire! K x

dragonfly said...

Hey! How did you know I had a stash of pine cones?!
I'm a bit nervous of melting wax as my Mum's neighbour's kitchen burnt down when she was candle-making. Not that I want to put you off or anything :-)

silverpebble said...

This is such a wonderful idea - you had given some to Pipany? I am now itching to make these Diana but I haven't got any cones and the ground is covered in snow. Such a SHAME!

ginny said...

have cones :)but no open fire:(
hope you were warm and toasty last night x

Ali said...

I have cones. I have old candles. I even have some cinnamon essential oil. I feel a project coming on....

JuliaB said...

Wow! I never knew about these! I think I need to go collecting cones! But I might not burn them because I will like the look and the smell of them too much!! xx

JuliaB said...

ps: Hope you didn't get too cold at the BBQ! x

Pennie said...

Fabulous idea...and I'm so happy to have my own batch - thank you Pennie x

Calico Kate said...

Hello, have popped across from Thrifty Household to have a look at your firelighters. They look much simpler than the one's I've made in the past - cakes of wax in cake cases with fir cones perched on top. Think I will be giving these a go very shortly. I have a Church Craft Fair coming up and some bags of these would be very quick and easy to rustle up. ->->-> Off to collect lots of fircones, the dogs will be pleased with an extra walk!

Unknown said...

I love buying scented firelighters :)

I recently ordered these social light refillable lighters on the eve of Christmas.

Will try this too :)