Crafty Time: Fire Starters

Due to pretty sucky personal finance conditions this year, Yuletimes were fixin’ to look pretty sad and presentless… But then I saw an article on cheap & handmade gift ideas, and I was instantly smitten with the idea of fire starters. RECYCLING & PUBLIC PARK FORAGING TO THE RESCUE! Also a sneaky way to sneak sneaky magics into your gift-giving, for those of you witches still flying under the radar amongst friends or family. 

What All Ya Need:

  • festive / decorative paper that is safe to burn (it is a wonder what you can find in free city newspapers, especially during the holiday season)
  • short lengths of yarn or string that is safe to burn
  • filling: bark, twiglets, pine cones, and / or fir needles (the drier the better, you can vary based on local availability and perhaps your spellcasting needs); also optional are herbs, small pieces of dried foods, non-toxic items you wish to burn for magic purposes

Whatcha Do:

  1. Take a plain old newspaper page and lay it flat on your work surface. Just one should do, and you may wish to cut it down if you don’t want your fire starter to be too bulky - the one I made for a friend had to be small so it would fit in his little wood stove!
  2. Lay out your filling materials in the center. You can make a small ritual of this, to lay the groundwork for a spell, or you can just toss them together any which way. For the above fire starter, I had a specific purpose in mind, and included things like dried orange peels, cloves, a garlic head skin, and mixed herbs. I would have better advice on ratios of things-that-smell-nice you could use, but I haven’t actually burnt one of my own yet, so… experimentation wooooo!
  3. Fold over the lengthwise edges, and roll up your stuff! Again, if you wish to make smaller fire starters, it helps to be sparing with the filler and cut down your newspaper smaller.
  4. Take that decorative paper from your crafty stash, or the nice large picture you found somewhere else in the newspaper, and wrap it around your roll. It will help if this paper sheet is longer than the first, so you have some extra at both ends to twist up easily and avoid tearing.
  5. Tie off each end with string / yarn. You can also tie extra bits & pieces onto the middle of the roll, or either end, to make it look nice and / or seal the spell. I used pine twigs and cinnamon sticks.

Aaaaand done! These make up very quickly & serve as nifty, fragrant stocking stuffers. Just be sure the lucky recipient knows it's not meant to be unwrapped!