Make Your Own Fire Starters

Do you heat with wood? If you do you'll want to try these easy to make fire starters. They use two items that most people throw away. Best of all they work great

Heating the house can be expensive in the winter months. That’s why we have a wood stove to heat our home. It makes a nice cozy warmth throughout the house without breaking the budget.

But sometimes getting a fire going can be hard. I know my parents purchase fire starters to make getting a fire going just a little easier. But what if you could make fire starters, with two items you already have a good supply of?

Two Item Fire Starters

I make our fire starters with two item we usually just throw away or recycle. I’m sure you do the same at your house too. It’s really easy to make these fire starters, you only need an empty toilet paper tube and lint from the dryer, to make them.

Do you heat with wood? If you do you'll want to try these easy to make fire starters. They use two items that most people throw away. Best of all they work great.

Yes, that’s it just two little items to make your own fire starters. I can’t remember where I learned to make them. I’m thinking it must have been in The Tightwad Gazette (affiliate link), since I’ve been making them for years now.

Find more DIY Ideas by clicking here.

Easy to Make and Store Fire Starters

To make the fire starters easier to make, I take our empty toilet paper tubes and place them into a container on the back of our dryer. Then when I’m cleaning the lint trap of the dryer, I just stick the lint right into the empty toilet paper tube. Once the tube is stuffed full, I move it to the storage box near the fireplace.

My storage box is really high tech, it’s an old shoe box with the lid. I hide it under our china cabinet, so it’s out of sight. I can store about 16 fire starters in it, without it being too bulky and in the way.

Do you heat with wood? If you do you'll want to try these easy to make fire starters. They use two items that most people throw away. Best of all they work great

If you like this storage idea but it’s not going to be concealed like mine, wrap the shoe box in some inexpensive wrapping paper from the dollar store. It will make it blend in. Or if you can find a nice basket with a lid or photo storage box those would work well too.

If you burn wood like we do for heat, don’t buy fire starters. Make your own out of items you are already throwing away. Then give yourself a nice pat on the back for finding a way to save money.

What do you heat your home with? Gas, electric, wood, or oil? How do  you save on your heating costs?

PS, these are also great for taking camping with you to get your campfire started too.
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28 thoughts on “Make Your Own Fire Starters”

    1. Might want to store those fire starters in a metal
      Box instead of a flammable paper shoebox. Thanks for the idea.

  1. I like this idea, Shelly. We put the lint in paper egg cartons and then put melted wax on them. This idea is a lot simpler. Might have to do some of both in the future. Our fire is almost always going during the winter though so we don’t need a whole lot of fire starters.

    1. Lydia, that is a great idea for fire starters too. We have warmer and cool days here, so we use fire starters about once a day. Sometimes twice, if I start a fire in the morning and then need to start another fire in the evening.

      1. I put my dryer lint in egg cartons and use my old wax from the warmers. Lol it even smells good. Then you have a new home for the wax.

  2. We have a heat pump and a wood stove. The stove is in the basement, so it takes several hours for its heat to reach the upper levels. We mostly use the heat pump for this reason, besides the fact that the stove is hard to start without setting off the smoke detectors!

    I’ll have to give these fire starters a try and see if it’s easier to get a fire going 🙂


    Great idea for my fireplace for winter which I use. Ash from the fireplace goes in the garden so nothing is wasting in this world.

  4. Old girl Scout trick. This has been around forever. We just added one other ingredient And we used a cardboard egg carton. 🙂

  5. I would melt some vaseline and soak the lint also then it will burn for a long time and really start the fire well

  6. We tried this but it made a horrible smell of burning hair. I guess my mom and I shed a lot. Is there anything you can do to keep that from happening?

    1. Jessica, I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ve never had this problem before with the lint from our dryer. I do have to give my vacuum beater brush a hair cut about once a month from all the hair that gets tangled up in it from my daughter and myself but I’ve not had the problem with the hair in the dryer lint. I guess it all gets caught in the vacuum. 🙂 If there is a lot of hair in the dryer lint then it would smell when it burned. Maybe see if someone outside your home can save you dryer lint to make these? That’s all I can think of, sorry I couldn’t be more help.

      1. I asked friends to save lint for me and I get more than I need. Others are so willing to find a recycle outlet for their lint!

  7. I will try this geneous idea. I will even upgrade it by stick some of the last bit of my burned down candles. Pure energy normally thrown out with the garbage.

  8. Thanks for this suggestion! Hubby finally set up the fire pit he bought a while back, but we couldn’t get it burning long enough to keep the wood alight…this worked just perfectly!

  9. I make my fire starters using egg cartons and old candle wax. We have 2 wood stoves heating our house. I store them in the big “popcorn” tins.

    1. Loretta, Thanks for sharing how you make your own fire starters. I’ve not tried making them with wax and egg cartons. Great idea to store them in the popcorn tins. ~Shelly

  10. If you drain your fried food on paper towels, you can use it for fire starters also. Roll it up and store in metal container. It starts well and usually lasts long enough to get fire started. Also save grease in plastic bottles to pour over wood to help catch on fire. Little messy but helps recycle.

  11. Hello I was looking to make a fire pit and ran across your article and all the great responses and was wondering just what exactly does it do besides saving money and recycling. I was just going to use lighter fluid.

    1. Annetta, when you put the fire starter below the kindling and you light the fire starter it burns slow and long enough to get the wood started. So you don’t have to use lighter fluid. Hope that helps. ~Shelly

  12. cryystal hayward

    i knew using lint was good for fire starters but didnt think of putting it in toilet paper rolls. might can use an ammo container to store them in. i cook outside in summer as,we dont have ac or heat.

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