How to make awesome homemade fire starters for your campfire with an egg carton, paper, and wax. Super easy DIY with tips for starting a fire.
It's not every time we head out that we get to enjoy a campfire while we're camping. But there are occasions where we do, and this egg carton fire starter helps us get it going quickly and efficiently.
My boys have enjoyed learning how to make campfire coffee, and we love to cook breakfast over the fire.
A DIY fire starter isn't hard or time consuming to make. In fact, you can make however many you need the night before your camping trip.
All you need are a few supplies and a stove to melt the wax. We actually made ours outside using our camp stove, so technically, you can even make these while you're camping.
I like that we can make them on the go because I'm not always that great at prepping everything beforehand, although I do always make sure we have a batch of our favorite body wipes made up ahead for every trip.
This is a really handy tutorial for all my fellow outdoor adventurers, though. Because at the end of the day, what do we enjoy more than a warm campfire with a side of rest?
IS THERE AN ACTUAL PRINTABLE INSTRUCTION CARD?
If you’d rather skip all of my tips for making fire starters, important info for this project, and similar camping hacks – and get straight to the instructions – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable “how to” card and video.
SUPPLIES TO MAKE YOUR OWN FIRE STARTERS
You only need 3 things to make these…
- Cardboard egg cartons (make sure you only use cardboard)
- Paper shreds
- Paraffin wax
You'll also need some sort of stove and skillet, preferably a cast iron skillet. You can make these in your kitchen or on the camp stove while you're camping.
HOW TO MAKE FIRE STARTERS
Making fire starters is a great way to both recycle and repurpose all those paper shreds from your home office, as well as any leftover cardboard egg cartons.
Important Tip: Be sure none of your paper shreds include any type of plastic, such as the plastic you find in envelope windows. Also watch out for any non-paper mailing inserts or even credit cards. Only use paper.
- First, fill the egg cups in each egg carton with shreds of paper.
- Then melt the wax over a low to medium heat.
- Once the wax is melted, pour the wax over the paper shreds in the egg carton and let it sit until it hardens.
- Using a box cutter or large pocket knife, cut the egg carton into three sections for use in starting a fire.
And that's it. Your easy fire starter is ready to start a fire!
ALTERNATIVE HOMEMADE FIRE STARTER IDEAS
If you don't have paper shreds, no worries. You may have some other things that will work just as well, laying around the house.
- Dryer lint
- Cotton balls (or cotton pads)
- Toilet paper
- Any other type of recycled paper or cardboard product
HOW TO USE YOUR DIY FIRE STARTER
Once it's ready to use, you can place the fire starter on the ground in the middle of your fire pit or fire ring. You should only need one section of your egg carton, leaving you with extras for another campfire at a later time.
Use a lighter or matches for lighting a fire, adding small pieces of kindling to help fuel the fire and get it going.
Eventually, you'll add larger pieces of kindling and small logs to keep your campfire going.
We usually build a small teepee with our firewood once we have a small fire going.
If you're new to making a campfire… We'll be showing you exactly how to start a fire, as well as how to put a fire out, in the very near future. So, stay tuned.
FIRE STARTING GEAR YOU MAY NEED TO MAKE A CAMPFIRE:
DIY Fire Starter (of course)
Zippo Windproof Lighter or this Flex Neck Utility Lighter
We’ve put together a camping checklist with all the gear you'll need for your next adventure. Be sure to check it out for all the essentials!
GET THE PRINTABLE INSTRUCTION CARD
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Easy Homemade Fire Starters That Work like a Charm
- 1 cast iron skillet
- Large pocket knife
- Pot holder or welding gloves
- 2 cardboard egg cartons
- 4-8 cups paper shreds
- 8 ounces paraffin wax
- First, fill the egg cups in each egg carton with shreds of paper.*
- Then melt the wax in a cast iron skillet over low to medium heat.
- Once the wax is melted, pour the wax over the paper shreds in the egg cartons, and let everything sit until it hardens.
- Using a box cutter or large pocket knife, cut each egg carton into three sections for use in starting a fire.
- And that’s it. Your easy fire starter is ready to start a fire!