By Recycled Crafts Contributor, Anitra from the blog “Coffee Pot People”.
I heard on the news the other day that there was snow on the ground in forty-nine out of the fifty contiguous states, the only exception being Florida, where it was below freezing, but dry. It is definitely winter, and a lot of us are staying in where it’s cozier, and what’s cozier than a crackling fire in the fireplace or woodstove?
Here’s how you can make something decorative for you hearth that will also help you get the fire started.
- Candle stubs and crayons in the color you prefer
- Pine cones
- A double boiler, or similar pan + pan assemblage
Set up your double boiler, or do as I did and use an old tin or coffee can set in a pot of water, to melt your candles and crayons. The crayons are primarily to add color if the candle stubs you have aren’t richly enough colored; you may not need to add any.
Wax is highly flammable, so use low heat, and don’t leave the room while you’re doing it.
While the wax is melting, tie a length of string around each of the pinecones, long enough for dipping the cones in the melted wax, if you like. You can use your bare hands, but be sure the wax isn’t too hot!
When the wax is melted, dip the cones in it, and lay them to dry on newspapers. You may need to dip them more than once, and experiment a bit. If the wax is too warm, it won’t coat the cones. If it’s too cool, it will be globby. (Is that a word?) In the first case, let the wax cool a little, and in the second, reheat a bit, and re-dip.
Once the pinecones have set up nicely, cut the strings off, and pile them in a pretty basket, adding a bow or bit of greenery, and set them near your hearth, ready to use while adding a decorative touch to the room.
To use: Lay your fire with crumpled paper as the bottom layer, a pinecone or two next, perhaps a few more sticks of kindling, and then your largest pieces of wood.
Added bonus: If you’ve used scented candles, your basket of pinecones will also scent the room!