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Homemade Pine Cone Fire Starters

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Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown

There’s no better gift than hand-made - any gift that shows thought (it’s what counts remember), imagination and effort is sure to be a winner with the receiver. With autumn now here, here’s a great idea for a housewarming gift for anyone with a wood stove or fireplace, that won’t cost a lot but will warm the receiver’s heart.

Collect some medium to large pinecones and assemble:

Tongs (preferably old ones)

1 block paraffin

Food dye

Cedar/Pine essential oil

Waxed Paper

Using a double boiler, melt the paraffin. Add the dye of your choice to colour the wax, as well as a few drops of pine or cedar essential oil (remember with both the dye and the essential oil, a little goes a long way, so add it gradually to achieve the right shade and aroma). Stir in with an old wooden spoon. Pick up each pine cone using the tongs and dip into the wax to cover, then set on the waxed paper to harden.

If you have an old cane/wicker basket or a metal bucket, simple arrange the cones in it and add a ribbon to the top – otherwise you can bundle them into cellophane wrap and tie it together with some curling ribbon.

The extra effort and personal touch will no doubt be noticed and appreciated. Personally, I don’t care whether a gift cost the giver $5 or $50, I’ll take the $5 gift with time and imagination invested over the $50-use-it-once-and-put-in-the-cupboard present any day. In truth, I would feel a little guilty about the $50 gift, I don’t need anyone to spend that much on me just to say “happy birthday/Christmas/whatever”!

If you have any ideas for hand-made gifts that are big on thought and light on the pocket, then please feel free to share them here.

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