Homemade Fire Starter for Wood Burning Stoves


In this article, we will discuss how to make a DIY fire starter for igniting campfires, wood stoves or fireplaces.

During the winter months, we love to use a wood stove to heat part of the home. The stove not only lowers heating bills, but more importantly provides a wonderful atmosphere and ambiance to our sitting room.

In our northern climate with the short days and frozen ground, a fire can boost the spirit. There is nothing like sitting by the fire in winter.

However, one frustration I have always had is the work that goes into starting the fire. Below, we will make a simple and effective DIY fire starter using waste materials from the home.

Also check out our article on how to bank and relight a fire (here) before bed so that you can very quickly start it back up the next morning.

Use this DIY fire starter to make a very useful fire starting tool:

Materials needed:

Dryer lint and used dryer sheets.  Set up a grocery bag or other container next to the dryer and save all of the dryer lint and old dryer sheets throughout the year. In the winter, this material will be one of the main ingredients for a fantastic fire starter.

Bacon Grease.  Get a sturdy re-purposed plastic container with a tight fitting lid and collect bacon grease throughout the year. A great container for this is an old whey protein container.  Bacon grease can be used for many purposes, but in this article we’ll stick to the fire starter.

Save Bacon Grease to make a DIY fire starter

Paper egg carton.  Buy eggs in the paper cartons rather than the Styrofoam ones and save them for making fire starters.

How to Make it:

1. Cut a paper egg carton in half as shown.

DIY fire starter step 1

2. Fill each of the six compartments with a ball of dryer lint.

DIY fire starter step 2

3. Spoon a dollop of bacon grease over the top of the compartments.

DIY fire starter step 3

4. Lay down some more dryer lint and let a little bit of it hang over one side to be used as a fuse to light the starter. You could also use a piece of newspaper for the fuse.

DIY fire starter step 4

5. Close the lid and the fire starter is ready to be used.

How to Use it:

For a wood stove, place the fire starter in front of the wood (closer to the door) and light it. Remember to keep the flue open until the wood gets going and then follow our guide on managing a wood stove fire (link above).

For an traditional fireplace, put the starter under or in front of the logs.

For a campfire, place the starter under the logs.

completed fire starter


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