The firestarters work great! My husband loves them. We've had a couple time of burning old nasty wood we had piled out back. (Trust me, not even the most resourceful, creative junk re-users would want this wood.) Here is my happy firestarter...
My husband wins the creative thinking award for this one. He spotted me recycling the paper shredding and said "It's a shame you have to throw all that away. Why don't you make something out of it?" Me: "Like what?" Husband: "Like a fire starter or something." My brain activity starts whirling so much I can hardly explain my idea to him. I give up explaining and then push him out of the way violently to go start my project. Ok, so that is a little exaggerated, but that is how I felt.
Or start reading here if you don't care about how we thought this one up and you just want to make homemade fire starters.
-Paper shredding from your paper shredder (make sure you have not shredded any credit cards or thin plastic lately because that can scratch or poke you. I found out the hard way. Your welcome. Don't worry, no blood.)
-Toilet Paper Rolls
-Water and shallow tub, bowl, or pan. I used a big plastic glad container
-Gloves (optional for the ink coming off of paper)
Step 1: Make the paper balls by putting the paper shredding into the water bowl. I had a lot of shredding so I did many little batches. Stir it around with your fingers until the paper is really wet. Take a good handful of paper and squeeze it into a ball about 2 inches wide so it can fit into your TP rolls. Or you can make a log to fit it in the roll, but leave room so you can fold over the ends to close it in. Allow this to dry in front of a heater vent for a day or two. Maker sure they are completely dry before moving to step 2.
Step 2: Stuff and fold - I could not think of a pretty way to do this part. They are just going to be burned at some point anyway, right? So, just put two balls in the roll and fold in the ends just so the balls don't fall out. The folding part might take a bit of a tough thumb to bend it in right. you can also squish it vertically on a hard surface with your palm.
Here is a finished fire starter:
I made a whole bag of them. Funny thing is, we don't live in the country (yet) so we can't really use them. Just leave it to us to actually follow through with an idea that we can't even use. I may give some to my brother in law for his birthday this summer. I hope he doesn't read my blog because a) it would give it away and b) I would question his sanity reading a homemaking/housewife blog. :)
I will update if I ever actually try to light a fire with one of these. I can't see why it wouldn't work, but we will just have to wait and see!