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DIY Candle Firestarter

Do-it-Yourself Candle Firestarter

As I was going through some old photos, I came across a video and photo series I created back in 2010 to show how to make your own firestarters out of a mini candle and some wood shavings. I’ve used this for so many years I can’t remember where I first learned it from.

These firestarters work great when tinder is scarce or damp. It has a burn time of about 10 minutes. I usually throw one or two into my ditty kit when I go camping or backpacking. Besides the burn time, I like that these firestarters aren’t goopy, slimy, or sappy like other options. Melting the wax is the most time-intensive part, but once you get it started, it goes quick. I usually create an assembly line and make dozens at a time.

Materials Needed

  1. Wood shavings
  2. Tea light candles
  3. Mini baking cups
  4. Double boiler (to melt the wax)



  1. Dismantle the candles by removing the wick and the aluminum casing. Save the casing!


  1. Place a paper baking cup into the aluminum casing. This helps to keep the firestarter well-formed when the wax is poured.

  2. Stuff some wood shavings into the baking cup, level with the top


  1. Melt the candle wax (I do this whole process outside and I use metal tins that I don’t care too much about because everything gets a little waxy)


  1. Pour the melted candle wax into the wood shaving-filled cup

  2. Allow to cool


  1. To use, simply ignite a spark or light the top on fire!

6 thoughts on “DIY Candle Firestarter”

  1. I used to make fire-starter with wood shavings & wax, but used an egg carton to hold the materials. I put the shavings in the egg cups, poured the melted wax on top of the shavings & let it set up. Then I’d grab an egg cup to start the fire. I used the wax that you buy at the grocery store for canning. I’m just getting back into camping….

  2. Here’s another, easier firestarter that I came across years ago – cotton balls + vaseline! You “mush” vaseline into the cotton ball, that simple. Each will burn like a candle, long enough to get a fire going. I carry a bunch in a little zip lock bag.

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