Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fire Starters DIY gift idea...

I just ran across an idea for a simple, cheap (recycling), practical gift, that I am definitely going to make for someone for Christmas. Shhhhhh...

These fire starters are easy to light with a match...don't unwrap, just light one end of the wrapper. Then place in your fireplace and toss a little kindling on top. Before you know it, you've got a nice warm fire going.

And these are so easy to make, that it would make a great gift for kids to make and give too.

My interpretation follows:


empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes
dryer lint
'wrapping paper' such as paper grocery bags or craft paper
raffia, jute, or 100% cotton yarn


Start storing empty toilet paper tubes (and paper towel tubes cut to a similar length) in your laundry room. When you clean your lint filter, stuff the lint into the tubes. The lint can be augmented with some loosely crumpled newspaper.

They are usable at this point. But since I'm making them for gifts, I thought I'd dress them up a little bit.

'Wrap' the tubes in paper, leaving the ends long enough to twist, and tie with raffia, jute, or 100% cotton yarn.
I'm using craft paper, because I have lots of it, but you could use paper grocery bags, or the Sunday comics. 
(Edited to add: I originally stated that gift wrapping paper could also be used in this step. But my friend the science teacher told me NOT to use Christmas wrapping paper, as the inks used are not safe to burn and breath the fumes.)
(Edited to add:  a comment pointed out that lint from synthetic loads is not safe to burn and breathe fumes.  I always clean my lint filter after each load dried and always discard the tiny amount of lint that is left by synthetic loads.  However, I have a lot of loads that are from 100% cotton jeans, towels, and bed sheets.  Those are the loads that produce lots of lint, and that is the lint that is saved at my house.  Thank you, commenter, for bringing that to our attention.)


Put the finished fire starters in a bucket or a basket to sit near the recipient's fireplace. Add a bow and a gift tag, and you're done!


  1. Beautiful!
    Don't you just love all the deliciousness going around right now??
    Ideas are crackling in the air.
    I love it.
    happy sigh.

  2. I *knew* there was a reason to hoard dryer lint (well, actually I just can't be bothered to take my collecting container to the bin very often!) Thanks for this!

  3. Awesome idea. Believe or not, I have a large amount of toilet paper rolls waiting to be used and this is it.

    Thanks for the directions.

    Merry Christmas

  4. Very nice! We make fire starters with dryer lint, egg cartons, and wax but I never have enough wax left overs...I'm going to try this! Brilliant :)

  5. Hi everybody, thanks for dropping by. Glad you like these. They are definitely immediate gratification as diy goes. :)

  6. Thanks for this great idea. We enjoyed making them and the grandparents LOVED them---

  7. I started collecting dryer lint the day you mentioned this...and I only got one toilet paper tube filled with dryer lint! I should have augmented with newspaper, but couldn't remember what augmented meant...I plan to keep filling these for my daddy this year and then make some for me. My new house has a Buck stove in it. I will have a lot to learn before next Christmas.

  8. What a great idea~~and recyclable! Thanks~Vickie

  9. science teacher should have mentioned its probably not a good idea to burn drier lint either as its probably very much synthetic.. congrats if "you're certain yours isn't" might still be a good idea to mention for others

    1. Thank you, that is a very good point. I clean out my lint screen after every load, and the only time I save it is from a load of our towels or sheets which are 100% cotton. I will edit original post to mention this.


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