Pinecone Bonefire Starter
It's this time of the year again. The weather is perfect for an afternoon/evening bonfire. The problem is, that I am always struggling to start a fire, so I made myself an easy starters.
Pick good-looking pinecones
I went to the woods and picked a few good looking pinecones. Some were extra dry, and some were not - it does not matter.
Broken crayons and candles
Then, I went to my "leftover" box. It has a mix of potentially DIY materials that are not good enough to be used in their first purpose. I had there a few boxes of candles that came broken, or their colours are not appealing to me. I also took my box of broken crayon. Yes, I know that you can melt the crayons together using a fan, but I never got to do it... So it all sits in a shameful box. Additionally, I took food can that I have in my box, that I usually use to melt wax/candles/paraffin. It was a canned corn container, a few lifetimes ago.
Melting the candles
First, I melted the candles. The same way I melt chocolate, using a bain-marie. I melted the broken and disfavour candles.
Making the candlewick
In the meantime, I wrapped a piece of waxed cotton string around the pinecone and left a bit of string hanging outside; this would be the candlewick. As I aim to use it as a fire-starter, I only wrapped half of the pinecone. If I wanted to make a candle, I would add a string down to the bottom.
Stop. Checking to see that the candles are melting alright...
Picking a colour
Whilst the candles were still melting away, I went through the crayon box and picked a colour. As it was broken already, and I didn't have the entire crayon, I knew that the colour would be lighter than it is as a crayon. Plus, some of my candles were not white, therefore, their colour would affect the outcome.
Removing the candles wicks
Once the candles melted completely, I removed their wicks using chopsticks.
Adding the crayon
Then, I added half a crayon to the melted candles, and stir it (using the chopsticks) until it dissolved completely.
I noticed that the wax was not height enough for the cone to be dipped inside, so I added a few more white and off-white candles and repeated the last few steps.
Dipping the cone inside the wax
Once I was pleased with the colour (bearing in mind that the colour would be lighter once it is set), I dipped the cone inside until it was all covered in a thin semi-transparent layer of wax. I left the cone to dry on the counter for a few minutes, before dipping it again. Then, I noticed that the temperature of the wax is too hot; It did not layer up; each dipping was removing the last layer. So I removed the can from the stove and placed a plastic container with water next to it.
Dipping in cold water
After each dip in wax, I let the wax drop for a couple of seconds, before dipping it in cold water. The first few layers (about 4-5) were not noticeable, until all of a sudden...
It was covered entirely in wax! Wow!
Then, I decided that it was covered with enough wax for one pine cone.
I let it rest for 2 hours before touching it with my hands.
I loved it so much that the same night I invited my parents over to make a bonfire.
I placed it under a log and lit it on fire. Goodbye pretty cone, it was fun to make and so easy to start a fire with you.
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