10-Easy DIY Homemade Campfire Starters

There’s nothing quite like sitting around a campfire with friends or family, enjoying the warmth and flickering flames as you roast marshmallows and swap stories. But getting a campfire started can be a challenge, especially if you’re in damp or windy conditions. That’s where campfire starters come in handy. These handy little devices help get your fire going quickly and easily, and they’re an essential item for any camping trip.

While there are plenty of store-bought options available, making your own homemade campfire starters can be a fun and practical alternative. Not only are they cost-effective, but they’re also customizable and eco-friendly. By using simple household items and natural materials, you can create a variety of different types of campfire starters that will work in a range of conditions.

In this article, we’ll explore 10 easy DIY homemade campfire starters that are sure to ignite your next outdoor adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or new to the world of outdoor adventures, these campfire starters will help you get your fire going quickly and easily, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

10 DIY Ideas for Homemade Campfire Starters

1. Egg Carton Firestarters:

Materials: cardboard egg carton, dryer lint, melted wax


  • Fill each cup of the egg carton with a mixture of dryer lint and melted wax.
  • Once the wax has hardened, cut the carton into individual cups.
  • Use one or two cups to start your campfire, and enjoy the warmth!

2. Toilet Paper Roll Firestarters:

Materials: empty toilet paper rolls, dryer lint, wax, or tape


  • Stuff each empty toilet paper roll with dryer lint.
  • Seal the ends of the rolls with wax or tape.
  • These lightweight firestarters are easy to pack and burn for several minutes.

3. Pinecone Firestarters:

Materials: pinecones, melted wax


  • Collect some pinecones and dip them in melted wax.
  • Let the pinecones cool and harden.
  • These firestarters will burn for a long time and give off a pleasant scent.

4. Citrus Peel Firestarters:

Materials: dried citrus peels, dryer lint


  • Save your orange, lemon, and grapefruit peels and let them dry out.
  • Stuff the dried peels with dryer lint.
  • Light them up – the oils in the citrus peels will help the fire burn hotter and longer.

5. Cotton Ball Firestarters:

Materials: cotton balls, petroleum jelly


  • Soak cotton balls in petroleum jelly and store them in a sealed container.
  • When you’re ready to start a fire, pull out a cotton ball and light it up.
  • These firestarters burn for several minutes and are incredibly easy to make.

6. Charcoal and Egg Carton Firestarters:

Materials: charcoal briquettes, cardboard egg carton, melted wax


  • Fill an egg carton with charcoal briquettes.
  • Cover each cup with melted wax.
  • Once the wax has hardened, cut the carton into individual cups.
  • These firestarters will burn hot and long.

7. Tea Light Firestarters:

Materials: tea light candles, aluminum tart tins, sawdust or wood shavings


  • Place a tea light candle in a small aluminum tart tin.
  • Fill the tin with sawdust or wood shavings.
  • Once the candle melts, the sawdust or shavings will catch fire, creating a hot and long-lasting flame.

8. Twine Firestarters:

Materials: cotton twine, melted wax


  • Cut a length of cotton twine and dip it in melted wax.
  • Let the twine cool and harden, and then cut it into small pieces.
  • Light one of the twine pieces and place it under your kindling.

9. Firestarter Gel:

Materials: alcohol, water, gelatin, squeeze bottle


  • Mix equal parts alcohol and water with a packet of gelatin.
  • Pour the mixture into a squeeze bottle.
  • When you’re ready to start a fire, squirt some of the gel onto your kindling and light it up.
  • The gel will burn for several minutes, giving your kindling a chance to catch fire.

10. Duct Tape Firestarter:

Materials: duct tape, dryer lint


  • Roll a length of duct tape into a tube shape, with the sticky side facing out.
  • Stuff the tube with dryer lint.
  • Light one end of the tube and let it burn.

What is the best homemade campfire starter?

The best homemade campfire starter can depend on personal preference, but some popular options include egg carton firestarters, wax-dipped pinecones, and cotton ball firestarters. Egg carton firestarters are made by filling each section of an egg carton with sawdust or dryer lint and then pouring melted wax over them. 

Also: Campfire Cooking Kits

Once the wax hardens, each section can be broken apart and used as a firestarter. Wax-dipped pinecones are made by dipping pinecones in melted wax and letting them dry. Cotton ball firestarters are made by coating cotton balls in petroleum jelly or wax and then using them to start a fire.

How do you start a campfire without a fire starter?

Starting a campfire without a fire starter can be a bit more challenging, but it’s definitely possible with the right techniques. Here are a few methods to consider:

  1. Use natural materials: Look for dry leaves, twigs, and small sticks that can be used as kindling. Gather larger logs to use as fuel for the fire.
  2. Build a teepee: Arrange the kindling in a teepee shape, leaving a small gap in the center for the fire to start.
  3. Use a fire plow: This method involves rubbing a stick against a wooden board to create friction and start a fire.
  4. Use a fire bow: Similar to the fire plow, this method involves using a bow to create friction between a stick and a wooden board to create a fire.
  5. Use a magnifying glass or lens: On a sunny day, use a magnifying glass or lens to focus sunlight onto the kindling and start a fire.

Remember to always follow fire safety guidelines and be aware of any fire restrictions in the area you’re camping in.

How to make fire starter bricks?

Making fire starter bricks is a great way to have a supply of fire starters on hand for your camping trips. Here’s some information on how to make fire starter bricks:


  • shredded paper or cardboard
  • sawdust
  • wax
  • muffin tin or silicone mold


  1. Melt the wax in a double boiler or a metal can placed in a pot of simmering water.
  2. Mix shredded paper or cardboard with sawdust in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the melted wax over the paper and sawdust mixture and stir to coat everything evenly.
  4. Press the mixture into muffin tins or silicone molds and allow to cool and harden.
  5. Once the bricks have hardened, pop them out of the molds and store them in a cool, dry place until ready to use.

Read more: How to start a fire

These fire starter bricks are not only easy to make, but they’re also an eco-friendly option since they’re made with shredded paper or cardboard that might otherwise be thrown away. Plus, they’re great to have on hand for camping trips, backyard bonfires, or even for use in a wood stove or fireplace at home.


In summary, starting a campfire is an essential part of any camping trip. With these 10 easy DIY homemade campfire starters, you’ll never have to worry about struggling to start a fire again. From egg carton firestarters to wax-dipped pinecones, these firestarters are not only practical but also a fun project to do with family and friends. Plus, making your own firestarters is an eco-friendly alternative to store-bought options. So why not try making your own campfire starters before your next camping trip? Your future self will thank you for it!

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