Cedar shavings (found in the pet section of WalMart or at pet stores. It is meant for the cages of guinea pigs and hamsters)
parifin or candle stumps left from used up candles..any color will do
An old large pot (from a thrift shop or yard sale- you won't be cooking in these things after this)
Cupcake pan (again, from a thrift shop or yard sale)
Melt the wax on low heat on the stove. Watch it, wax can be flammable if overheated. Fill cupcake liners with cedar shavings (don't pack it too tightly) Pour melted wax over cedar shavings. Let set up (put in freezer to speed process up) Bag up the fire starters, along with a few pine cones if you like, and instructions for use. When you're done, let any left over wax cool and harden in the pot and store the pot, cedar shavings and cupcake pan for later use. As you have little candle stubbs, simply drop them in the pot and when you're ready to make more, you'll be set.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE
Put one of these little babies in the fireplace, beneath the grate. Add some newspaper and your logs on top of the grate. Light the fire stater, and it will burn for a long while, starting up your nice big fire.
Bag a few of these little gems up in a large corsage bag or basket with directions for use and you're finished. These make perfect gifts around the winter holidays for neighbors and friends alike!
**side note here** I will admit that the first time someone gave me a bag of these (my eldest daughter was in Kindergarten and her teacher gave them to the room mothers as Christmas gifts...)and I did think they were some odd kind of bran muffins. (I vividly remember thinking that they looked a bit dry to me.) Luckily, before I tasted one, a fellow room mother announced to me that she was thrilled to get some, because they were the coolest thing for starting a fire.