#4 IN THE 12 DIY GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS
The Firestarter Gift Basket is the 4th gift in my series: The 12 DIY Gifts of Christmas. I love this gift because if you know someone who has a wood-burning fireplace or even a fire pit outside, this gift will be fun and useful!
Growing up, we never had a fireplace. I was very envious of my friend, Janeen, across the street, because they had a fireplace. Very early on, my mom explained to me that Santa didn’t need a chimney to get into someone’s house. My parents simply left one of the windows unlocked, and Santa would come in through there. I’m not sure why he wouldn’t just utilize the front door at that point, but it really wasn’t my job to worry about all the details.
The first house my husband and I bought had a fireplace, and I loved it. Our current house has a fireplace, but it’s propane and it doesn’t work, so it really ruins my vibe during the colder months. I honestly didn’t even mind that it’s propane, but the fact that it doesn’t even light is a huge disappointment. I think it is the coziest thing to have a fire in the fireplace (even if it’s not “real”), some candles lit, a few throw blankets on the furniture. The whole setting is just cozy comfort, to me.
Why Give a Firestarter Kit?
So, to bring this back around to these fire starter gift baskets, you are basically giving a gift of “cozy”, don’t you agree? And, even if the recipient doesn’t have a working fireplace (which is a bit of a downer), they are possibly people who have a nice little firepit or chimenea in their backyard.
Quick Lesson: In case you aren’t aware of them, a chimenea (also spelled chiminea) is a freestanding front-loading fireplace or oven with a bulbous body and usually a vertical smoke vent or chimney. Even though our fireplace is a farce, we actually have a really pretty clay chimenea in our backyard that heats up our patio beautifully.
To make this fire starter gift basket, you will need some decent sized pinecones. Maybe you have a tree in your yard or on your property that drops pinecones, but, if not, I found a great box of them on Amazon and I will give you the link.
MATERIALS NEEDED FOR THIS PROJECT:
My wax-covered pinecones were approximately 3-4 inches long. I used flaked soy candle wax and colored them with a light blue Mica powder and used vanilla essential oils for fragrance.
To make my wax-covered pinecones, I used these materials:
White soy wax or beeswax
Candle wicking (included in the above soy wax box)
Double boiler or large Pyrex glass bowl
Mica powder (to color the wax)
Salt (optional) – You can use Epsom salt, table salt, or salt substitute.
I used a small amount of colored glitter that is safe to use in candles or soaps (see link, below)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS PROJECT:
- Take your wick and weave it in and out and around the top 2 inches of the pinecone, with about ½-3/4” sticking up on top.
- Place approximately 1 pound of flaked soy wax in the top of your double-boiler or into your large heat-safe Pyrex bowl.
- If using the double-boiler, warm the water up slowly so that the wax begins to melt evenly. Use a utensil (such as a wooden spoon or stainless steel spoon) that you use exclusively for crafts. Stir wax until it is completely melted and no lumps appear.
- If using a Pyrex, heat the wax in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until wax is evenly melted.
- To color your wax, I recommend Mica powder. Use small amounts at a time and stir until completely dissolved. Continue this process until you achieve a color that you are happy with.
- To add fragrance to your wax, add drops of essential oils to your wax now and stir well. You can add as much as you like, but note that as the wax cools, it will become a bit less fragrant.
- Let your wax begin to cool down before you dip your pinecone. Slightly cooler wax will coat your pinecone more easily. You can use tongs to mix your pinecone around in the wax, being sure to coat everything, including the wick.
- Let your candle cool for at least 15 minutes before dipping it a second time.
- If your wax starts to thicken too much, heat it up and stir it until it becomes smooth again. Then coat your pinecone a second time in the wax.
- At this point, some people recommend lightly dusting some salt on the hot was. Epsom salt gives white flames, table salt gives yellow flames, and substitute salt gives light purple flames. I DID NOT test the salts, so I can’t confirm that this works.
- I did, however, lightly dust my pinecones with a bit of glitter that is safe to use in candles or soap, and it gave off such a pretty effect
- After dipping pinecones in the wax, set them on wax paper to dry. If you find that they have clumping at the bottom after drying, simply break away any excess wax with your fingers.
To assemble my gift basket, I did the following:
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
I found a cute Harry & David wooden box that I had been saving for just the right project, and this seemed perfect. I lined the box with a tan colored cotton napkin. I went out on my property and picked a few smaller sticks and a few bigger sticks and tied them together with jute twine.
I had dried some orange slices and I tied them together with a natural cinnamon stick. I figured it looked cute and would probably add some nice fragrance to the fire.
I added some long “strike-anywhere” fireplace matches and tied them together with the twine. And finally, I added a few plain pinecones that hadn’t been dipped in the wax. I added a tag that said “To Warm Your Heart – Merry Christmas”, but you can write whatever you’d like. You can even give some instructions, if you choose.
This gift would be great as a hostess gift, if you are going to a holiday party. It’s great for neighbors or maybe for the family of one of your kids’ friends. It’s also a very gender neutral gift, so I think it would be useful and thoughtful for anyone on your list.
A FEW ADD-ON SUGGESTIONS
Some things you can add to make it a little more elaborate gift:
HERE’S WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO WATCH AND READ:
I hope this gift was helpful for you. This was the 4th DIY gift on our list of 12. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve made any of the gifts on our list and which ones! I would love to hear about them or see pictures.
And here is a great blog if you want to learn how to make candles for some of your gifts:
Don’t forget to check out my previous YouTube video featuring the first 3 gifts on our list. And please follow me on Instagram for fun holiday tips and ideas: @celebration_elevation
And take a look at my Pinterest page: @celebration_elevation
Thanks for stopping by to read my words and for the support you show, just by taking a look at the content that I’m creating. It is appreciated more than I can tell you. Celebrate the season this week!