I’m starting to feel that anxiety of a busy week coming up. I don’t mind the chaos. In fact, I sometimes like a little crazy. The part that makes me tense is the thought that I’ll forget something important. When there’s so much to do, something is bound to slip through the cracks (FYI – as I was typing this I wrote “crafts” instead of “cracks” – psychoanalyze that!). One of the things I want to make sure to remember is a hostess gift for Thanksgiving. My husband is still away and my sister invited me and my kids to spend the holiday with her family. Hosting Thanksgiving is no small task, so I want to thank her properly. Before you think I’m giving away the surprise here, this isn’t the gift I decided on, but I love it and wanted to share it with you anyway.
Everywhere we have lived has had either a fireplace or a woodstove. I love being able to have a fire in the winter. What I do not enjoy is wading up balls of newspaper to start it. I decided instead to make something I could just grab out of a basket and throw in under some kindling.
To make the fire starters, I used cardboard rolls. Mine are toilet paper rolls, but you could also cut down a paper towel roll or the center from the wrapping paper. Speaking of gift wrap, you’ll need some of that too. You’ll also need some cotton string and something flammable to stuff inside, like shredded paper. I’ve even seen these made with dryer lint.
I used shredded paper for mine. I also wadded up pieces of the instructions that come wrapped around interfacing and stuffed that in the ends of the tube so the shred wouldn’t fall out while I was working with it.
Cut the gift wrap into pieces about 6” by 10”. Starting from the larger side, roll it around the stuffed tube. Secure with a small piece of tape.
Squish the ends just above the tube and tie with a 6” piece of string at each end.
To use, simply stick a couple under some small pieces of dry wood…
…and light the ends.
I normally use a butane lighter to start a fire, but I thought something prettier would make this a better gift. The Burlap Bag had shared a match jar project that was exactly what I was looking for. The only changes I made were to not cut a hole in the top and use the lid insert under the sandpaper. I actually had a partial box of strike anywhere matches that I’m pretty sure has been around our house through most of our marriage.
After I made the first batch of these using Christmas wrap, I happened to find some wood grain print paper at Target. Now they’re perfect!
Throw in a few dried pinecones and you have a gift that’s both functional and pretty – if your hostess can bring herself to actually burn it. The wood grain starters will probably still be sitting on my hearth in April.