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Gettin' Crafty: pine cone lighters

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For all those who give pom-pom critters for birthdays, feel an urge to stick googly eyes on everything or just occasionally get a twitch to fold some origami, we bring you "Gettin' Crafty," where we feature a craft you can easily make with minimal supplies and limited finances. Those who know Colorado weather know that the worst of winter is still to come. "April showers"? Please. In preparation, this week some pine cone fire starters to get your fire roaring a bit easier. Supplies

  • Pinecones
  • Candle remnants
  • Wicks
  • Large metal can
  • Saucepan
  • Containers for pine cones to harden. I used an old aluminum loaf pan, but you could use a muffin tin or any small container.

Instructions

1. Take the wicks and wrap around the pinecone. Tuck the wick in between the scales so the wick is secure. 2. Cut up the candle remnants into small pieces. Put inside the metal can. 3. Heat some water in a saucepan -- several inches worth of water will work. When the water is boiling, put the metal can in the pan. In about five minutes or so you will have a can of melted wax. 4. Pour the wax into the container with the pinecones. You should put the pine cones in the container before the wax is melted, so you are prepared and not handling hot wax with one hand and fussing with pinecones in the other. USE HOTPADS. 5. Let cool. I put mine in the freezer for an hour, and the wax had solidified. 6. Take the pine cone out of the container. This may require some cutting and finagling with the aluminum/muffin pan/whatever. Don't hurt yourself. 7. Light it up, place in the fire, and watch it burn. Hopefully it will catch the other logs and newspaper on fire as well. If not, well, you probably screwed something up. Go to the store, buy a Duraflame log and admit defeat.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.