Do It Yourself: Barbecue Lighter Made From Spruce Cones

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:24 pm

When the temperatures rise and family and friends are drawn back out into the garden, the barbecue season starts for many people. This is also the case for us. Every year, I look forward to the afternoons with lots of tasty treats and the cosy evenings with a campfire after a hard day of gardening. We barbecue in our garden, under the open sky and not close to the house, so no one feels bothered by the smell. Because with us, wood and coal go into the barbecue, of course of sustainable origin. Whether with or without incubator, we need barbecue lighters to make the fire. For the last few years we have bought organic ones, because conventional ones often contain chemical-smelling substances that I don’t want near my son and our food.

Of course, it’s even better to make your own than to buy harmless lighters. It’s very easy to do from various leftovers and old spruce cones. So to speak, ecological barbecue lighters – self-made and zero waste. You can use them for the fireplace, for the campfire or the barbecue. So for all occasions to light something bigger than a candle.

Do It Yourself: Barbecue Lighter Made From Spruce Cones
After letting it burn, small pieces of wood shavings are piled up and the fire is already burning.

Do It Yourself: Barbecue Lighter Made From Spruce Cones

How did I get the idea? – We have lots of spruce cones in the cellar from our walks in the woods last summer and autumn. Our son likes to collect “souvenirs” on these trips into nature. Some of the cones found their purpose at Christmas in various decorative formations. But I couldn’t hang up as many as he collected. Somewhere I picked up this idea: make small barbecue and fireplace lighters out of them. Almost everyone has the “ingredients” at home and for me it’s especially great that my son can help. He can see directly what can be made from his cones. Wrapped in a nice ribbon, the whole thing makes a great present for the next party and can be used to heat up the barbecue.
Instructions for homemade barbecue lighters from spruce cones

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What you need

Opened, dried spruce cones 
Wax remnants
Cotton parcel tape or cotton string
Newspaper/cloth paper rolls

And this is how it works

Tie the parcel tape around the cones. This creates a fuse like on a candle.
In the meantime, melt the wax in a pot in a water bath. Alternatively, you can heat the wax in an empty tin in a water bath.
It is best to now place the spruce cones in a muffin tray. They will stand more stably if you wrap some newspaper around the spruce cones. In addition, the newspaper can absorb the wax well and thus acts as a fire accelerant. Alternatively, you can put the wrapped cones in old loo rolls.
Now carefully pour the hot, liquid wax over the spruce cones. This allows the cone, the parcel tape and the newspaper to soak up the wax.
Now let it cool down, preferably overnight, and the homemade barbecue lighters are ready.
Do It Yourself: Barbecue Lighter Made From Spruce Cones
You can make the barbecue lighters yourself without much effort.

Tip for those in a hurry: Dip the cones wrapped in parcel tape into the liquid wax. They won’t burn as long as the ones with a little more wax and newspaper, but it’s much quicker.

Cleaning tip: To get the muffin tray clean again, simply put it in the freezer. Take it out after an hour and the wax will almost fall off by itself.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts. Jones James
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