Is there anything quite as comforting as a roaring fire to come home to at the end of a cold and busy day? The smokey smell of burning wood and the crackle and hiss of dry crisp kindling epitomise cosy or as our Swedish friends might say hygge (pronounced like Cougar except with an H, so the internet says). This winter I have been lucky enough to enjoy a wood-burner in our sitting room and this wonderful new addition in Belle. So staying with this theme, I thought for this last post before Christmas, I would show you how I turn my obsession for essential oils and desire for a quick yet personal Christmas gift, into easy firestarters you may just want to try yourself…
Firstly I should start by telling you I did not invent this idea myself. There are several versions and tutorials on Pinterest; I have simply adapted to suit my style. These wonderful firestarters would make a perfect hostess gift over the festive period or you could just treat yourself. Firstly find twelve pine cones that are fully opened or dry closed ones yourself in an airing cupboard for a few days or on the Aga for a short while (no I haven’t…I’m working on it). In the absence of an Aga, preheat your regular oven to 160 degrees celsius.
Then take an old muffin tin and line each dip with a fairy cake case. I am quite sure future muffins should be baked in a new tin. Next you will need twelve tealights which you should take out of their metal containers before placing in the muffin cases.
Now put your muffin tin into the centre of the oven and set your timer for five minutes. You may need a few more minutes depending on the size of your tealights; you want the wax to melt fully. Keep a close eye on them as leaving for too long will result in a kitchen full of smelly unpleasant smoke. Trust me. When the wax is fully melted work quickly and carefully to move the wick to the outer edge of the muffin case (later you will light the wick to get the fire started) and drop two drops each of your chosen essential oils into the melted wax. I buy my essential oils here and I am always happy with them. I used two drops each of warming cinnamon, clove, balsam fir and frankincense for a festive fragrance in each firestarter.
Then take a pine cone and carefully place the cone into the hot wax and repeat for all twelve pine cones. Leave alone for about an hour for the wax to set hard again and then carefully peel off the muffin case and you should be left with firestarters which look something like this…
If this little treat is for you, the firestarters look wonderful in a basket by the fire and very soon your room will smell just like Christmas. If you’re gifting them it is time to raid your arts and crafts stash and have a playful ten minutes. A plastic gift bag with seasonal and rustic ties of your choice looks super or maybe a glass jar with pretty labels which your friend can re-use is more in keeping. You will be limited only by your imagination here.
When you or your recipient is ready to light the fire, simply place one or two firestarters on top of dry twigs and kindling and light the wick to enjoy the wonderful scent of essential oils and watch the fire roar.
These beautiful firestarters can be enjoyed all year round. Choose from bergamot and geranium in springtime or orange and pine in autumn. A particularly zingy favourite of mine is grapefruit, lemon and lime: Another good opportunity to let your imagination run riot as you blend different combinations for many friends at varying times of the year. An inexpensive yet thoughtful gift or treat.
And just like that Christmas Day is nearly upon us. I will be taking a short break to enjoy time with family and friends and will be back with a brand new post on Thursday 4th January. Thank you doesn’t seem quite enough to say to each and every one of you who reads my little blog. I am truly grateful to you all for your wonderful support and on behalf of all the M’s and of course The Spotty One, I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year x