It’s almost December, and I’m thinking about making some simple gifts and stocking fillers for friends and family. I don’t want anything too complicated – life is stressful enough – but just some things I can enjoy putting together in a spare hour. First up are these little fragranced firelighters. The best thing about our house is the open fire, it was no.1 on the wish list when we were looking for a new house. Now that we’ve knocked our reception rooms through, we have two fireplaces in one area, and they add so much cheer on dark evenings.
Lighting the fire is a bit of an art, but I love doing it – something about the ritual of the kindling, the coal and the logs. These small firelighters just give an initial burst of flame, and they look so pretty, like waxen cupcakes. Here’s how to make them:
What you need:
Some cupcake cases
A bun tin
White tea lights, any kind will do (I bought mine from Wilko, £2 for 100)
Garden cuttings, such as rosemary or lavender sprigs, berries, pine needles
A pinch of orange or lemon zest, if liked
What to do
- Take the tea lights and ease them out of their packaging so you’re just left with a plain wax disc.
- Line a bun tin with cake cases and put one tea light in each.
- Turn the oven to a low heat and put the tins in for about five minutes.
- Take the tin out, and add the clippings that you have chosen for your firelighters to the melted wax, it will be completely clear.
- Adjust the wick of the tea light if it has moved, so that it is still sticking up.
- Leave to cool.
When the firelighters have set, remove them from the cake cases.
Now comes the fun part, packaging them up. I keep little glassine bags and envelopes whenever I get them, and at Christmas time, I reuse them for gifts. You can also purchase brown bags from stationery and art shops. I printed some labels using a simple stamp and some water based ink, brown parcel labels and offcuts of card. You could add a fancy box of matches.
Brown paper parcels tied up with string.
And that’s it!
I’ll be back soon with some more simple, plastic-free gifts and decorations to make for the season. If my new front door is ready in time (no thanks to our disappearing builder), there will be a wreath to hang on it coming very soon!