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As a postscript to my fire post yesterday and to help you make use of some of the festive debris, here’s a great way to while away a January afternoon. If you are like us, your house is full of oranges, cinnamon sticks, apples, candle butts and pine cones at present. Here’s how to use hem up and keep that delicious smell of Christmas going by spicing up your fireplace?

  • If you slice up oranges and apples and dry them  in the oven, you can burn them in the fireplace. They make great fire starters and leave the air smelling fabulous. Orange and lemon peelings will burn well too and give your room a clean citrus scent.
  • Mature pine cones  are  good for getting a fire going and smell wonderful. It’s a good way to use up any you’ve included in the  festive decorating scheme but . don’t use young cones as they are too sappy and could pop.
  • Cinammon sticks also burn well and smell divine. If you can get hold of some apple wood it gives a lovely scent and a cinnamon stick dropped in with it is even better.
  • If you like the smell of sage, throw a few twigs with leaves onto the fire. Be sparing as it burns hot and might smoke.

And for the classy option – make your own scented fire starters. You’ll need:-

Dried pinecones and maybe some sawdust 
ends of used candles
Double Boiler
Tongs
paper muffin liners
muffin tins
essential oil of your choice.

Break up the candle ends and place them in the top of your double boiler. Fill the bottom of the double boiler with several inches of water and place the top pan back on. Melt the wax.

Line the muffin tins with liners. Place a spoonful of sawdust in each if you wish – although this is not essential..

Fill each case about ¾ full of melted wax.

Add a couple of drops of essential oil to each case,.

Place a pine cone on top and push down into the wax.

Allow wax to cool and harden completely. Remove from muffin tins.

Use one or two with your kindling and enjoy the wonderful aroma!

Made in December rather than January they make great presents for children to give teachers or grandparents.  Made anytime they make great gifts for anyone with an open fire or a firepit in the garden.