• Caitlin McAninch

How to DIY Wedding Favors: Pinecone Fire Starters

There’s a number of things I DIY’d for my wedding. And I really can’t wait to share all of them. But today I want to talk about our wedding favors!

I saw so many cute ideas for wedding favors, little mugs, mini cocktails, I even found baby trees you can send home with your guests – adorable! But. The problem is it all seemed expensive. And sort of a waste. I mean, how many people would actually take a tree home and plant it?

I thought of this idea based on a Christmas Gift my mom did years back – she collected the giant pinecones you can find in Lake Tahoe and dipped them in a cinnamon sort of concoction, and passed those out. So I did something similar, but made Fire Starters out of pinecones! And here’s how!

Step 1: Collect Pinecones

Finding Pinecones was easy, we collected at the end of August, so pinecones littered the forest floor. I took my cousins and Dylan with me out to Verdi, and we each collected 15 pinecones. Took less than 10 minutes!

Tip: Make sure you find pinecones that have perfect flat bottoms so they can stand up by themselves. And it looks better if you find pinecones that are all the same size!

Step 2: Get Wax

We bought soy wax from Michael’s craft store. Specifically, I got this. Since it is pre-shredded, it’s easier to melt. Now we bought two pounds originally, and I was able to dip 20 pinecones 3 times each. We ended up buying more because I wanted the wax to be very thick on each pinecone.

I also picked up a wax dye; I got this pinkish color because I thought it would match my wedding colors.

Melting wax is interesting; you need to double boil it. So we boiled water in one pan, and placed a glass container inside the water, and put the wax in that. You must boil the wax until it is completely melted, THEN let the wax cool for 15 minutes, THEN you can begin dipping the pinecones. VERY IMPORTANT!

Make sure everything in your kitchen is covered before you start dipping and carrying wax-covered pinecones everywhere. I put a layer of foil down everywhere, then a layer of wax paper on top of the foil, then sat the pinecones on top. Mainly because I just didn’t want a big mess to clean up!!!

Step 3: Dip Pinecones

Before you begin dipping the pinecone, you need to add a wick to the pinecone. That’s super easy, you just tie a simple loop knot in the middle of a piece of wick about 7 inches long, and wrap it around the pinecone and sort of stuff it deep into the pinecone, like in this picture:

With the knot at the top of the pinecone, you can hold onto the wick as you dip the pinecone into the wax!

I set out all 20 pinecones and just went one by one. Dipped it into the wax, swirled it all around until it was all covered, and then just sat it back onto the wax paper. Then moved onto the next one down the line. Once all were dipped, I started with the first pinecone again, because like I said, I dipped each pinecone 3 times.

Really, you want to wait at least 15 minutes between each dip of one pinecone.

Tip: The more times you dip, the thicker the wax will be once dried and the more color will appear!

Now the second day, we did another batch of 40, but I wanted these pink. I melted the wax, and added the dye, and dipped all the pinecones.

This was the dye with the pink:

And these were the pinecones with one layer of pink dye:

You can barely see pink!! So! Quick thinking, we added a dark pink crayon! Ya know? One of those violet ones!

We shredded the crayon with a knife, then just added the wax pieces to the melted wax and stirred! It worked so well, because after it was all mixed, the melted wax was much darker:

And so were the pinecones!

Tip: For the white, I added no additional color, but I’m sure you could drop any crayon in the white soy wax to make any color!

Tip: One more and I can’t forget it. Because this is gross. Spiders make pinecones their home. We found around 10 live spiders while tying the wicks, and sadly we boiled around 5 spiders in the wax… it was nasty.

Bruce liked to help, too!

Step 4: Add Adorable Labels

I printed out labels, and just tied them to the wick loops with twine!

Looks adorable, right?

Step 5: Put on Cute Display

For the wedding, we just put all the pinecones in these cute baskets my mom had (did you see the main picture of the blog?).

Super easy right?! And they’re so cute!!! And you know what? We have tons left! I had about 75 wedding guests, made 40 Wedding Favors, and have over 20 left! Another reason I sure am happy I didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on mini trees for everyone!

But! They have been used! My mom and dad went camping a few weeks ago and sent me this picture! She said they worked great!

I did a lot of other DIY projects for my wedding, and I am sharing all my tips in my blog posts! Be sure to check them all out!

BTW, I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, so some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Nice, right? Keep in mind that I link to Amazon and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases.