A long time ago I read about how you can soak pine cones in a liquid solution and when they dry you put them in a fireplace. The flames will turn colors. I would like to know what the liquid is that does this. I believe liquid solution had "alum" in the name.
Pat from Texas
Just with making the canned candles, pinecone firestarters can be useful, and fairly easy to make.
Pine trees can be very prolific with producing their cones. Some are just too pretty to burn, so any you cannot do this to, set aside. You can always make a pinecone wreath later. With the ones you want to use, you will want to make sure that they do not have any pine nuts in them, and clean any insects out.
Keep any other piney things you gather at the same time, you never know when they will come in handy for something.
Heat the wax you have, remainder from the Canned Candle project is perfect, but you can use new or cleaner wax if you wish. Make sure there is enough in the pan to completely submerge the pinecones. A lid or weight may help. Let the pinecones sit in the hot wax for about 5 minutes, then turn them over. A few bubbles may come out at this point, so be careful.
Let the pinecones drain as you are taking them out of the wax. Place them on brown paper or waxed paper to cool. It will take up to a full day for them to completely cool, though they should be handleable in under two hours.
These can be placed next to your fireplace for handy 'natural' firestarters, or fancied up slightly and given as gifts.
To use them, scrape a little of the wax off one of the cone 'petals' and light with a match. If that doesn't work, place other tinder, such as paper, pine needles or punk wood around the cone and light.
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