How can I make fire starters out of pinecones?
Start with pine cones that are already dried. There are two ways to have fun with pinecones and a fireplace. First, melt any old candle stubs you have. A double-boiler works nicely for this job. Then, dip the pinecones into the hot wax. Let dry, perhaps on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. When dry, store them in a pretty basket near the fireplace and use as needed. The wax helps them burn long enough to help get your fire going. For more special effects, soak the dried pinecones for 24 hours in a solution of 1 pound Epsom salts to 1 gallon water. Let the cones dry again. When you use these as fire starters, they will produce a myriad of colors in the fireplace.