How to Make DIY Fire Starters with Recycled Egg Cartons, Dryer Lint, and Crayons

People at a beach campfire

These DIY fire starters are not only practical and effective but also eco-friendly, using materials that would otherwise end up in the trash: egg cartons, dryer lint, and those tiny nubs of broken crayons that are too small to color with. 

Materials Needed:

  • Empty egg cartons
  • Dryer lint (collect from your laundry lint filter)
  • Crayons (broken or leftover pieces)
  • Wax (optional, if you haven't enough crayon pieces)
  • Scissors
  • Empty can of food, rinsed and dried.
  • Saucepan
  • Old spoon, stirrer, or stick (takeout chopsticks can work!)

A few safety notes before we begin:

  • Make sure you're working in a well-ventilated area for melting the crayons.
  • Since the lint will eventually be burned, it's best to use lint from natural fibers, rather than synthetics. If you're not sure about the content of all your garments, the lint from dryer loads of towels and bedding are usually a safe bet (and household linens make a lot of lint).
  • Always store fire starters safely out of the reach of children.
  • Check current conditions and respect all burn bans and other wildfire safety measures in place. Build fires only in places where it is permitted to do so.
  • When building a campfire, always make sure the fire is completely out when you leave. Never leave a campfire burning unattended.


  1. Remove egg carton lid. Use scissors to cute the flat lid off the carton. You can place it under the egg cup half to help protect your work surface.
  2. Stuff egg carton: Stuff the lint tightly into each cup of the egg carton. It will pack down even more when you add the wax. 
  3. Melt Crayon Pieces: Peel the paper off and place the crayon pieces in your empty canned food can. Place the can in a saucepan surrounded by water and on medium-low heat. Stir continuously until the crayons melt completely. Be careful not to overheat or burn the crayons. You can also melt the crayons directly in your saucepan, but using an empty can is so much easier than cleaning wax out of your saucepan later.
  4. Pour wax: Use a potholder and remove the can of melted wax from the saucepan. Carefully pour the melted wax into each compartment of the lint-filled egg cartons. Use your stick or stirrer to press down and gently compact the mixture and mix the wax and lint together. The more evenly the lint is coated with wax, the better and longer it will burn. 
  5. Cool: Let the fire starters cool and solidify completely. This may take a couple of hours, depending on the room temperature. 
  6. Separate: Once the fire starters have hardened, use scissors to cut the egg carton compartments apart. Each compartment will become an individual fire starter.
  7. Store: Store your homemade fire starters in a dry, cool place in an airtight container or zipper-seal bag until ready to use. If they get too warm they will melt and that can be messy.
  8. Use Responsibly: When ready to start a fire, place one or two fire starters under your kindling or logs. The firestarter will catch fire easily and act almost like a candle, burning long enough to ignite your firewood.
  9. Enjoy Your Cozy Fire: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the warmth of your fire, knowing you made your fire starters from recycled materials!

Happy camping, bonfires, or cozy nights by the fireplace! 🔥🏕️🔥