How to Turn Old Newspapers Into Fire Starters, Fire Logs or Fire Bricks

Turn your old newspapers into a source of fire.

How to Turn Old Newspapers Into Fire Starters

Make fire starters in preparation for your next campfire.Make fire starters in preparation for your next campfire.
Fire starters, fire logs and fire bricks can all be made from newsprint. Fire starters, as the name would imply, are used for starting fires. Fire logs and fire bricks are a source of fuel and can be burned like firewood. Instead of throwing out or placing your newspapers in the recycling bin, explore the possibilities of using them for your fireplace, campfire or wood stove. Fire starters can be made in a short amount of time. Fire logs and, in particular, fire bricks, require a long time to dry, so you will need to plan ahead when making these fuel sources.

Step 1

Tear individual newspapers sheets into 3-inch-wide strips. The strips should run the length of the newspaper sheet.

Step 2

Roll each strip tightly into a cylinder shape. Tie the cylinder-shaped newspaper roll in the center with a piece of twine. Cut the twine off from the roll with shears. Leave at least 3 inches of excess twine at the tied-off ends.

Step 3

Place a double boiler filled with water on a stove burner and turn it on to high. Lower the heat to medium once the water has reached a boil. Put paraffin wax in the top pan of the double boiler. Allow the wax to melt.

Step 4

Dip each fire starter into the paraffin while holding on to the excess string. Make sure that the entire fire starter is coated with wax. Place the fire starters in a dry place once they have cooled.

How to Turn Old Newspapers Into Fire Logs

Step 1

Open up several newspapers so that they are unfolded in the center. Roll one newspaper tightly. As you near the end, insert the edge of a second newspaper into the roll and continue rolling the second newspaper tightly over the first.

Step 2

Continue in this manner until you have achieved a 3- to 4-inch-diameter roll. Depending on the size of the newspaper, you may only need one or two.

Step 3

Tie the newspaper roll tightly every 3 inches along the entire length of the roll with twine. Trim off the excess twine with shears.

Step 4

Fill a plastic tub with water. Place the roll into the water and immerse it so that it becomes saturated with water.

Step 5

Remove the roll once it has been completely soaked with water. Place the roll in a warm dry space. Allow the roll to dry for several weeks so that you can be sure that it is thoroughly dry.

How to Turn Old Newspapers Into Fire Bricks

Step 1

Tear newspaper sheets into rectangles the size of the small plastic storage box. Stack the rectangles on a work surface.

Step 2

Fill a plastic tub with water. Place the rectangles into the tub and allow them to become completely saturated with water.

Step 3

Remove the rectangles from the tub and place them into the small storage box. Weigh the paper down with rocks on the top. Pour out any excess water in the box as it releases from the paper. Place the box in a warm and dry spot.

Step 4

Allow the paper brick to dry for two to three months to ensure that it is completely dry. Remove the rocks and pull the paper brick from the plastic storage box. Store it in a dry place until use.

Things You Will Need

  • Newspapers
  • Twine
  • Shears
  • Double boiler
  • Stove burner or other heat source
  • Paraffin wax
  • Plastic tub
  • Small plastic storage box, approximately 6 inches by 8 inches, 6 inches deep
  • Rocks or other heavy objects

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.