Is there anything better than a nice warm fire on a chilly day? I used to leave my fireplace cold for two reasons – 1) it cost money to buy logs and 2) I didn’t always have the time to sit and enjoy the fire. I’ve now solved both of these issues and am looking forward to many cold days warmed by the free logs I’ve amassed. AND I didn’t have to tromp through the woods with an axe and a sled to collect my firewood.
How do you get free logs you may ask? Well we all have newspapers and junk mail that (hopefully) we’ve already been tossing into the recycle bin. Now you can turn all those papers into free fireplace logs!
Start by laying out your paper with the larger pieces on the bottom and piling more sheets on top. You can put really small pieces of paper into the very top layer. You can add as many layers as you want. It’s good to make logs of varying thicknesses so you have a variety to use. Start rolling at one corner and roll across the stack to the opposite corner rolling as tight as you can. When you’ve rolled to the opposite corner use cotton string or twine to tie around the log once at both ends and in the middle also if it’s a larger log. It’s best not to use plastic ties and other synthetic items because as you burn your log you’ll be releasing those toxins into your home – not good.
Once you have all your logs rolled, take them outside and soak them with a hose or use your bathtub to soak your logs until they are wet all the way through to the inside. Let them dry in the sun – which could take as long as three to four months which is actually a shorter length of time than if it were curing a green wood log. If you want your logs to look more like logs and less like rolled up paper you can add coffee grounds or tea leaves to the soaking water. Neat trick!
If you get in the habit of rolling all your papers once a week or so then you’ll always have some logs drying and some ready to use.
These newspaper logs are just as nice as wood logs as far as producing heat, flame and a cozy atmosphere. A three-inch log will burn for about an hour.
If you want to have some fun with your logs you can add one pound of borax, table salt, or Epsom salts to each gallon of soaking water. Borax will give you green flames, table salt makes yellow flames and Epsom salts produce a white flame.
Oh – I almost forgot – reason number 2. Now that my fireplace logs are free I enjoy the luxury of burning them when I’m working in the kitchen where I can see the fire in the family room or while I’m working out in the family room instead of only enjoying a fire when I can sit right in front of it and get the full benefits. It feels so luxurious to have a fire going while busying myself around the house. Just make sure to not leave a fire alone for more than a couple of minutes.