Monday, October 13, 2008

Paper Logs

I’m not much on being green, but I do appreciate being self sufficient. I guess it’s because I was raised by a depression baby. Both my grandmother’s were savers. They both had the classic “don’t throw it out, you might need it” mentality. My mom is the same way. Lucky for her, she is pretty handy and can fix or rig just about anything. There does seem to be a sense of security for me in that. I guess because it’s so familiar. “Waste not, want not,” was a pretty regular mantra growing up.

I think there might be an upside to the current state of the economy. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it is scary for a lot of people right now, and I am sympathetic. It seems that more people are learning to “make do” as our grandparents did. I think that we should do that more often in life, and I think we forgot it for a while.

So what does any of this have to do with crafts? Well, I decided to not be wasteful and save all those newspapers that come along with my coupons. My husband suggested making fire-logs, and so that’s what I did.

First, I put them in a galvanized tub, and soaked them in water. We are still in a drought here, so I was trying to be as conservative with water as I could. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have put ALL the newspapers in at once, but I did. I also should have unfolded them too, because although you would think that newspaper would soak up water like a sponge, it was hard to get them saturated.

After that my mom (who is named Lula Bell) and I rolled each log as tight as we could. Then we laid them out in the sun to dry, which took several days. I think we made about a dozen or so. Afterwards my husband told me that we should have left a hole in the middle because they will draw better . . . now he tells me. So next time I think we will dry to wrap them around a dowel or something.

I would love to hear of any “Make Do-I-Y’s” you’ve done! (I just made that up, spread it around)

These are for use in the fire place. They should burn just like a regular wood log. The tighter they are, the longer they burn, which means that they aren’t good for kindling. It is also better to burn them together with wood and not by themselves, because they are supposed to produce a fine ash. The water is used to loosen up the paper and make the logs more compact. I haven’t tried to burn these yet, because it isn’t cool enough here. Making these logs has been around for a long time, but I think like a lot of other things it has been forgotten. You can still purchase a tool for rolling the paper that doesn’t require using water, but they are $50 which seems to be a waste to me. Apparently in the United Kingdom, they use a contraption that makes them into bricks.

I found an article online from Mother Earth News dated November/December 1977, that tells you how to make Colorful Christmas Flames. I think this is pretty neat, and I might try adding salt next time.

Let me know if any of you decide to try this!
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Lainey-Paney said... you make these, and then you can burn them in the fireplace?

I hate to sound so ignorant, but I've never heard of doing this before...

Debbie said...

I'm asking the same question. You can burn these in the fire place? If so, I have a lot of papers I can roll!

Debbie in Florida

lisa said...

I guess I missed an important bit of information so I added it in as an update. Sorry you guys!