Do you burn wood for heat? If you can get your hands on a lot of newspaper or scrap paper, it will be well worth your time to make fire logs from it. Don't use glossy or highly colored paper, as they often contain chemicals that are dangerous to breathe.
The best way to make paper logs is to shred the paper with a shredder or scissors or simply tear it in one to two inch strips, then put it to soak in a tub with an equal amount of water and leave it for twenty four hours. The shredded paper should soak up the water and feel a little like paste. If there's too much water, add more paper or drain off the excess water. You should be able to grab a hand full of this wet paper, squeeze it and have it stick together. If it's too dry to stick together, add more water and let it set another day.
There are two ways to create shredded paper fire logs. Either way will produce a dense, but lightweight fire log that will burn for a long time with a hot fire. The heat efficiency is comparable to a wood log, although paper will produce a light ash, and sometimes will need to be stirred to keep it burning well.
- The first way to create a shredded paper log is to roll out a piece of cheesecloth or other loosely woven cloth, dump some of the shredded paper onto it and form a log with your hands. Roll the cloth around the formed paper log and tie it in three or four places. These logs must be dried several weeks before using and you must turn them every day to keep the moisture from migrating to one place and drying unevenly.
- The second way to create a log is to use a press. You can buy presses ready made, or make your own. Take a large can or other container and cut it in half down the long side, then punch several holes for drainage in each side. Pack each side with the soaked shredded paper, put them together and press hard. Water will come out the holes and the paper will form a sort of block or brick.
- Another way to press it is to put it on a slanted surface and press it with your hands or a board until water quits running from it. Form a log and put it aside to dry for several weeks, turning now and then to allow it to dry evenly.
- Still another way use shredded paper is to make a small fire log by stuffing an empty cardboard roll with the soaked shredded paper. Allow it to dry as before.
Shredded paper fire logs can help save money while heating your home.