Bob Vila Radio: Newspaper Fire Logs

Don't burn all your hard-earned money on firewood—make fire logs from recycled paper using these tips.

There’s nothing quite like sitting by a cozy fireplace on a chilly night. Unless you own your own private forest, though, you need to factor the price of firewood into the equation—and these days, that romantic fire can put a big hole in your wallet. But there’s a way to feed your fireplace on the cheap, and it helps recycle old newspapers as well!


Listen to BOB VILA ON FIRE LOGS or read the text below:

Fire Logs


To make a fireplace log, take one or two sections of old newspaper and soak them in a basin of water with a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. After an hour or two, lay the soaked newspaper flat on a table and wrap it tightly around a wooden dowel, squeezing out the water as you roll.

How To: Make Fire Logs from Newspaper

Slip the dowel out and leave the newspaper log to dry. Then go on and make more logs and set them all out to dry. Drying time will vary based on humidity levels and could take anywhere from a couple of days to a week (or more).


Once your logs are all dry, they are ready to burn. You won’t get that rich smell of burning oak or maple, but you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you’re keeping old newspapers out of the landfill, burning a fire that’s cleaner than a wood fire, and saving yourself some money as well.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.