How to Make Paper Logs for Burning


The average household throws away over 1,000 lbs. of paper and cardboard per year, according to online resource Instead of throwing away your paper, or adding it to the recycling bin, put that paper to use yourself. Waste paper can easily be made into environmentally friendly logs for burning in a woodstove or fireplace, saving on home heating costs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspapers
  • Scrap paper (junk mail, posters etc.)
  • Roll of fishing wire
  • 1 gallon of water
  • Collect old newspapers, junk mail and scrap paper. Do not use glossy magazines as these can contain hazardous chemicals.

  • Open the newspapers at the center and layer them on top of each other. Stack them until they form a 1/2-inch pile.

  • Soak the scrap paper in tap water for five minutes.

  • Spread a 1/4 inch of the scrap paper on top of the newspapers. The more scrap paper you use the thicker the logs will be.

  • Roll the newspapers up from top to bottom to create a log shape. The scrap paper should be trapped inside.

  • Cut six 5-inch pieces of fishing wire. Wrap one piece of wire around one end of the paper log and tie at the top. Repeat this step at 3-inch intervals along the log until you reach the other end.

  • Put the paper log in a dry, well ventilated area and leave it for two weeks. If the log is not fully dry leave it for another week.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure the log is completely dry before using or it will not burn effectively.
  • For the best fire, use paper logs together with wooden logs.
  • Add nutmeg, coriander or lavender on top of the newspaper for a scented log.
  • Do not use string to tie the log as this burns at the same rate as paper and so the log will unravel in the fire.
  • Be careful when putting the log in the fire.

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  • Photo Credit Flame of a fire and fire wood in fireplace image by Aliaksandr Zabudzko from
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