How to Make Recycled Paper Fire Bricks

See How It’s Done

My friends Kim and Bill recently showed me how to make recycled paper fire bricks, and they graciously allowed me to film their process (though they didn’t want to be on film themselves).

These paper fire bricks they’re making aren’t the “fire bricks” used in creating a baking oven or chimney – they’re really just compressed paper “wood” for burning. Like paper logs.

You can make paper fire bricks from just about any scrap paper. Kim and Bill don’t use any glossy paper in their paper fire bricks so they can later add the ashes to their gardens.

Watch my video about making ovens: Building an Oven with Cob

Making Recycled Paper Fire Bricks

First, get yourself a stack of scrap paper. Newspapers, paper plates, napkins, cardboard, shredded paper from the office, $100 bills… whatever.

Then, take those and soak them in a bucket of water until they’re saturated. Bill and Kim recommend letting them sit for quite a while – even a few days – so the fibers can break down.

Once you have them all nice and soppy, shred them up with something. They use an edger blade attached to a drill. An industrial blender would likely work well, too.

Now it’s time to press your paper fire bricks. Any kind of multi-holed receptacle with a follower will work. Bill and Kim used a second bucket with lots of tiny holes drilled in it.

Throw in a good portion of shredded paper. Then press hard and get that water out as much as possible, then put the brick somewhere to dry.

Watch another video: How to Revive an Old Cast Iron Pan – Quick and Easy

Keep it Out of the Landfill

These paper fire bricks look very much like something I want to eat. Hard. To. Resist.

Once dried, they’re ready for use… then the ashes can be used to add calcium and alkalinity to the garden.

Consider it another form of composting.

Though I’ve yet to be convinced of the input of labor to output of fuel efficiency of this project, I greatly admire the ingenuity and the fact that paper is being kept out of the landfill.

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This post was written by David The Good


  • JJM says:

    Mom told me about her dad making paper fire logs out of rolled up newspapers in the 30s &/or 40s.

  • GB says:

    wondering if one could mix dry leaves in with the paper. would that burn faster?
    so basically all the papers that i put through the shredder would do well for this project, plus they are already shredded….. must try!

  • Vicki says:

    Hello. I would greatly appreciate having a list of the exact tools that were used to chop up the wet paper (drill bit extension, edger blade and what to use to attach the blade to the extension) as well as instructions (if needed) on how to connect the blade to the drill bit extension. Thanks.

    1. Nance Shaw says:

      I “chop” them up with a broken of shovel handle.

      But my problem is, over here is East Texas, they NEVER dry. So they burn slowly, fill up the firebox with washes, but give off NO HEAT. Darn, because I have made quite a few.

      ALSO, I don’t know what to do with my many ashes. For forty years I have strown them on the yard. Now it and the garden are alkaline. I need only so much lye, and MY chickens don’t seem to use “fake” dust baths. Once I found a nest in the ash-filled Dust Bath Bin, and every egg was rotten, except for the one just laid.

  • CARLTON says:

    Inks contain
    Heavy metals
    Non-renewable oils
    Volatile organic compounds
    I do not think this something you want to add to your garden.

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