Leaf Matter Fire Bricks

Several years ago, I saw something on the Internet that piqued my curiosity. It was a series of posts and steps from a variety of sources that explained and dealt with what to do with all of your fall leaves. Here are some images of my front yard:

2018 Fall Leaves 1.JPG
2018 Fall Leaves 2.JPG

Basically, they collected the fallen leaves using a variety of means (raking, blowing, back pack blower/vacuum) and then formed the leaf matter, along with shredded newspaper, in to fire starter ‘bricks’.

The method I settled on was fairly simple. I’d supply pictures but the General Contractor from our remodel walked off with what I needed to depict.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 5-gallon buckets

  • 1 long paint stirring drill attachment

  • 2 2x4’s 16” long

  • 1 drill

  • 1/4” drill bit

  • Leaves

  • Shredded Newspaper


  1. Turn one of the five gallon buckets into a colander by drilling successive holes around the bottom 2”-3” perimeter of the bucket, including the bottom of the bucket.

  2. Place the colander bucket inside one of the two remaining solid buckets.

  3. Fill the colander with leaf material and shredded newspaper.

  4. Fill the buckets 1/2 to 3/4 full of water.

  5. Attach the paint stirring attachment to your drill and combine (shred) the leaf matter while mixing it with the shredded newspaper.

  6. Remove the colander bucket from the solid bucket and place atop the two 2x4’s which have been situated on top of the solid bucket rim.

  7. Take the 3rd bucket (solid), and insert it into the colander and press down mightily and express all of the water.

  8. Once almost all of the water is pressed out, turn the colander over and remove the leaf/newspaper brick.

  9. Place the brick on a wire rack to dry for approximately 2 weeks.

  10. Repeat this process as many times as necessary until you have the desired number of bricks. (NOTE: You don’t need to empty the water for successive bricks.)

This is what I did. However, I have seen where people used 6” and 8” PVC pipe with holes drilled in it, combined with a removable end cap and a plunger of sorts, to accomplish the same thing. To each their own. Use what you have and turn all of those downed leaves into something useful.

Here are some videos and websites to give you some other ideas: