These are incredibly fun to make and nice to stare at, but keep out of reach of children or you have a fire hazard.
You can fill your lamp with all oil, or half water and half oil (a prettier solution).
Most of the materials can be found just laying around the house, or you can go purchase fiberglass wicks that you can use forever. Fiberglass wicks do not burn up like a typical candle wick, or other organic material.
There are endless variations that can be made. If you ever did the experiment in grade school with food-coloring-dyed liquids that float on each other due to different densities, you can turn this into a beautiful piece of artwork.
Glycerine and rubbing alcohol work well.
Did you know that a cork will float between the water and oil?
* 1 mason jar with metal lid.
* 1 nail, drill, or just something to puncture the top of the lid to create a small hole for the wick.
* 1 bottle of olive oil or indoor non-toxic burning oil.
* 1 strip of 100% cotton material to be used as a wick (an old sock, perhaps).
Making the Lamp/Lantern
It’s important that it be 100% cotton. If there is polyester or anything else in it, it may produce unhealthy fumes when it burns.
So, make a hole in the metal lid, and run your wick down to the bottom of the jar through that hole.
Only expose about half an inch of wick above the lid or you will end up with a pretty big flame.
The cotton material will eventually burn down and you’ll have to continue to pull the wick upward. Making it a little long to compensate is a good idea.
Personally, I buy scented oil and I use fiberglass wicks. I take copper freezer tubing from Lowes or Home Depot and cut off about an inch of the tube. I place my wick through the tube, and then the tube sits in the hole in the lid. The scented oil doesn’t work like it does in an oil burner, but you can still smell it.
Fiberglass wicks are used in everything from outdoor patio torches to designer oil lamps. They are great to have, but not a necessity.
Need Fiberglass Wicks? Buy them here for $1.12/ea!
Due to several requests and comments, we have purchased a very expensive spool, and have given you the best price on the fiberglass wicks. Just use this little PayPal form below and you’ll receive your wicks in the mail. There’s no sense in paying $8 on eBay for one wick. These prices are set to break even.
Scented Oil Burner Addition/Upgrade
This is an update to this article with a concept idea to build a scented oil burner into this lantern.
You know the little bowls that you pour scented oil into, and simply place a tea-candle under? Let’s mount that on top of the flame from your oil lantern.
At Lowes or Home Depot, you can find threaded rods, and nuts to fit them for about $2 dollars total.
You’ll need a saw to cut this threaded rod into pieces of about 5 inches. If using a hand saw, be very careful that when you get started, you don’t slip and hurt yourself.
If you do not have a saw, you can take a hammer and a flat-head screwdriver and simply ‘cut’ the rod by placing the screwdriver on the rod, hitting it with the hammer a time or two, then rotate the rod.
When you see an indentation all around the rod, simply bend to break it off.
You’ll need three pieces to make the balance.
I suggest using 1/4″ inch rods, and so of course you’d also need two 1/4″ nuts per rod.
Drill 3 evenly spaced holes into your lid, just like you did to insert your wick, but on the outer edges. (Don’t do this while the lid is on the jar, unless you are very careful not to drill into the jar itself).
Take each of your rod pieces and insert them about an inch into the ‘lid’.
Take a nut, and twist it onto the rod from the underside of the lid. Now, do the same from the other side (top of lid). Depending on your nut, these are not going to be super-tight and that is okay. However, you can help tighten them by twisting both nuts at the same time, which will be opposite directions, and they will tighten into each other.
Now, you’ve created these little towering rods that you can balance the belly of a symetrical bowl on, pour oil into it, and burn.
For decorative purposes, you can spray your lid, rods, nuts, etc., with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.
There is this new fancy spray-can they have out now with a rotating paint nozzle, and that can cost almost $8, but you can use the traditional can since you’re just painting your oil lamp, get the same amount of paint (12 oz), and save about $2.00. The fancy can has “oil rubbed bronze” written on the front. The traditional cans will have it written on the white stick-on label on the back of the cans.
Alright, let’s see if this can be photoshopped decently enough to at least convey the idea.