DIY | Bottle Oil Lamps
Hi. My name is Dani, and I’m addicted to collecting bottles and jars. Phew! It feels good to get that off my chest!
I can’t recall when my obsession began, but what I do know is that I now have way too many glass vessels that I never use. My collection has started to get a little out of control as of late, to the point where I am running out of places to keep them all. Faced with the choice between culling some of the jars and bottles or finding ways to re-purpose them; I think we all know what I chose. Re-purposing all the way! It’s good for the environment and totally why I’m doing this, not because I couldn’t bare to part with any of my precious bottles…. Anyway, lets make Bottle Oil Lamps!
One of the great things about making your own oil lamps is that, not only can you make them from items from around your home, they are super useful for outdoor parties, keeping away those pesky mosquito or just for looking damn pretty. Depending on what oil you use you can use them indoors or outdoors. Citronella oil will keep the bugs away, you can buy kerosene based oil from your local hardware store or, like me, you can use good old olive oil. It burns cleanly (meaning not too much smoke) and I found it kind of smells like popcorn. Yum!
A glass bottle or Jar
What You Do:
1. Cut a length of rope (or lantern wick) at least as tall as the bottle plus 1 inch. For a longer lasting lantern cut the rope double the length of the bottle. Ideally you want to use a rope thickness similar to that of your copper coupling (ie: 15mm for this project) however don’t worry if you have thinner rope, we can fix that later.
2. Thread the rope through the copper coupling. You can pick up a copper or brass coupling from your local hardware store for less than a dollar. Choose a size appropriate for your bottle, but the thinner part of the coupling should fit inside the bottle opening with the thicker part sitting on top. I found a 15mm diameter fits most bottles (ie: wine, beer, small decorative bottles etc). Thread the rope so that you have a couple of cm out the thicker end and the rest of the rope out the thinner side.
3. If you are worried about your rope slipping through the coupling and into the bottle, cut a piece of thin rope around 2 -3 cm long. Wrap it around to form a circle and press into the top (thicker side) of the coupling around your rope wick. This can be fiddly, so trim the piece accordingly so that the wick is snug but you can still pull it through.
4. Fill your bottle 3/4 with oil and thread your wick into the oil and your done! You will need to let the wick soak overnight before you can light it. If you are using rope rather than purpose made wicks it may take longer as the store bought wicks are woven loosely compared to rope. The top of the wick should be slightly damp to the touch when it is ready to be lit.
TIPS & SAFETY:
Always be aware of your surroundings when lighting your lanterns. Remember your dealing with an open flame, you don’t want to catch your house on fire!
When choosing what oil you want to use read any safety warnings on the bottle prior to using. Olive oil is pretty safe to keep around as it’s flash point is so high that it is less likely to catch fire and it doesn’t smoke like other fuels usually do. Plus olive oil is pretty easy to get a hold of and isn’t too expensive.