Quick and Easy Mason Jar Candle Lamps

7 Materials
5 Minutes

These Mason Jar Candle Lamps are a quick and easy DIY and craft project that comes together in less than 5 minutes! There are endless ways you can customize these lamps adding different fillers and botanicals to match your décor and selecting different jar styles.

Start with the jars of your choice. You can use mason jars or any recycled glass jars.

I like the idea of using an assortment of shapes and sizes to create seasonal table centerpiece or vignette.

I used some Ball Sharing Jars that I purchased several years ago.

You’ll also need a floating wick, along with some cooking oil, water and filler of choice.

What oils to use: I read that olive oil is considered the best choice of cooking oil to burn as it smokes less. If you go with olive oil, an inexpensive olive oil or extra light olive oil will work.

 Canola or sunflower oils will work too and are inexpensive options. I experimented and tested my lamps with canola oil as that’s what I had in the pantry. I was happy to discover the canola oil did not smoke!

If you’re concerned about smoke from the oil or plan on lighting multiple jars, stick with olive oil to be safe. You also can adjust the height of the wick to produce a smaller flame and cut down on smoking.

With the holidays around the corner, I decided to use some evergreens. I collected some using pine cones assorted greenery snipped from the trees and shrubs and cranberries from the freezer for a bright pop of red.

Don’t fill your jars completely; leave some space in your jars for the water you’ll be adding.

The floating wicks are cork discs that come with small waxed wicks and the type used for Menorah oil candle cups at Hanukkah.

You can adjust the wick to control the height of your flame which will in turn determine how quickly your oil burns.

 I had some roses leftover from a flower arrangement so I used some petals to fill a larger mason jar for a pop of seasonal red color.

The flower petals want to float so you’ll have to push them down below the waterline several times until they become ‘waterlogged’ before adding your oil.

Once you have your materials in your jars, add the water stopping short a couple of inches from the top. Use a bamboo skewer or pencil to help arrange your materials, pushing them down below the waterline as they will want to float.

Once you have your materials arranged, gently pour about 1/2 – 3/4 of an inch of cooking oil over the top of the water and place your wick on top of the oil, cork side down. Light them and viola: Floating Wick Candle Lamps!

Note: It may take 10 seconds or so for the wick to light the first time.

My canola oil and wicks burned steady for 6 hours and there was still a layer of oil left in my jars.

  • Blow the flame out like you would a candle and cover the jar with the lid until you’re ready to relight.
  • Top off with additional oil if needed, removing the wick first, then replace and light.
  • Fill your jars with whatever you like, experiment and have fun! Keep in mind most items will likely float in water. If you prefer to use artificial flowers or materials, test them first to make sure they’re waterproof so they don’t discolor and bleed into the water.
  • When your water becomes cloudy or materials start to look less than fresh, toss them out and start over. My jars still looked surprisingly fresh after a week.
  • Exercise caution and common sense as you would with any open flame, especially if you have pets or small children. I feel like these oil lights are safer than regular candles are with the water underneath, as the flame would be extinguished if they were knocked over accidentally.

More photos at the blog link below as well as 16 additional creative craft projects!

Resources for this project:

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Mary @ Home is Where the Boat Is
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 15 questions
  • Laura Laura on Nov 23, 2021

    So lovely! Could you use tea light candles?

  • Pam16773398 Pam16773398 on Nov 24, 2021

    Where can you buy floating wicks?

  • Tami Tami on Nov 24, 2021

    What type of oil is used in the picture. I looks clear, but most cooking oils have a color?


Join the conversation

2 of 46 comments
  • Arnette Arnette on Nov 25, 2021

    These are beautiful and I love the idea. However, I DO NOT think you should consider them safer than other candles, as you should never try to out an oil or grease fire out with water. It only spreads it. To me this would be the same concept if the candle did get knocked over.

  • Nan822450 Nan822450 on Nov 26, 2021

    I love this look. Can you share where you got the wooden base where the jars are set upon? It’s lovely!