Oil Lamp From Thrift Store / Perfume Bottle

3 Materials
10 Minutes
In the Midwest we have storms, and lose power all the time. You can't have enough candles. Here's my cheap version of an oil lamp made with stuff I had around the house.
Here's a bottle I got in a collection at a garage sale. It will be an oil lamp in just a few minutes. I got six bottles for a dollar. You can get these new at hobby stores, and old perfume bottles would work too. Make sure you have a sturdy base, we don't want anything catching fire!
Next I insert a scrap of 3/8" tubing I had in the garage ( I make lamps all the time with this stuff - it's brake line from a nearby auto parts store )

mark how tall you want the tubing. I shoot for 1/4" above the bottle. $8 worth of brake line will make lots of lamps.
Cut the tubing with a tubing cutter or a hacksaw to the desired length
Insert a hurricane lamp wick. $4 or so for a pack of five, they are inexpensive. This bottle is short enough I cut the wick in half. For longer lamps I've used full size wicks, but you have to cut them longways to get them into the tubing. I could use bigger tubing as well, but I really like the idea of using up what I already have.
Put the wick in flush with the top of the tubing, and let the bottom hang out a bit. Fill your bottle with oil and insert the wick and tubing. Let it set for a while to allow the lamp oil to 'wick' up to the top.
Here are three on my fireplace mantle. They are quick and fun to make, and your imagination is the only limit. Make sure you can find long enough wick for taller vases (like the one on the right). If you leave more wick out, the flame burns higher, and a shorter wick means a shorter flame. Not as convenient as an old kerosene lantern, but it will do in a pinch, or a storm

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Janet Gordon Gentry Janet Gordon Gentry on Mar 29, 2018

    what do you do when the wick burns down inside the tube?

  • Margaret Margaret on Apr 01, 2018

    The metal tubing doesn't appear to be resting on the bottom of the bottle. Could be light refraction, but if it isn't, what's holding it up?


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