Create a decorative and simple gift --- and get in a bit of recycling --- by making mason-jar candles with lamp oil. These candles can be made with potpourri to give them a pleasant scent. Easy to make, these lamp-oil candles use simple, inexpensive items found in hobby shops or around the house and, while they may require a bit of supervision to make due to the dangers associated with lamp oil, making the candles is a family-friendly project and requires relatively little time to perfect.
Items you will need
- Mason jar with lid
- Ultra-pure lamp oil
- Length of 1/8-inch-thick fiberglass wicking fiber
- Oil-lamp adapter ring
- Brass collar adapter
Fill the jar halfway with the lamp oil. Sprinkle in potpourri to produce the desired look and scent for your candle.
Punch a hole in the lid of the mason jar using the awl. Set the lid aside and discard the lid's sealing ring.
Cut the wick into a 2-foot length. Insert the wick through the hole in the lid so that about 1 inch is poking out of the top of the lid; allow the rest of the wick to dip into the lamp oil. Spools of wick fiber can be found in a many hobby supply stores and are specially designed for oil lamps and liquid candles.
Place the brass collar adapter over the protruding wick and pull the wick through, allowing the collar adapter to rest on top of the hole in the lid. The brass collar adapter has teeth that will secure the wick and prevent it from falling into the oil.
Screw the oil-lamp adapter ring over the lid. These lids are designed to fit over mason jars, replacing the jar's sealing ring. Made of brass, the adapter rings are prefabricated with a hole in the middle just large enough to accommodate the collar adapter and protruding wick. The ring will hold the brass collar adapter in place.
Pull up more wick from the jar and through the brass collar and adapter ring as needed. Lamp oil burns very slowly, so 2 feet of wick will last for months. While the flame will be snuffed once it reaches the brass collar, the wick will ultimately burn down like any other candle, at which time you can simply pull more wick through the opening. Replace the wick when necessary.
Tips & Warnings
- Sunseed oil or olive oil may also be used. These oils are safer than lamp oil as they will not continue to burn when the candle is tipped over and will extinguish the flame if spilled.
- Handled jars will allow you to transport the candle without being burned.
- "Farmhouse Christmas: A Collection of Well-Loved Recipes, Holiday Trimmings, Heart-Felt Memories, and Homespun Gifts to Give"; Vickie Hutchins, et al.; 1999
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