Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade Oil Lamp to Burn Your Midnight Oil...

You know what I love?  Fire.  Now…  I am not your typical pyro.  I only love fire when there is a real purpose for it.  I love candles.  I love a fire in the fireplace...  I also LOVE very MUCH...  oil lamps.  So tonight, we made oil lamps out of old mason jars, Starbucks bottles, and baby food jars.  There was also an old t-shirt- plus, a few other things.  But it was SO easy.

I wish I could claim this idea, but I can’t.  I not sure where I saw it originally, but it was one of those things that stuck out, and tonight I sought out to make them.  And this is how we did it.  In fact, my eight year old daughter, Autumn, helped.  She loves this kind of thing.
I am a fanatic about saving old jars.  Baby food jars are really great for a lot of things.  Tonight they found new purpose.  And I was also able to repurpose a t-shirt that I was just going to throw away. 

This is what you will need for each jar you will want to make:
  • 1- 1/8 Nipple- Yes, they are called that and you can find them in the lighting section at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s with all the spare lighting parts. $2.96 for a set of 8 various sizes
  • 2- 1/8 Couplings- Should be right next to the Nipples. $1.96 a set
  • 2- 3/8 in Washers- You can buy these in a pack or individually.  Individually they cost about $.20, in a pack they are less than $1.
  • T-shirt 100% cotton.  Cut it into strips about 2 inches wide.  If it gets to thin the wick will burn faster.
  • Lamp Oil or Olive Oil.  Really any oil that burns.  Is there any oil that doesn’t burn?  Hm…  Deep thoughts.
  • Glass Jar of some sort.

Tools you will need: 
  • Cordless drill with a 3/8 drill bit or a really THICK screw driver and hammer to pound it through the lid.  We used a cordless drill and the screw driver and hammer method.  The screw driver is really great for pounding out a starter hole so that the drill has a guide.  You can use the hammer later to make sure the metal is flat if it rolls a little.
  • Block of wood.  You will want this so that you have something to pound or drill into. 

Instructions!  This is the good part.
1-   Make a dot where you want the hole to go in the lid. 

2-  If you are using the drill, make a starter hole with the screw driver first.  Pound the back of the lid with the screw driver and the hammer.  It doesn’t take much to make a hole.  Then, take the drill and hold the lid very, VERY tight.  It will try to spin on you if you don’t.  Remember, 3/8 drill bit.

3-  Put the nipple through the hole.  On both sides of the lid, add a washer, and then a coupling.  The nipple should be longer underneath the lid than on top of the lid.  You will want the nipple and coupling to be flush on top of the lid. 

4-  After that is attached, twist your strip of t-shirt and then thread it through the nipple.  It will expand a little after it is soaked with oil.

5-  Add lamp oil or olive oil to your jar to the desired amount. 

6-  Attach completed lid back onto the jar. 

7-  You will want to wait for the oil to soak all the way up the t-shirt before you light it, otherwise it will just burn it up. 

AWESOME!!!  You are DONE!!!  And that, my friends, is really ALL that it takes.  Who said being self-reliant had to be difficult??? 

By the way, today while at the Farmers' Market I found the most beautiful sunflowers and I wanted to point them out.  Floral & Hardy Farm sells them for $1 each.  -They are in Lexington, South Carolina and at the All Local Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 8 to noon. 

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