Introduction: Hand Grenade Oil Lamp

Picture of Hand Grenade Oil Lamp

Want to light up the room and give your guests a little scare, even if just for a moment? Then maybe you'd like to have a hand grenade oil lamp. It won't explode, but if you bump into it you could spill lamp oil everywhere and cause a fire.

That's right, this is a novelty lamp that you probably shouldn't make. But if you're like me, then common sense doesn't stop a good idea from happening. Or even a bad one.

Step 1: Get a Dummy

Picture of Get a Dummy

The term for these safe and empty hand grenades is "dummy hand grenade." Do a Google search and plenty should pop up for about $8-$10. These are metal, come with pins, and have a pretty good heft to them. They're also hollow and have holes in the top and bottom.

Step 2: Plug It Up

Picture of Plug It Up

To plug up the hole in the bottom, I used half a packet of Sugru. This made the grenade water-tight and made it a little more stable.

Once again, a spherical oil lamp is a bad idea. A base would be way better.

Step 3: Make a Wick Holder

Picture of Make a Wick Holder

Something needs to hold the wick on the top of the grenade. I made a holder out of a piece of a soda can. This wasn't so precise, but the approach went something like this:

 - cut out small rectangle
 - watch it fall back into the soda can
 - try not to slice up your fingers as you fish it out
 - realize you could've just shaken it out... ah well
 - cut slit in middle
 - fold sides over to make it stiffer and smaller
 - insert wick

Step 4: Fill It Up!

Picture of Fill It Up!

Fill the grenade about halfway with lamp oil and drop in the wick, resting the wick holder on top of the grenade.

You barely need any wick showing for the lamp to burn with a decent flame. In fact, what's in the picture here is about 3-4x as much wick as I needed.

Step 5: Light It Up!

Picture of Light It Up!

Find a nice safe place to set it, such as the table in the office kitchen and light it! Once it's burning along just fine you can tell your coworkers that it didn't explode and they can come back in the room again.

Wait, this was plugged up with Sugru!?! If you're going to be using this for more than a couple minutes at a time, I'd recommend something a little more permanent. As it is, this was meant for a quick laugh. If you're foolish enough to make this, you should make a base for it so you're less likely to burn the house down.


barbnjos (author)2010-12-23

Am I the only one that finds this totally offensive? To those who have lost body parts and lives due to grenades I think this would also be offensive. It's o.k. to those who will want me to CHILL, I'm not going to receive any more e-mails from this site.

mamallama (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

I don't mean to be rude, but I think that that is a little bit ridiculous. You too poetryperson, It's a creative idea, it's not a live explosive, and it's doing no-one any harm. Perhaps you have something against this instructable, but you really don't need to react that way, or hold a grudge against an entire community.

codongolev (author)mamallama2010-12-27

I think poetryperson is using a bit of sarcasm. that perfect world doesn't exist, so suck it up and deal with the one that does.

GoWolves11 (author)codongolev2017-07-10

That's what my teacher would say.

Swords (author)mamallama2010-12-24

well if you think about it when it tips over without a proper base it can burn down the house so it can do some harm XD But I was wondering if you can weld or (like me with hardly any welding experience) solder a piece of metal for a base

poetryperson (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

barbnjos, you are certainly not the only one who finds this instructable offensive. The discussion following your post was also quite offensive to me, particularly the post referring to your "arm or prosthesis." Also, the former military person who wrote was not typical of the military people I have known. Finally, I can not imagine why this site sent me a promo today which led off with this particular instructable. All this in the season of "peace on earth."

If anyone else finds any of this inappropriate or demoralizing, please let your voice be heard. barbnjos and I are not freaks or spoilsports. We simply have a different frame of reference and sense of humor from that of the majority who wrote in about the grenade lamp to scare your friends with. I would like to think we have a right to be heard respectfully -- just as you guys obviously have a right to dump on us while talking about the joy and beauty of lamps made to resemble lethal and maiming weapons.

you got it the wrong way around, man. it's not making a lamp look like a lethal weapon, it's making a lethal weapon into a lamp. This could easily be a way of expressing peace on earth, because all in all, you're turning a dangerous device into something practical, fashionable, or maybe just plain silly. But seriously, lighten up it's a lamp, it's recycling, it's fun, and it can be quite the conversation starter. I'm pretty sure it was made in no offense. You just have to understand that just because many have died from grenades doesn't mean having a deactivated one should be offensive. so, by your guys' logic, people drowned on water therefore we should be offended by people who drink water and we should all stop it.

GoWolves11 (author)Toastalicious2017-07-10

Well said.

I thought I was making something that resembled a weapon into a lamp. Ah well.

I'm fine if you and barbnjos find this inappropriate. It's a bit of black humor, I admit, and that's not for everyone. To each his own. There are many other things in the world I find totally odd that people seem to enjoy. Truck nuts, for example. What's up with that?

oh lord i had to go and google truck nuts didn't i. a little magic has left the world for me now.

Well, now you're prepared for when you see them in person, I suppose.

Swords (author)fungus amungus2010-12-24

lol truck nuts

DoItOrDie (author)poetryperson2010-12-23

I see it more in the vein of "They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks."  IOW, taking a thing of killing and making it into a thing of peace. What better way to celebrate the season of peace? It's symbolic of another well known phrase as well, "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." This little light does that very well. I think it's about time Barbnjos and PoetryPerson stopped cursing the darkness.

poetryperson (author)DoItOrDie2010-12-24

You make a good point, DoItOrDie. I hadn't thought of it that way. Thanks.

barbnjos (author)DoItOrDie2010-12-23

I find it interesting that my comment caused so many comments that have nothing to do with my statement. I find dogs offensive?? My dog and cat would be surprised at that. Piano wire and rope?? As far as PEACE I'm an activist and don't think it's a good thing to use a symbol of destruction as a toy or something with which to shock your friends. Silly me, I didn't give my children toy guns for play either. "Me thinks thou doth protest too much".

Kindhamster (author)poetryperson2010-12-23

OK, seriously, everybody needs to calm down.
We COULD continue arguing like this for weeks, OR we could just accept that everybody has differing views, and move on.

GaToMaLaCo (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

CHILL... and keep CHILLing

ilpug (author)GaToMaLaCo2011-03-19

This chain is too long. I officially announce that its a pretty much moot point. Tallow comes from cows. candles can be made of tallow. if someone burns their house down accidentally with a candle, lets go destroy all the cows to make sure it doesn't happen again.

I have family member in the military, several of whom have been in active combat. I mentioned this to them, and they found it extremely funny.

paperclip32 (author)barbnjos2010-12-27

I fell and hit my head on a tree.I propose that we remove the Gardening section,because it is offensive to people like me who have a headache from hitting their heads on trees.

codongolev (author)paperclip322010-12-27

I once fell while using powerisers and got a concussion. now I have a big scar next to my eye. I propose we remove the sporting section.

for realz, though. if he were making a sculpture out of it of a cartoony guy getting his leg blown off, that might be offensive. however, if he's making a pretty cool oil lamp with it, that's fine.

same goes for things like the mouse mouse (the taxidermied mouse that works as a computer mouse). it's not like the person who made that is making it to poke fun at anyone who's ever been bitten by a mouse. the interest comes from the fact that nobody expects a taxidermied mouse to be plugged into a computer.

You're right, its just creating something you don't see everyday

abadfart (author)barbnjos2010-12-27

consider it turning a weapon in to something of use like the ak47 guitar besides i no plenty of pepole that have been hurt by grenades and most of them would like this

thorbike (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

You're the only one who finds this offensive, a knife is a means of killing people too. We all use them safely every day to cut up our food. Remember to retain some perspective as we can't change the fact that grenades exist and really they are just another thing to use in the creative palette of Instructables options. Merry Christmas!

professorred (author)thorbike2010-12-25

I agree with both points of view. Grenades and such should not have to exist. But they do. So we might as well make the most of them and make something useful out of them. Spotlight out of a missile or mortar?

jwc1480 (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

Sweet, gentle, innocent soul, you are too good for this cruel, cruel world. Please take me away with you, to your perfect world of thornless roses and warm, gentle breezes, where the birds forever sing, the breezes are forever warm, and no tree is ever felled by an evil, heartless, low-down sorry, shifty eyed, chainsaw weilding, venison eating, whiskey swilling, republician voting logger.

jack8559 (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

There were sticks and stones used in prior wars that KILLED people and I bet you have something using these materials around you..... And for goodness sake, don't get near a piano (wire) or cotton (rope), you might die! If you live in fear, then your life is not worth living so you might as well end it now. You just need to accept things for what they ARE - crafts and useful ideas using materials that are not necessarily made for the purpose for which they are now serving a life as. I bet you find dogs offensive too.

The Ideanator (author)jack85592010-12-23

I give the man in the back, jack8559, 8 points, one for each count of awesome in that statement.

drunkentiger29 (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

It isn't really your place to be offended.

The best comments are usually the shortest :)

Tumunga (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

You're probably offended too by the little cute stuffed animals the people would use to disguise IED's in Afghanistan. Let's all go to Toys 'R Us and burn all the Tickle Me Elmo's!!


diamondbackk60 (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

If I were you I'd board up all my windows and doors, have meals on wheels bring your food and get rid of all things in your home that could "Blow you up" or "chop a limb or appendage" this looks like a good and harmless idea to me. No one wants to hear your sob story or how you may be offended or it may offend someone else. Here's an idea... take that mouse in your hand and or prosthetic and click the little X on the top right of the screen to close the window if you don't like it.

Good job on the Instructable man!

Maybe use some JB weld on it will keep the bottom sealed up for years to come.

Neotron (author)barbnjos2010-12-23

This is not any different than the old take a number gag joke.

Really I guess anything that lames and mams people you should get offended at like cars, trucks and motorcycles, More people get killed by them than grenades.

WOW! I think we should all raise up and have the use of automobiles band from being used. Since improper and proper used of the things will have an diverse reaction of losing body parts and lives ""VIVA REVALUATION""

Sorry got carried away Great instructable I was in the military for a while and retrieved many and many of these. Allot of them we where told to throw them away so we kept them. I ended up with about 200 after 2 years worth of the good disposed ones. never of thought of making a lamp out of them I gave allot of them away for gifts to family after painting and attaching them to boards for the gag take a number. I'll haft to find what i have left over and try this out.

Thanks fungus amungus

iamrikkimarie (author)2016-02-19

LOL Can I just give a tip about this project...if you don't use all of the dummy grenades then move out of your house, TAKE them with you! I left my husband and moved out of our home, he then moved out at a later date, but left one of these little gems under the kitchen sink! SWAT surrounded his moms house 1 door down from our old house questioning him after the new homeowners found it under the sink, freaked the crap out & tossed it into the in-ground pool in our old backyard lmao! Priceless! To see the look on that guys face when he pulled that out from under that sink!!!

eobox (author)2011-07-10

This is a really clever and unique lamp! Never would have thought of this! Thank you so much for sharing! Would a grenade from an army surplus store be usable?

Also, the comments on this Instructable make me lol.

kevin.mencer (author)eobox2016-01-25

Yeah, they're no different and you can get them without paying for S/H fees.

kevin.mencer (author)2016-01-25

Isaiah 2:4

4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

This project is an excellent example of this. I actually live close to an Arm surplus store, so I might attempt this.

Woodytoo (author)2015-08-13

I had a couple of these in Korea, (1953, Christmas Hill ). If your worried about them being knocked over us a "C" ration can as a base. I filled them with gun oil and used a rifle patch as a wick. Worked fine.

cwesner (author)2014-04-21

Kool. I got a few of these laying around my place. I got them as gifts. I think I will make these for my next camping trip.

iamrikkimarie (author)2014-02-05

Just got my dummy grenade's in the mail! I can't WAIT to finish these lamps!

SIRJAMES09 (author)2011-12-21


Am I gonna have fun with this!!! ROFLMBO

I love it!!!

TY for sharing Sir. B0)

SIRJAMES09 (author)2011-12-21

in my younger & very much wilder days(my late teens through my 20's) I used to scare the crap out of people because I carried a dummy grenade around my neck on a cord...only, they did not know it was a dummy grenade, they thought it was real. LOL

SIRJAMES09 (author)2011-12-21

Is it possible to make this without having to remove anything but the spoon?

For those who may not know what a spoon is on a grenade, it is that piece of metal/plastic that goes across the top & down the side....the piece that you often see a soldier holding his thumb on in the movies.

I don't know if it's even possible, I'm just curious.

T-K (author)2011-12-13

Great idea fungus! Also, when I saw the picture, I thought the plug in the top of the grenade was a striker of some sort, igniting the wick.

mr.mustache1 (author)2011-04-16


travisttt (author)2010-12-23

I'm wondering if you could rig a lighter in the grenade ignitor assembly so that when the safety handle is released it would light the wick. I'd be pretty cool, I think.

chupathingy495 (author)travisttt2010-12-24

I have a MK 2 "pineapple" grenade I got form a local army surplus store for $10, and an old zippo style lighter i got at a yard sale. In theory, It should be pretty easy to jury rig the 2 together. just fill the hole with something like that steel putty stuff, stuff it with cotton, soak cotton with lighter fluid, and once a hole is drilled into the dummy fuse, add a wick. it should be pretty easy once i figure out how to add the flint wheel.

You will need to be sure of the type of grenade. In some grenades, once the pin is removed, the handle can drop off. On others, there is something holding the handle to the body of the grenade. Although that might just be on some of the dummy grenades at the local surplus store.

It is the type where the handle can fall off. I'm going to be changing that soon.

Z.Backas (author)chupathingy4952011-03-11

I recall a friend of mine having a "pen" style lighter, where you pulled out a long pen shaped utensil from it's oil containing block, it clicked, and lit as it exited the hole. Seems like it wouldn't be too hard to attempt that with this lamp either!

ilpug (author)Z.Backas2011-03-19

Just a terminology note. what you call the "handle" is actually called a "spoon"

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.
More by fungus amungus:3D Printed US Population MapLight Painting With an IPhoneSuper Bright RGB LED Bike Wheels
Add instructable to: