Introduction: How to Make a Water Candle

Picture of How to Make a Water Candle

I show how to make a very easy water candle. This type of water candle is a wick that is centered inside a jar filled with water. The wick is fueled by a thin layer of oil on top of the water.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Step 2: The Wick

Picture of The Wick

The wick of the water candle will be suspended inside the jar between the water and a thin layer of oil. Remove the wick from a candle. Find a glass jar that you would like to use for the candle and cut out a thin plastic disk that will fit inside of the jar. Make a small hole in the center of the thin disk. knot the wick about an inch from the top and then put the wick through the hole.

Step 3: Putting It Together

Picture of Putting It Together

Fill the jar with water leaving about half an inch empty. Then place the plastic disk and wick on top of the water in the jar. Pour the cooking oil on top of the plastic disk making a thin layer of oil. The water candle is ready to be lit. This candle should not be moved once it is lit so position it where you want it to be before igniting it.

Step 4: Watch the Video

If anything was unclear perhaps this video will help.


mkslocomb (author)2015-03-12

Awesome 'ible. Thank you for making the pictures so clear.

RollyH (author)2014-10-21

I remember when I was a little kid, my grandmother would light two water candles every Friday night. Her water candles had a little float with three little pieces of cork, some steel wire connecting the corks, the wick was held in place suspended in the oil by the steel wire and that's it, no need for the plastic.

mkslocomb (author)RollyH2015-03-12

A product like this is still available from some religious suppliers. Ex. I got a couple from a Greek Orthodox supplier (found on ebay) that was actually located in Greece (just for the cool factor).

XtremeAaron (author)2014-10-25

Does the wick need to be that long? I'd love to do this if the wick could be shorter!

Not at all, it's only a catalyst for the oil;Bottom of the wick just needs to lay sideways in the layer of oil just under the floating wick holder. Once the layer of oil is used up, there's nothing but light's out. All other videos show extremely short wicks that are just touching the oil.

dorothy.chant (author)2014-10-23

You're cutting up one candle to make another candle...
Wicks are sold seperately at craft stores.

I really wish I could upvote this.

alba100 (author)2014-10-30

If you use citronella oil, it might keep flying nasties, like mosquitoes away.

I think it would be a more pleasant odour .

Love the idea of food colouring in the water.

msee1 made it! (author)2014-10-27

Made this today. Easy to follow, took me maybe all of ten minutes. I make wax candles so I had a couple of different types of wicks laying around. First I attempted to use a plain medium bleached wick but it proved to be too flimsy and just flopped over into the oil and put itself out. Then I used a piece of medium waxed wire wick. Was just what it needed! It's been burning nicely for about 10 minutes now with no noticeable smell. That's not saying much since I have a desensitized olfactory so will ask hubby when he comes home since he has the nose in the family!

pieceful_daphne (author)2014-10-22

I made these for the centerpieces for my daughter's wedding reception. I colored the water to be purple to match her color scheme. With 3 wicks in each small fish bowl and flowers around the base, they went over well.

Jack Rodgers (author)2014-10-22

Is there any reason for the water, perhaps to absorb the heat from the wick?

Would a short wick work just as well.

How about combining this idea with those for making radiant heaters using a candle and clay pots?

And as an idea for campers and those lacking electricity, how to use this to create a cooking device. More wicks and fry an egg?

rnorton2 (author)2014-10-22

as for the wick, can you just use string? does the wick burn away or is it fueled by the oil? also as for the fish suggestion why not a beta?

RoddyTheGreat (author)2014-10-22

Looks lovely, but wont this just make my room smell like a chip-shop?

oilitright (author)2014-10-21

Does anyone remember the Corning "Un-Candle"?

Back in my much younger days I thought these were very romantic LOL

What I recall was they were high Gauss dust magnets.

blodefood (author)oilitright2014-10-21

I still have a couple of the wick floats from the Corning Un-candles I bought years ago. I even have one of the short glasses. They look nice in a drinking glass, too and the light spreads better than wax candles since it shines out the sides and bottom of the glass.

Raitis (author)2014-10-16

Can you elaborate on the advantages of this type of candle?

cumba89 (author)Raitis2014-10-17

I know another advantage for this candle... if it tips over accidentally, there will be water to help put out the flame.

wantoniak (author)cumba892014-10-21

Oil floats on water. It will spread the flame and catch more on fire.

blodefood (author)wantoniak2014-10-21

Vegetable oil is not volatile enough to sustain a little flame and spread. The flame will be easily extinguished by the water if it tips over.

shaddoty (author)wantoniak2014-10-21

the oil doesnt burn that way it only assists and slows the wick burning

rmoore40 (author)Raitis2014-10-17

survival using newspaper as wick? apoc kit

samalert (author)Raitis2014-10-16

One could say for aesthetic purpose, like its Diwali(festival of light) time in India after few days and what peps do is add water and put few drops of food color. Imagine with 10 candles and all different color :)

Secondly if it was all the way imagine oil getting used after some time and flame in somewhat in middle, due to heat bottle may crack, and there will be black carbon deposits. A very unpleasing site to see.

There may be some other but these are what i know of.

Raitis (author)samalert2014-10-16

Fair enough! Thanks!

swaxman (author)2014-10-21

Awesome Instructable , as for the commentators who feel the need to suggest ideas , make the project before you start belittling the users creative genius

tintbum (author)2014-10-21

I love this, and the good comments. I'm going to put glass marbles in the water to see what that looks like when lit.

User1 (author)2014-10-21

Great 'able! I was reading and thinking it would be nice to have a video and BAM! Really I would have said something along the lines of "be careful and do under adult supervision and not responsible blah blah blah" cause there's always going to be that one, ya know?

Lastly I would have worked that magic here. Something along the lines of powering a candle from water! :-))

seamster (author)2014-10-15

Very nice!

Swapna B (author)seamster2014-10-21

Very interesting, thank you for sharing!

doeeyez00 (author)2014-10-21

It's inexpensive, that's a big advantage. Who doesn't have water, cooking oil, and a jar? The cost of the package of wicks to make a dozen or more of these for a power outage is still less than just one candle at most stores.
It's also as beautiful as floating candles that you buy to add some ambience to a room.
I love this idea, thank you.

bizzycrafter (author)2014-10-18

Another Advantage... You can put things (artificial flowers, pretty rocks, Christmas decorations, small toys, etc. etc. etc.) in the water (anything that won't float, and not real fish) for an instant seasonal candle decoration.

rajasekher.mutukuri (author)2014-10-16

its good.... thx for sharing this

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