Picture of Make a Butter Candle - Emergency Candle McGyver Style!
Most people wouldn't think of butter as a flammable substance, but in this project they are!  We're making emergency candles that burn for hours .. using some toilet paper, and a bit of butter!

Find more projects like this at: www.thekingofrandom.com

Step 1: Watch the Video!

WARNING: An open flame poses a fire hazard.  Do not use near any flammable or explosive material.  Use of this video content is at your own risk.
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actually yeah i did. i used cotton yarn on a piece of 2x4 wrapped around d6 finisher nails that i cut the heads off of. it was a basic over/under with a pair of doubled warp threads and packed it snug but not firm. it works beautifully and has only burned half it's length in the last three weeks. it started out being around 21cm and i think its about 14 cm
That sounds fantastic! Have you done a tutorial or video on it?
no, but from the sounds of things i may have to lol
I'd love to see it if you do!
shortw2 years ago
As soon as I read the headline, I knew where you are going with it.
It is a very good instruction.

Butter and toilet paper, ....a must keep for emergency situations.

As kid's we used butter and toilet paper to boil water.
Take 3-4 sheets of toilet paper. Butter your toilet paper like you would butter your bread (very thin). Then roll it up like a honeycomb beeswax candle or cigar.
Then you are ready to light it.
Put rocks or bricks around the toilet paper cigar so you can set your pot of water on it.
There is enough burning time/ fuel to boil 2-3 cups of water.

I showed this to my kids years back when we where camping.
This will also make a good firewood starter.
The King of Random (author)  shortw2 years ago
That's incredible! If you make a video of that boiling water, please share! Maybe even a video response to this one? I'd love to see it!
mooster2 years ago
I read in some women's magazine years ago that you can do this with a jar of Vasoline. I think they suggested sticking a birthday candle in it for the wick, but of course the tp idea would be even more readily available. Thanks for the informative video!
linny mooster2 years ago
What do you think, could you stick a birthday candle into butter, too, instead of a wick??
The King of Random (author)  linny2 years ago
Yep! That would be even easier!
The King of Random (author)  mooster2 years ago
Cool idea! I tried Vaseline yesterday and it seems to work just fine, so I think the claim is credible. Thanks for your comment and compliment!
shibuza2 years ago
I use a pack of paper matches, take the cover off & roll it tightly and push the end into a suitably sized metal nut. then place it into a bottlecap and fill with fuel. Wax will burn 3-4 hrs. Animal fat, mineral oil, vegatable oil,even grease will burn with varying degrees of efficacy. I generally use wax so I can carry 2 face to face in a pocket to start a fire under adverse conditions. Have used them in snow cave shelters & Adirondack lean-to's, they're just susceptible to errant gusty breezes.
The King of Random (author)  shibuza2 years ago
Is that right? Very interesting. By chance do you have a video or a tutorial to check it out?
Treknology2 years ago
Thibetan monasteries have lamps that are kept burning 24/7 with Yak butter.
The King of Random (author)  Treknology2 years ago
Nice! Where do you get this information?
I'm eclectic. Thibetan tea starts off as a red-colored resin which is boiled for days and is then flavored with rancid Yak butter.
The King of Random (author)  Treknology2 years ago
Very cool :) The idea of flavoring with rancid yak butter sounds like an acquired taste? :)
From what I've read, it's a VERY acquired taste!
The King of Random (author)  Treknology2 years ago
IamTheMomo2 years ago
Butter is for delicious eating. A wick in a can of shortening will last far longer as an emergency candle. This prepper says it will burn for 45 days!

The King of Random (author)  IamTheMomo2 years ago
Thanks :) Yes, I learned about the Crisco candle after I made this but I've never seen anyone prove it will go 45 days. That's quite a claim. Have these results been confirmed?
well, according the the creator, he burned it for 20 hours and was down an inch. so take 20 and multiply that by the depth of the can and that's how long a continuous burn would be. in hours obviously.
I would believe that burn rate based on my results. It would still have to be a pretty deep can to get 45 days out of it though :)
yeah, i'm tempted to believe it wasn't running continuously to have that kind of burn time.
I read the instructions on the crico candle. They are not talking about continuous burning . It will last a long time if you burn it for maybe an hour a day.
I used this method using a string wick and it tends to burn it's self out. Use the toilet paper wick and it will work.
Excellent. Thanks for sharing your experience!
natis4132 years ago
cool i watch you on youtube now i can find more details on here i'm the the one the only natis413
The King of Random (author)  natis4132 years ago
Perfect! I'm glad you found me here as well! Thanks for your comment!
itbedave2 years ago
The King of Random (author)  itbedave2 years ago
I make candles for a hobby - this is fantastic!
I posted your link on my website which leads to this page - you can see it here...
Thank you so much!
That's great! I checked out the link, and appreciate what you've done! :)
dropkick2 years ago

Useless information (that many of you probably already know and the rest don't care about):

The wick in any type of candle shouldn't burn much except for when you first light it. The wick only acts as a conduit to transport the oil/wax/paraffin up to the flame and as a pre-heater for that fuel.

The liquid or solid form of almost every type of fuel doesn't burn, it's the fuel's gaseous state (or fumes from the fuel) that actually burn -so it needs to be warmed enough to turn to a gas, which it does while being pulled up the wick to the flame.

The usual reason a wick won't work is because it doesn't pull the fuel fast enough to give the flame time to heat the fuel to a gaseous state. Occasionally this can be remedied by having more of the wick out of the fuel, or by keeping the wick burning with a match long enough for the pre-heating action to start, or by doubling the wick to provide more surface area.


P.S. Margarine is hydrogenated vegetable oil (Crisco) with butter flavor added

The King of Random (author)  dropkick2 years ago
Thanks for the extra info dropkick :) As an example of your last paragraph, I tried lighting a match, and sticking the matchstick right into the butter for a minimalist approach. Unfortunately the wood fibers don't allow the fuel to be wicked fast enough to support the flame, so it didn't work, for all the reasons you suggested :)
Instead of butter I used Crisco and it works great.
I believe you. I've seen that life hack right after I made this video. They claim 45 days .. have you ever tried it that long?
Thank you!! :)
Hey...this is really cool. Thanks for the idea. Sometimes we forget where we put our candles and this would work great. Very, very simple. Thanks for the information.
I'm really glad you liked it Claudette! Thank you :D
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