Instructables

Make a Butter Candle - Emergency Candle McGyver Style!

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Step 5: We Have Light!

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You may see the flame dim down for a few seconds at the beginning, but once the butter warms up a little, the flame should grow right back up to full size. 

This works for the same reason a candle does.  As the butter melts, it's wicked up into the toilet paper stem and vaporized by the heat. The vapor is flammable, and it's acting as the fuel for the flame.

These butter candles burned for 4 hours each, giving a total of 8 hours of heat and light from the original bar.

Note:  After a couple of hours, the butter warms up to the point where it melts and the wick may fall over.  In this case, it's useful to take a paperclip and make a support for the wick.  To do this from the beginning, just insert the wick and paperclip together from the bottom of the butter block.

Dropping the candles down into something like a glass can help protect them from drafts, and reduce the risk of your candle becoming a fire hazard.  You also have the added benefit of an interesting DIY ambiance to your room.  
 
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How about the smell? Or the smoke? I figure it should smell like donuts or some greasy hot stuff. Also, it should put out some smoke too, butter isn't ment to burn smokeless. While it's good for emergency (just in some weird case you have no light but you do have butter) , it's certainly bad for ambiance...
I didn't notice much of a smell actually. If anything, I suppose it was a faint smell of popcorn but honestly nothing overwhelming enough to catch my attention on it :)
Oh, ok then :-) Popcorn sounds fine. Except if you don't have butter and use cooking fat instead... THAT smell will stick to anything. :-)
Good advice :)