I had been looking on-line for sustainable lighting alternatives and I found a lot of sites that had instructions for veggie oil lamps. However, almost all of them used the wire coil method for holding the wick in place and many people complained about it being too difficult to raise the wick when needed. So I came up with an easier wick holder. This project takes very little time to complete.
Items I used:
A glass jar
Used veggie oil (it can be fresh but that would be wasteful)
Cotton material for the wick
A metal bottle cap
A nail and hammer for making holes in the bottle cap
Needle nose pliers
A small bowl of salt water
Step 1: The Wick
I then soaked them in salt water (using regular table salt) for a minute and laid them outside to dry in the sun.
After they were dry, I stapled the fat end (at the bottom of the 2nd pic) and braided it tightly.
Step 2: The Wick Holder
Take your metal bottle cap and use a nail and hammer to make a big hole in the middle for the wick. Make sure it's big enough for your wick, but small enough to actually hold it tight.
I also made 2 smaller holes on the edge of the cap (on opposite sides) for the wire to go through. You can probably see those better in the following pics.
* I read that if you are using galvanized wire, you need to rub it well with sand paper 1st. I don't remember why exactly, but I thought I should mention it.
I took 2 strips of wire and put each end through a small hole on the side of the cap. The length of wire depends on the size of your jar and how high you will be filling it with oil. I only wanted mine to be about half full bc I wanted the flame to stay inside the jar.
Image 3 & 4:
Here is the bottom of the wick holder. After I got the wire through the sides, I put it down into the jar so that it was at the level of where I wanted the oil to be. I then started to form the wire around the jar so that it fit as snug as possible. You want the wick to stay in place (duh) but you also want easy access to it. When the wick gets too low, you want to be able to easily get it out and pull it up with tweezers. I left the side "wick holder handles" a little long bc it seemed to stabilize the wick holder better.
Now you can feed your wick up through the center hole.
Step 3: Adding the Oil
Step 4: Ta Da!
The second image is the lamp my daughter made. She added essential oils to give the lamp an aroma therapy quality. She also put about 2 inches of water mixed with food coloring in the bottom of her jar. When it is swirled around (do this before you light it) it creates a cool lava lamp effect. She then decided to cut out designs from electrical tape to decorate the outside of her lamp. Also, her lamp did not light as soon as mine did. We are not sure if it was because of the water in the bottom or if it was because she poured the oil directly on the wick when filling the jar (too wet to light?). After a few hours, it lit up with no problem! :)