Introduction: Make a Nice Swimming Oil Lamp Out of (nearly) Nothing

Hello there, I love this page and so I write my first small instructible now.

As I'm a student and planning a big winterbarbecue party with lots of candles and stormlamps and fire, I was looking for a cheap and easy way to have small lights for all the lamps without buying any tealights.

I also wanted something thet would burn all night and tealights are normally done after a few hours.

I can imagine many uses of this nice small lights - swimming in a glass bowl, as lights in a normal small windlight - painted in any colour you like...

So, I hope you will be patient with me.

I could'nt figure out how to get things marked on the pictures with those nice popping extra information. The "Adding Image Notes: Click and Drag your mouse on the image to create a note(s)." just did'nt work.

Please let me know how to do it for my next instructable.

Step 1: All You Need

vegetable oil ( olive oil works great)
one alu screw cap (or more if you like) as e.g from waterbottles (no plastic! )
a sheet of kitchenroll
a glass or bowl or whatever you like to put this lamp in.
a sharp thing to prick a hole in the screw cap
a scissor

eventually a bit of water.

Thats it

Step 2: Prepare the Light

prick a small hole (about the size of a normal lighting match) into the screw cap.

Take care that it's in the center of the cap and that you start from outside (it's done wrong on the pic)

Then take a small piece of kitchen roll...

Step 3: Attach the Wick

roll the kitchenroll between your fingers to form a wick that will fit tightly into the hole.

then shorten it a little and pull it through the hole (from outside)

You should now have a candlewicksize wick inside and after that cut the wick quite close to the bottom of the cap.

Step 4: Set the Lamp on the Oil

now the lamp is ready.

Just put some vegetableoil into the jar (NO LAMPOIL!!!) , glass or whatever you chose and set the lamp on the surface. Now lite the wick and watch and enjoy how nice and long the light will burn.

You can also put some water first into the glass and then just a smaller layer of oil.

But be careful - as soon as the wick gets in contact with the water your light will flicker and get off.


If the hole is to big there will get more oil through the wick than will be burnt and the lamp could sink.

have fun but be careful.

I will not take any responibilty for your outcomes or consequences ;-)