How to Make a Bacon Lamp




This is my first Instructable, so bear with me. This 'ible shows how to turn a few waste products-a tuna can and bacon grease-into a useful mini bacon lamp!

Step 1: Materials

-Tuna Can (empty)
-the lid (optional)
-Cotton rope
-a pen (or something similar)
-bacon grease/fat

Step 2: Preparing the Bacon Grease

So I saved up my bacon grease in an old pasta jar. I put it in the refrigerator so that the grease would solidify into a white-ish solid. In order to make this lamp, i had to melt the solid grease.

Fill a small pot with water and placed the jar of grease in the water. Turn on the heat and watch the grease melt.

Caution: Do not place the glass jar directly on the stove-top. The glass will shatter. See the third image.

Step 3: Preparing the Wick

Take the cotton string and cut a length that is at least 2x taller than the tuna can.

Tie the string to the pen. 

Caution: Do not use acrylic or synthetic fibers. When burned, they release toxic fumes. Stick to cotton cordage.

Step 4: Pouring the Grease and Setting the Wick

Now that the grease is in a liquid state, remove it from the pot using an oven mitt. Carefully pour the grease into the tuna can. 

Take your wick/pen combo and place it on top of the tuna can, roughly in the center. If you want, you can tape the wrapped up cordage on the pen to keep it from moving.

Step 5: Let It Solidify

Now that the wick is set, place it in a cool spot. I chose to put it into the freezer so that it would solidify faster. (sorry for the bad quality picture)

Step 6: Light It Up!

When the grease is solid, light it up and bask in the glorious bacon light!

Also, if you have a can opener that opens the side (see picture), you can use the lid to close off the top to make it portable.

Disregard the writing on the can of the lid, courtesy of my roommate.



    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest
    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

    16 Discussions

    This is an interesting idea. Would it work better in some kind of home-made oil lamp? What about mixing some old candle wax with the bacon fat? There are lots of white, neutral/non scented candles made for many occasions, such as weddings.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great work. I have been saving bacon fat int the freezer for a while now and think I have grease from somewhere around 6-8 pounds of bacon in there. I need to strain my grease through something though to make it cleaner. Plus when this candle is not in use should it be placed in the fridge or freezer so the grease does not go rancid?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    To avoid having the wick drown use a posicle stick piece(1") or light wood. Drill a hole for the wick. Leave twice the wick lenght under the stick. If the stick sink use a larger one or less wick under. Depending of size of lampyou can add more wicks.


    7 years ago on Step 6

    Isn't bacon fat smelly??
    Great idea! I think we should make initiatives to collect animal fat from every household! so much fuel could be made !!! :D

    I noticed this too. I'm currently trying to work out a solution for this. If you have some extra tea lights, you can just use the wick from that. They usually come with an attached base. Thanks for the comment!

    Maybe you can use a wick stand like they do for olive oil lamps? There was another page somewhere where a guy cast a type of wick stand for a lard lamp from pewter. I mean once the lard hardens the stand should just sit in it and stay as the lard melts. Just a thought.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow this is so great XD but won't it smell up the entire house? Maybe this would be a great thing to light up in the morning to wake up sleepy teenagers ;p


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable - but don't forget to use it for other things - light the candle whenever you need a touch of bacon flavor for a salad, popcorn, etc. Burn it long enough to have a little to pour on the food - instant bacon flavor! :) (and keep it stored in the fridge, bacon grease goes rancid after a while).


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh yeah! That looks awesome. Great use for all those bacon drippings. Lots of good tips, too.