How to Make an Alcohol Lamp

I turned a small jam jar into a palm-sized alcohol lamp in less than an hour.

Step 1: Materials

Materials needed
1. A glass jar with a metal lid( I used a small jam jar)
2. A string for the wick

Step 2: Sanding Off the Paint (optional)

I did this for looks, but this step is optional. I used some sandpaper to sand off the paint on the lid and expose the steel. Finally, let's use a sanding sponge to buff the lid so that it'll look a bit more shiny.

Step 3: Punching Hole

Smaller nail
Larger nail
A drill would work best for drilling a hole in the lid, but since I don't have a drill, I used nails. I used a marker to mark the center of the lid, then placed the smaller nail on the mark and hit it with a hammer for a few times. Then I pulled out the nail and repeated the process with the larger nail.

Step 4: Test Your Alcohol Lamp!

I used a toothpick to help insert the wick into the hole, then poured some alcohol into the lamp and lit it with a match. After using the lamp, use something like a soda cap to cover the wick to reduce evaporation.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Now you can use your mini alcohol lamp to do experiments and set everything on fire! :)

Step 6: Vote!

This Instructable has entered a few contests, so if you find this useful, please vote for me! Thanks:)



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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Do I buy a special alcohol for this? Could I use lamp oil, cooking oil or anything else?

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    I think any type of fuel should work but oil might take a little longer to light, I am using 75% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) but you can use denatured alcohol or alcohol of higher concentration for better results.


    4 years ago

    Nice Instrictable that is really easy to make. Lots of possibilities for this.