Candles have certain advantages* over flashlights when the power goes out. But they're a bit tricky to hold and they can be dangerous if they tip over. Placing the candle in an old mug provides a convenient handle and stable base. This method is so simple it can be made during a power outage, which is what I did last night (all of the pictures are candle or flashlight illuminated as a result).
This project uses two things which seem to accumulate much more quickly than they can be used: candles and mugs. As such the cost will likely be negligible.
Disclaimer: Even though this design has many features that make it safe, candles are still dangerous. Use common sense.
*more fun, radial light, aesthetically pleasing, no batteries, stable light source facilitates reading
Step 1: Gather and Prepare Materials
The materials needed are one candle and one ceramic mug.
Cut the bottom ~1.5" off of a candle and chop into smallish pieces. Place these pieces, wick and all, in the mug.
Step 2: Melt Wax and Set Candle
Place the mug in a pan with a couple of inches of water. Heat on medium until the wax is melted.
When the wax has melted remove the mug from the pan and place the top of the candle in the centre. I used masking tape to hold the candle upright.
Wait approximately half and hour to an hour for the wax to solidify. Before lighting wiggle the candle to make sure it is secure.
DO NOT MELT WAX IN A MICROWAVE, apparently it is quite likely to catch fire.