Steampunk-ish Oil Lamp




Introduction: Steampunk-ish Oil Lamp

Alright, since i was asked to tell how to do this i will happily oblige (although i only posted this to show it to someone).

First of all, i won't be able to add step by step photos since i didn't take them when i was making it.


-Wick support (talking about it further on)
-Cap (talking about it further on)
-Silver and copper/old gold spray paint
-Lamp support
-Spare hardware pieces like nuts, bolts' heads, cogs, etc.


1 - First of all we should start by painting everything so all the little pieces have time to try and be painted on the other side

I painted in silver:

-the lamp base, which was a small round wooden mini basket i found lying around. Be sure to paint on the underside too. 

-the lamp cap, which is part of a regular alcohol lamp you can buy anywhere, i was amazed that it fitted so perfectly. If you can't find one or it doesn't fit your bulb like it fit mine you can also use a lightbulb support, but be sure it fits your bulb.

I painted in copper/old gold all the small spare hardware parts. Be sure to paint them on both sides, even though you can't see much of the part that is glued you can still see it.

2 - Now that the paint is drying we can start a rather delicate process that can take some pratice to achieve without incidents (i broke at least 3 lightbulbs while learning the best way to hollow them :P).

I suggest that you buy a lightbulb with a thin filamente inside, since it is much easier to hollow.

There is a very good and detailed guide on how to do it in this instructable (not mine)

3- The wick and fuel

IF it happened like me and the wick support from an alcohol lamp perfectly fits the lightbulb then you're pretty much done here.

If not, then you have to buy a wick and make a support for's how:

-get a bit of aluminium sheet  thatfrom a soda can and paint it.
-once the paint is dry cut it so it fitsthe opening of the lightbulb.
-After that cut a cross inside the round piece of aluminium
-insert the wick through the center of the cross (you don't need to leave much wick out)

-- Put some fuel in the lamp. In this case i used alcohol with some food coloring, but you can use whatever you like. I couldn't find where to buy citronella oil, but you manage to get it it is a great burning oil that will leave an amazing scent and even make bugs go away.

-insert the wick with the wick support into the lamp.

4 - By now everything should be dry, but if not let it dry properly since if you don't it gets more easily scratched.

So, once everything is dry you just have to decorate the base and the cap at your taste, using whatever patterns you want, by using glue. A super glue made of cynoacrylate is very good for this, but you have to be careful with it since it's very liquid and could ruin your piece.

Let it dry

5 - Now that the lamp has some weigth it is easier to glue to the base.

For this i used a strong epoxi, just because i'm a perfectionist, but you can also use super glue. Make the bulb stand at whatever angle you prefer.

6 -  Fire in the hole!!

Seriousily, test it to see if everything is ok.

And remember some safety tips:

-never have too much wick out
-only douse the flame by putting the cap on.


Enjoy :D

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    8 Discussions


    7 years ago

    Mountain rose has citronella oil and lemongrass to do the same thing.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    i like this alot, i really wanna make one now. only thing im worried about is how easy a bulb can break. the oil is real flammable and could be a bad accident. i will just make sure to keep it in safe spot. thanks for the cool ible!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think it is that dangerous, the glass is so thin that it acts as a good heatsink and the glass won't break due to thermal shock, but you should be careful anyway.

    I'm glad you liked it :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Borderline steampunk, but very cute nonetheless - i'd be afraid of the bulb falling to the floor though - the glass in them is very thin.

    Very nice looking project :)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I agree with you that it almost isn't steampunk at all, but it was my first project ever :p....

    And the bulb won't fall because it's actually glued to the base with a strong epoxy.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Looks like fun! Please tell us more about your project, I'm sure the community would love that.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Done :)

    Thanks for the interest.