Calling all mason jar lovers, I have a quick and easy DIY and craft that comes together in less than 5 minutes!
There are endless ways you can customize these lamps adding different fillers and botanicals
to match your décor and selecting different jar styles.
I feel a bit guilty calling this a craft as there really is very little “crafting” involved.
My main dilemma is what to call these… are they oil lights or oil lamps? Candle lights or candles?
Whatever you decide to call them, you’ll find them easy and fun to make!
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Start with the jars of your choice. You can use mason jars or any recycled glass jars.
I like the idea of using an assortment of shapes and sizes to create seasonal table centerpiece or vignette.
I used some Ball Sharing Jars that I purchased several years ago.
You’ll also need a floating wick, along with some cooking oil, water and filler of choice.
The floating wicks are cork discs that come with small waxed wicks
and the type used for Menorah oil candle cups at Hanukkah.
They come in box of 50.
You can adjust the wick to control the height of your flame which
will in turn determine how quickly your oil burns.
With the holidays around the corner, I decided to use some evergreens. I collected some using pinecones
assorted greenery snipped from the trees and shrubs and cranberries for a
bright pop of red, leftover from a batch of Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Bread –> yum!
Don’t fill them completely; leave some space in your jars for the water you’ll be adding.
Once you have your materials in your jars, add the water stopping short a
couple of inches from the top. Use a bamboo skewer or pencil to help
arrange your materials, pushing them down below the waterline as they will want to float.
Once you have your materials arranged, gently pour about 1/2 – 3/4 of an inch of cooking oil
over the top of the water and place your wick on top of the oil, cork side down.
Light them and viola: Floating Wick Candle Lamps!
Note: It make take 10 seconds or so for the wick to light the first time.
What oils to use:
I read that olive oil is generally considered the best choice of cooking oil to burn
as it smokes less. If you go will olive oil, an inexpensive olive oil or extra light olive oil will work.
Canola or sunflower oils will work too and are also inexpensive options.
I experimented and tested my lamps with canola oil as that’s what I had in the pantry.
I was happy to discover the canola oil did not smoke!
If you’re concerned about smoke from the oil or plan on lighting multiple jars, stick with olive oil to be safe.
You also can adjust the height of the wick to produce a smaller flame and cut down on smoking.
I had some roses leftover from a flower arrangement and tablescape (to come soon)
so I used some petals to fill a larger mason jar for a pop of seasonal red color.
The flower petals want to float so you’ll have to push them down below the
waterline several times until they become ‘waterlogged’ before adding your oil.
My canola oil and wick burned steady for 6 hours and there was still a layer of oil left in my jars.
Blow the flame out like you would a candle and cover the jar with the lid until you’re ready to relight.
Top off with additional oil if needed, removing the wick first, then replace and light.
Fill your jars with whatever you like, experiment and have fun! Keep in mind most items will likely float
in water. If you prefer to use artificial flowers or materials, test them first to make sure they’re waterproof
so they don’t discolor and bleed into the water
When your water becomes cloudy or materials start to look less than fresh, toss them out and start over.
My jars still looked surprisingly fresh after a week.
Exercise caution and common sense as you would with any open flame, especially if you have pets or small children.
I feel like these oil lights are safer than candles with the water underneath
as the flame would be extinguished if they were knocked over accidentally.
My supervisors, Lola and Sophie, are not to be left out if I’m photographing on ‘their’ bench.
In their world photos = treats 🐾🐾
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