Every year I make a handmade gift for my friends, family, co-workers and others we want to thank at Christmas time. In the past I’ve made bayberry candles, simmering potpourri and spice mixes. This year I decided to make a mason jar oil candle lamp, that looks pretty and smells nice too.
Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp
I found the general idea on Pinterest. They were a lot of people making oil candles for the summer with citronella, and several survivalist using vegetable oils for an extra lighting source, when the power goes out. One of the articles specifically talked about using olive oil, as it burns well without an unpleasant odor.
That’s where I started. I wanted the oil candle lamp to smell nice so I used scented pine cones, cinnamon sticks and added some essential oils.
The first few I made were so beautiful. I packed them with botanicals, drilled a hole in the lid and added a cotton wick.
Only they did not work. 😐
The wick would only stay lit for a minute or two, even after letting it soak overnight.
So after some research and experimentation, I found floating wicks, often used for Menorah candles at Hanukkah.
They worked! 😛
I was so happy because I had already bought all the materials for many, many gifts.
I did have to replace a few lids, and I no longer needed the cotton rope, but every thing else was still viable.
Start by filling the mason jar with botanicals. You can see I’ve used cranberries, dried orange slices, pine cones, cinnamon sticks and some fresh cedar from the yard. Don’t stuff them too full. You need to leave some room for the floating wick.
Using a wooden skewer, an old pencil would work too, position the plant material where it looks best.
Add some essential oils to your oil. I used light olive oil because it is the least scented, and cheaper than extra virgin. For essential oils, I used rosemary, sweet orange and lemon.
Fill the jar with oil, then add your floating wick.
As the oil burns you can add some water, which will make the oil will rise, and allow you to burn the candle longer.
Update: If you add water and don’t use the candle it will turn murky after a while. Add oil to avoid this problem.
You can also use a piece of an old candle’s wick when the original one burns up.
I’m adding these tags to my gifts. Feel free to copy them. You can right-click to “save as” and print them as you would a photo or insert them into a Word document.
I love the way they turned out.
Once I figured out how to make them, it was pretty easy to put several together in one sitting.
One last note: Since I would be traveling with many of them, I decide it was best to tape the floating wick to the top of the jar with a little washi tape, so it wouldn’t get lost in the oil while traveling. This is what I’m referring to on the directions tag.
Check out some of my other homemade Christmas gifts from the past: