Make a Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp

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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.

Make a Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp with botanicals and essential oils. ~

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.

Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp materials. ~

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.

Mason Jar Oil Lamp with cotton wicks -

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.

Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp Floating Wick -

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.

Oil Candle Lamp filled with botanicals -

The Process

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.

Use a Skewer to place items in jar - Oil Candle Lamp -

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.

Oil Candle Lamp Close sq -

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.

You can also use a piece of an old candle’s wick when the original one burns up.

Oil Candle Directions & Precautions Tag -

2015 Christmas Gift Tags ~ gardenmatter

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:

Bayberry Candles For Good Luck

BBQ and Ranch Spice Mix

Simmering Potpourri


Mason Jar Oil Candles tutorial. ~

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About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. This is Fantastic – I just finished all my giving for this season so this one I’ll have to save for next year. Love it! These would also look amazing at the dinner table so I might have to think about trying this on a small scale. So pretty and I like that little touch of red, to simple..

  2. Beautiful! I have to give this a try!

  3. Hello, saw your link on Blogtalk. These are gorgeous! Pinning and FB sharing 😉 Merry Christmas!

  4. These are so lovely!Thank-you for sharing! xo

  5. You don’t mention what you did specifically with the jar lid and your photos don’t show the lid on while the candle is burning? Did you cut a whole in the lid (disc) and then run the wick through it and screw the top back on and do you leave it that way while its burning? I’m thinking if you do it like in the photo with no lid and the wick burning the wick will eventually float down into the oil.

    • Hi,

      Okay. Here’s what happened. I wanted to make them with a wick through the lid. In fact, you can see in my post that this is how a made them at first. But they would not stay lit for me. 🙁 …. So I did some research and found “floating wicks.” These are tiny discs with a inch piece of candle wick in the middle. They float on the top of the oil and burn nicely. The lid would only be used to cover the candle when it was not in use. As the oil burns and the wick can no longer float you can add some water which will raise the oil level or just add more light olive oil. Also, the little candle wick can be replaced with a little but of wick from an old candle/tealight etc…
      I hope that answers your question. Have a Merry Christmas!

  6. Monique Stam says:

    These are stunning, wonderful gifts.
    Do you have an idea of how long the botanicals last in the oil?

    • Hi Monique,

      I really cannot say. I made some about three weeks ago and they still look good. I also think it may depend on what you put inside whether they will last longer or not.

  7. Monique Stam says:

    Thank you! And I’m guessing the oil will preserve it. Probably start decomposing when you add water..Wonder if vinegar in the water would help? 🙂 Knowing they lasted 3 weeks is a great help.

  8. Thank your for such great and detailed directions! Beautiful candles!

  9. I love your projects! You always inspire me to try make fun things, thank you!

  10. What a lovely, lovely idea. Middle of the year gives me time to make some of these.

  11. Is there any concern of the embeds burning, smoking, catching fire….. etc?

    • Yes, to some degree, you always need to keep an eye on candles… That why I included the safety tips on my gift. Make sure there is plenty of room between the materials and the floating wick.

  12. Cynthia Strecker says:

    These are lovely! I definitely want to try them. What do you think about starting with a potpourri mixture? Especially in terms of lasting longer.
    Thanks again,

  13. Do you fill the whole jar up with oil? If so wouldnt the other things in the jar burn when all the oil has burned up and theres nothing left? Or do you only add a small amount of oil on top of water that you already poured in the jar?

    • Hi Hannah,

      Two things you do need to leave some room at the tip for the oil so that your materials do not burn. Second after the oil burns and the level goes down you will have to add more oil. Originally I mentioned adding water. This works as the oil it lighter and the water will stay at the bottom. However, after a while the water got murky and it did not look pretty so I suggest more oil. One reader suggested vinegar and I think that may also work but I have not tried it.
      Thanks for stopping by,

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