In this tutorial I’ll show you how you can make an easy oil lamp with an empty tin can, some wire, cotton string and cooking oil.
- empty tin can *
- 100% cotton string
- copper wire
- cooking oil
- round nose pliers
* You can also use a glass jar or glass candle holder instead of the tin can, but be careful: glass can break if the heat is concentrated in one area.
Why I Use Oil Lamps Instead Of Candles
- Oil lamps give more light than a candle.
- Some candles emit toxins like lead, zinc etc.
- Oil lamps are safer than a candle or regular oil lamps with lamp oil because the flash point of vegetable oil is so high that the fuel can’t ignite if the oil lamp is knocked over.
- Oil lamps also burn with a steady flame and produce less soot.
- They’re economical and cheap: Oil lamps are a great way to use up old cooking oil (even rancid oil doesn’t smell rancid when it’s burned in an oil lamp).
- And if you’re sensitive to smell: oil lamps don’t smell like candles or tealights, they hardly smell at all while burning. Just when you blow out the oil lamp, there’s a wonderful barbecue smell! 😀
DIY Candle Wick
Use a thick 100% cotton string or braid together three thinner cotton strings.
Trim the candle wick after each use: just cut off the black part of the cotton string.
Tutorial: DIY Tin Can Vegetable Oil Lamp
Wash the tin can with soap and water and dry it.
Use the round nose pliers to bend one end of the copper wire into a coil, big enough so that you can insert the wick easily, but small enough to hold the wick.
Bend the other end of the wire into a large spiral.
Pour cooking oil into the tin can up to the wire coil or slightly above.
Wait some minutes till the wick has soaked up the oil.
Then light your DIY tin can oil lamp and enjoy the beautiful glow! 😀