How to Make Your Own Olive Oil Lamp

Do candles and kerosene oil lamps give you trouble? Do they make you cough, wheeze and sneeze? If so, try making an olive oil lamp. It's a clean burning solution, cheap and easy to put together, and it’s also safer as the flame is inside the jar and not as exposed. And if you use the glass jelly jars with a handle, they're perfect for carrying from room to room, with olive providing a very nice light.


  1. Image titled Make olive oil lamp Step 1.png
    Assemble the items needed to complete this project. They're listed below under "Things You'll Need".
  2. Image titled Olive oil Step 2.png
    Shape one end of the wire into a long hook, a tiny bit higher than the height of the jar.
  3. Image titled Olive oil Step 3.png
    Hang the hook over the side of the jar so that it holds the wire on the jar. It will also double as a handle to pull up the wick for lighting.
  4. Image titled Olive oil Step 4.png
    Wrap the other end of the wire into a coil to create a wick stand. Make the wick stand about an inch or two (2.5cm - 5cm) in height; it will rest on the bottom of the jar.
  5. Image titled Olive oil Step 5.png
    Pinch the top of the metal coil onto about 2 inches (5cm) in length of wick. Make it so that about a quarter inch or less of the wick is sticking up above the wire coil. If it’s any longer, the wick will smoke. The other end of the wick soaks in the olive oil.
  6. Image titled Olive oil Step 6.png
    Add enough olive oil to the jar so the level is just under where the wick is pinched by the wire. If it’s any higher, the lamp may go out.


  • Very small glass jars can be brought with you when you go camping. Just put the contents in your backpack and set it up when you get there.
  • If you’d like to add some drama to those thunder clapped nights of scary stories, intensify the experience by infusing your olive oil with herbs, spices or essential oils to nail down that memory in the senses.
  • To make the measurements easier, you should switch steps 2 & 4. That way you make the stand the right size and whatever is left gets bent on the edge of the jar, make it the perfect length!
  • You can also look for Lampante Oil which is olive oil that is not food grade, but instead used for burning in lamps.


  • As with any flammables, adult supervision is necessary. This is not a toy. Keep out of the reach of children.

Things You'll Need

  • Mason jars and/or old glass jelly jars that have a handle.
  • Flexible steel wire, cut about two times the height of each jar in length.
  • A wick for each jar.
  • Olive oil.

Article Info

Categories: Camping | Disaster Preparedness