Curbly Video Podcast: How to turn a wine bottle into an oil lamp with found objects.

created on: 11/17/08

If you have a bin of nuts and washers and things, you’re half-way to turning a wine bottle into an oil lamp. (And even if you don’t have a nut and washer bin, you can pick a few up–plus the other items you’ll need to complete this project–at the hardware store for pennies!)

The supplies you’ll want to gather:

  • An empty wine bottle
  • A 1 ½" or so long threaded nipple–I used one from an old lamp kit
  • Two ½" to 5/8" nuts–one wide, one skinny–that will thread onto the nipple
  • A 1" washer that fits onto the nipple
  • Oil lamp wick (I bought some at my local hardware store. It was a bit too thick, so I ran two zig-zag stitches down the center of one and cut it into two.)
  • Lamp oil

To assemble your wine bottle oil lamp:

  • First thread the wider nut onto the nipple about 1/3 to ½ way down, slip on the washer and then thread on the skinny nut.
  • Slide a lamp wick through the nipple and set aside.
  • Fill the wine bottle 3/4 way full with tap water.
  • Fill the bottle the rest of the way with lamp oil.
  • Thread the wick through the neck of the bottle, and rest the washer on the bottle’s opening.
  • And you’re done!

Wait a few minutes for the wick to soak up the lamp oil before you light your lamp. Also, make sure your wick is VERY short; otherwise, the flame will be VERY high. (Learned this the hard way!) Your lighted wine bottle lamp will burn for 3 to 4 hours before you’ll need to raise the wick. And, of course, DO NOT leave your burning lamp unattended.

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Capernius on Mar 18, 2015:

To DIY Maven->

Thank Madam for answering my Q...

I've asked others B4(at other blog sites, not here) but never got an answer.

DIY Maven on Mar 18, 2015:

@ Capernius--the water is to save on lamp oil, because a full wine bottle of lamp oil is a lot of oil. :) Also, the separation point of oil/water looks cool too. 

Capernius on Mar 18, 2015:

note to all readers...

I was told that if you wish to change oils(IE: Citronella oil in summer), you MUST(this is how it was told to me) change the wick as well.

Supposedly, if you change oils & not change the wick, it will not burn or not burn as well...which makes no sense to me, because the wick would normally be saturated with a combustable liquid anyway, and if it burned fine before you changed oils, why would it not burn now?    

Anyway, if you change oils & have problems with it not burning, try changing the wick.

Capernius on Mar 18, 2015:


Why the water?   

Why not just fill the entire bottle with lamp oil or Olive Oil?

This is the only part of this I do not understand....

DIY Maven on Aug 18, 2009:

RR--Honesty, the end of my wick hasn't reached the exit yet, so I'm not sure what it'll do when it does! A guess...since the wick is fed through the oil first, it gets saturated with it. Because oil and water don't mix, the water doesn't saturate what has already been saturated, if you get my meaning. Again, that's just a guess!! 

Glad you like the project.

RosenRed on Aug 18, 2009:

Nice project. It takes the "make a candle out of a wine bottle" one step closer to elegance. One question though: The wick reaches fairly low into the bottle where the water is. Won't it soak with water too?

Meredith on Jun 09, 2009:

I knew there was a reason I was saving all those wine bottles.

dewonangus on Nov 17, 2008:

Wonderful!  I have been saving an odd-shaped wine bottle for some time now.

DIY Maven on Nov 17, 2008:

Yeah, hardware stores sell paraffin oil with citronella.

bruno on Nov 17, 2008:

I imagine this could easily be adapted to make citronella candles in the summer?

Tissuepapers on Nov 17, 2008:

very cool! - thanks for sharing

DIY Maven on Nov 17, 2008:

P.S. That line you see in the bottle is actually where the water and the lamp oil meet; they don't mix. Looks really cool.

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