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

by on Nov 17, 2008

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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  1. Q:

    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….

  2. 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.

  3. @ 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. 

  4. 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.