This DIY craft is closely related to our Mason Jar Oil Lamp, and though it is not solely a jar project, it helps to demonstrate the concept of the homemade oil lanterns a little more, and hopefully will spark ideas and creativity for the entire oil lantern category.
Instead of using a jar, you’ll be using a slate, or thin rock as your candle, and you’ll do it by applying the same steps as mentioned in the mason jar version. However, we can tie this back into the jar theme a little bit by using a shallow mason jar for the lamp oil reservoir on the bottom of the rock.
You can actually use any type of rock you’d like, but there are a few things to consider before jumping into things with that mindset– the thinner the rock, the easier it is to drill the holes for the wicks. It is not very much fun trying to drill a hole in a river rock that is two or three inches thick; not even with a drill press! Choosing rocks that are thinner is a good idea unless you want to pull your hair out from frustration.
The slate-like rocks in the article photos can be found at Lowes or Home Depot in the gardening center. Locate the area with the stepping stones, garden bricks, assorted rocks and gravel, etc., and you will find these types of stones in sheets of 5-7 for approximately $4.00!
- A rock / slate.
- 1/4 concrete drill bit ($2.00 or less).
- A fiberglass wick (available in our craft store).
- Shallow mason jar for oil reservoir, or other glass or thick plastic container.
- Small bottle of Gorilla Glue, or hot glue.
- Bamboo or other material to surround and conceal the glass reservoir (optional).
We use copper freezer tubing to make our wick inserts, and though not necessary, it’ll help prevent the wick from falling through the hole in the rock and the hassle of having to retrieve it.
The copper tubing comes in a roll for a few dollars at most hardware stores. A pipe cutter is a handy tool to have in order to cut through the tubing to make your wick inserts, and also to flare out the top end of the copper tube so it will have a lip and won’t fall down the hole in the rock. If you don’t use too deep of a jar, the wick will stop itself and the only way it’d fall is by force.
- Drill your holes before trying to attach the oil container to the rock.
- The drilling might take a few minutes. You will have to use a little force, depending on the rock, but don’t use too much, or you will break your drill bit and/or the rock.
- Drill three holes (or at least two). One is for you to use a squirt bottle to spray oil into to refill the container. The other two will be used to place wicks into.
- Make sure that you measure the size of your oil container and pre-mark the locations for your holes, so that when you put your wick into it, it goes into the container.
- Take your small glass jar or thick plastic container and place it under your rock. Position it to where you can “test” to see if your rock will fall over or not (the bamboo or other container helps to maintain a balanced rock). Once you have found a good balanced location for your container, flip it over, and seal the container onto the surface of the rock using gorilla glue or hot glue, ensuring that there are no leaks between the jar and the rock.
The reservoir will take a few hours to dry completely, if using Gorilla Glue, and it will foam up and do what Gorilla Glue does. Once it is almost dry, you can use your fingers to press the foam down if it’s really puffed up. Then, go ahead and add a bit more glue just to ensure none of your oil will leak out, if you happened to carry the rock and tilt it on the way.
Hopefully that explains how to make your very own burning rock, and encourages you to modify the concept even more, and share it with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
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