How to Make an Oil Lamp Using a Jelly / Jam Mason Jar

JAR CRAFTS Published November 17th, 2013 21,006 views
DIY Mason Jar Oil Lamps using Fiberglass Wicks and Wick Insert

Mason jar oil lamps are fun, efficient, easy to DIY, and functional! Here’s a complete how-to on making these lamp oil burning, downright awesome lanterns!

With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching quickly, we wanted to create yet another variation to the classic mason jar oil lamp, but this time we added a splash of color that would be fitting for the upcoming Holiday gatherings! These are also smaller than the others we’ve shown, and are made using the jelly/jam mason jars!


DIY oil lanterns in jars are usually always made with fiberglass wicks, rather than cotton, because the fiberglass wicks do not burn down and waste away like other traditional organic wick material. This particular version of the oil lamp is made with fiberglass wicks and glass wick inserts.

Red & Green Christmas DIY Mason Jar Oil Lamps

These lanterns can be used inside providing the lamp oil used is marked for indoor or outdoor use, or if you are using an alternative fuel such as vegetable oil or olive oil. They are similar to our other mason jar oil lanterns, but we were unable to show the glass wick inserts at the time. They definitely make life a breeze when making these, if all you’ve got to do is make a hole and drop the wick + wick holder down in it!

Another difference is that the wicks used in these oil burners are 1/8″ in diameter, and the wick itself is contained inside a glass wick insert (holder). The others are using a larger 3/16″ diameter wick. It is your preference entirely, but the 3/16″ are fairly large for such a small lantern, and the smaller wick holders that you should be using are not available in that size.

This solution is the absolute best when using jars to create your lamps, and also if you are making rock candles!

You may be thinking, “…of course they’d say that– they’re selling the wicks,” but let it be known that we are only selling them because our users asked us for them for about six months! We purchased a large spool and broke down the prices accordingly, which is why everyone loves our store so much! If you haven’t seen it, it really only takes about 5 seconds to take it all in, since it’s only got a few items in it! Really, feel free to experiment and use whatever you’d like! That’s the entire idea of a DIY project, isn’t it?

fiberglass_wick_with_glass_wick_insert_advert_250x250 We also recently purchased a ton of these glass wick inserts in bulk so that we could get the price down a little, and now they are also listed in the craft store.

Unfortunately, they still weren’t as cheap as we’d like to have seen, but they are definitely affordable at only $1.70/ea and make the most awesome lanterns!

We also have multiple discounts available, as usual, where you can save a bundle by ordering them back from us in larger quantities! There are multiple quantity discounts, and free shipping available for orders $25.00 and above, etc.


Making this oil lamp is extremely simple, and takes about a minute to make each one! For those of you looking for mason jar crafts to make and sell– this is the “hot item”.

Using a nail, or drill bit, simply drill a small hole into the center of your lid, and place the wick & insert assembly into the hole.

The glass inserts serve more than one purpose– the flared end prevents the wick from falling through the hole in the lid and into the jar, they add visual appeal to the lantern, and they absorb the heat from the flame so that the lid and glass do not get hot or charred black from direct contact with the flame.


In order to achieve the colors as demonstrated in the photo, you’ll fill the jar 3/4 of the way with water, adding two drops of food coloring, then pour your lamp oil into the mix as well.

DIY Mason Jar Oil Lamps - Thanksgiving & Christmas Colored

As mentioned before, since oil and water do not mix, the lamp oil will float on top of the water and it’ll have no problem finding its way into the wick and burning just like the ones in the photos!


Tips & Ideas

If you chose to fill your jar 100% with lamp oil, instead of using the oil/water mixture as mentioned above, you could add a pinecone or just about any other item to the inside of the jar for decoration! For Christmas, you could use the bottle brush Christmas trees idea, and maybe even attach a gift tag from the Printables section and give them away as gifts!

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

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  • Debra

    Love this idea. Would these be suitable to fill with citranella oil for outdoor bug deterrant?

  • Misty

    We created a mason jar oil lamp, but it smokes. We have tried lamp oil and vegetable oil. Help?

  • ptsal

    wicks probably too long, trim it.