Olive oil lamps are a beautiful alternative to a candle and can be quite easy to make.
While you can buy premade olive oil candle wicks, they can be somewhat expensive and it is really quite easy to make them yourself with materials you might already have on hand.
Thick glass container, such as a ball jar
Long piece of wire
Wick (can be made of string or any thin piece of cloth)
Shape the wire into a circle with the pliers, bend one end upward toward the center and form a loop to hold the wick.
Slide the wick through the loop and wrap downward around the wire. The thicker the wick, the larger the flame you will have.
Place the wire and wick assembly into the jar and fill with olive oil until just below the bottom of the loop. Soak the wick completely with the oil and allow the oil to absorb into the fabric before lighting it.
Oil candles are a great alternative in an emergency if you don’t have any wax candles available. They are also great for everyday use if you love candles, but want a more eco-friendly source of ambience. Using a high quality olive oil burns with no noticeable scent or smoke and can last for quite a long time.
Remember to always use candles with caution and never leave burning unattended.
What you will need:
Soap Pump (I bought a dollar store soap dispenser and just used the pump)
Glue (Some people use heavy duty dishwasher safe glue, I hot-glued mine)
Scissors, drill or xacto knife
Take the flat ball jar lid and draw a circle in the center where you want the pump to go through the diameter of the pump (you can eye-ball this). You have a choice now as to how you wish to cut the hole. I started mine with an xacto knife (really watch your fingers if you choose this option) and finished it off with scissors. Others have had success drilling a hole through the lid. Whichever way you choose to go about this, just use caution.
Once the hole has been cut, slide the soap pump through and center it on the lid in the direction you want it to face. Hold everything together with one hand while you glue around the base with the other. If you want things to be extra secure, you could place some glue around the top of the pump before sliding it through the hole as well. I found it easier to put a few dabs of glue around the base to help hold things in place so I could seal it all the way around with glue using both hands.
Once your glue is dry, just add your favorite soap to the jar, place the lid on top and twist on the band. Done!
I was able to get a pack of 12 Ball Jars for just 8.59 (with tax!) and the soap dispenser at the dollar store, so total cost was right around $1.81 for this cutie. Not too bad considering these can cost upwards of $20 if you buy them premade.
After learning to make my own homemade household cleaning products, I needed a better way to store and organize them. I was lucky enough to find some spray bottles and swingtop sealed jars at the dollar store of all places (JACKPOT! I absolutely love the sealed jars!).
Now that we have all these containers, I wanted to label them so I would know what was inside each of them. I like the idea of a clear label, but the kits to make them are rather costly. I thought about perhaps printing onto a transparency, but I didn’t have any in the house. So, out of cheapness (and laziness) I decided to just print onto plain paper. If I get tired of the labels, I can always change them to something else at a later time.
Printer With Ink and Printer Paper
Clear Packing Tape
X-Acto Knife and Ruler (Optional)
I started by designing some labels on the computer – you can use any digital image software to do this. If you don’t have one currently, Gimp is a good free program that can get the job done. I then arranged all the labels to fit on a single 8.5×11 sheet and printed them out.
Next I trimmed the labels with an xacto knife and ruler leaving a small white edge around the sides. If you don’t have an xacto, scissors will work if you have a steady hand. Then I placed each label print side down onto a piece of clear packing tape and trimmed the excess with scissors.
Finally, take your new label and place it onto your container starting in the center and working your way outward. Be sure to smooth out any air bubbles. One tip when working with containers that have irregular edges is to make the labels slightly smaller than the even surface. This will ensure that they can be adhered smoothly. As you can see, these cheap little labels don’t look too shabby!
Total cost out of pocket if you already have everything on hand = $0, can’t beat that!
While these won’t be dishwasher safe, they are good enough to survive a hand washing if you are careful.