Make your own oil lamps : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Its getting close to Christmas shopping time and I would like to see some good ideas for Christmas gifts this year that are y2k related. My first bought item is from Cumberland General Store in Tenn. They have the THANGIES that hold the wick and the chimney on the oil lamp. Only these screw on a regualr neck mason jar. Really neat and I have mine on a couple of pint jars and one on a 1/2 gallon canning jar. The 1/2 gallon sits high in the air and will give more light over a larger area. I bought a bunch of these THANGIES to make oil lamps for Christmas gifts. The nice thing is that the neck size is pretty standard so you should be able to find all kinds of jars of different sizes and shapes. I am keeping my eyes open for squatty ones. Along with my homemade Wild Florida Grape Jelly and Orange Marmalade that I usually send to relatives up north, I am going to include the oil lamp, two tuna can candles (scented of course..Martha ain't got nuthin' on me)and two Hobo stoves. Everyone that I send to is a GI but they will appreciate these items. Any other ideas out there? Going to make sure that all is shipped early this year while PO is still up and running. Also going to ship in a bucket with a gamma lid. Did that for a friend in the mtns of Idaho last year, and you would have thought I had given her a bar of gold. This year she gets a Vittles Vault that will be stuffed with socks, underwear, gloves, jeans, sweat shirts, etc. She is the closest thing to a sister and is special so gets a lot! She also gets a box of oranges from here.

-- Taz (, August 26, 1999


What a great idea! Do you have the URL for Cumberland?

I am just starting some christmas shopping (be kinda sparse this year though). When we had a power outage for 3 days here in the NW I REALLY appreciated my Dynamo hand generated flashlight. It gives you instant light when you need to get out of bed in the middle of the night and find your matches/lighter or whatever to light the lamps or candles. No stumbling and fumbling in the dark, and no batteries ever needed either.

I also bought some wonderful Readers Digest hardcover 'how-to' books from the local used bookstores. They are in mint condition and I hope will be appreciated by those receiving them. I do want to look into your homemade candle wick idea though, thanks for the info.

-- Sammie Davis (, August 26, 1999.

Cumberland General Store

-- Lilly (, August 27, 1999.

My relatives will probably look at me with raised eyebrows this holiday season! I am giving the adult females how to crochet and knit kits or sewing box filled with esecentials The males will receive fire starters and water purfying tablets and a first aid book. The children will each receive a warm quilt, sewn by me. Of couse my immediate family will receive the gift of having a place to stay that is as secure as I can make it for them.

-- Carol (, August 27, 1999.


Here's some crafty stuff that I copied from the Mrs. Survival spot ages ago, thought they might fit in well here:

"Go and purchase a 100% cotton mop head replacement. You can use the single strands of "mop hair" for the mini-lamps and/or the little decorative oil lamps. And you can braid together an inch or so of the "mop hair" to create a wick for a Tiki-torch (we also call 'em Porch Torches).

How to make an Easy (but not very bright) oil lamp -- great in a pinch! Get an empty bottle, like a wine bottle or beer bottle. Find a cork that fits the top of the bottle and bore a hole in the cork, top to bottom. Run a wick through the cork so that a little sticks up through the top and a lot hangs out the bottom. Fill the bottle with lamp oil. Put the long end of the wick into the bottle, squish the cork down into the bottle neck, wait 5 mins for the wick to absorb some oil and light.

You can create a Porch Torch too! Save up GLASS soda bottles or wide fat beer bottles (like Pearl) that have narrow mouths and clean well. Also save empty tin cans. Get a wooden stake with a sharpened end. Nail (or duck-tape) the tin can to the blunt end of the stake. Fill the glass soda bottle with kerosene. Use the braided "mop hair" wick-- it helps if you coil a little wire around the outside of the wick to give it strength, and make a little "handle" that's perpendicular to the wick so you can raise and lower the wick without touching it. Stick the wick in the bottle, stick the bottle in the tin can, and Viola! you have a Porch Torch.

A book called "Christmas with Southern Living 1998" has info on how to make what I would call are Martha Steward type oil lamps. I'll skip the beads and dried flowers part. (page 136)

glass bottle candle wick length of bottle large heat-resistant bead with center hole to fit bottle top (glass, stone, metal not plastic or ceramic) candle or lamp oil (pure paraffin oil is recommended for its orderless and smokeless qualities.)

Put the wick through the bead. Fill bottle with lamp oil. Place bead with the wick on the top of the bottle. Trim wick 1/8" above the bead. (A shorter wick prevents excess smoke.) Allow 5 minuites for wick to absorb oil before lighting.

The best part of the article says: A brass or steel washer from the hardware store can hold the wick and 100% cotton shoe laces can be used for the candlewick. A bottle, a washer, a string from the mop, lamp oil."

CAREFUL - most shoelaces I see nowadays are a synthetic mix of fibers.

-- flora (***@__._), August 27, 1999.

And don't for get Christmas Jar Cakes with decorated lids. And as soon as it cools down a bit, I am going to get my soap pot out and make lavender soap from my lavender plant. Does anyone know if you can buy those little Bull Durham tobacco bags anymore? They would make great sachets using my lavender. Certainly would be "country"!

Taz...who is a country gal!

-- Taz (, August 27, 1999.

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