How to make a quick and cheap oil lantern for emergencies

Like crafters who are always on the lookout for interesting crafting ideas, preppers are also eager to try new and useful DIY projects, especially makeshift tools that can make your life easier during a disaster scenario. (h/t to

Some common DIY prepping projects include improvised fishing rods or DIY oil lamps. This article will teach you how to make your own olive oil lamp, which can come in handy if you run out of batteries for your flashlight.

Making an olive oil lamp

If you have some olive oil in your stockpile, you can use it to make a DIY lamp. Olive oil lamps are good alternatives for a light source in a power outage. (Related: Survivalist skills: Make your own lamp from available materials.)

Olive oil is safe to use in a lamp because its flash point is around 550 degrees. This kind of oil is also pure and doesn’t smoke like other fuels.


  • Olive oil
  • Container (must be fireproof, such as a bowl, jar, or a used tuna can)
  • Sand (optional)
  • Cotton thread and some wire


  1. Place the oil in the container.
  2. Insert the cotton thread as the wick and take a wire to either hang the wick in the oil or be used as a stand. The material must be long enough so that it sticks up in the air above the oil.
  3. If you don’t have wire, put some sand in the bottom of your container. Wrap the wick around a stick, like a toothpick, then insert the toothpick in the sand.

If you don’t have containers like a bowl or a jar, use half an orange peel. A container made from any material will do as long as it won’t catch fire once you light up the lamp.

You can use any material that soaks oil and burns for the wick of the olive oil lamp. Some options include:

  • Cotton cut from clothing
  • Cotton or yarn pulled from a mop head
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • A piece of paper
  • Rolled up paper towels (Roll up the paper towel, twist it, then let it soak up the oil.)
  • Thread

Ideally, you should have a backup light source such as a lamp set so you can get around in the dark if your flashlight runs out of batteries. However, its also good to know how to make a DIY olive oil lamp so you still have an emergency light source when SHTF.

The health benefits of olive oil

A single teaspoon of olive oil has 119 calories, making it a crucial item to have in your survival stockpile. Olive oil has the following survival uses:

  • Cooking oil
  • Earache remedy
  • Leather conditioner
  • Lubrication for hinges and machinery
  • Moisturizer for dry skin
  • A natural lip balm (must be mixed with beeswax)
  • Shaving cream

Olive oil is a natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit of Olea europaea. At least 14 percent of this kind of oil is saturated fat, while 11 percent is polyunsaturated, like omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

However, the main fatty acid in olive oil is oleic acid. This type of monounsaturated fat makes up 73 percent of the total oil content of olive oil. Data from studies imply that oleic acid can help minimize inflammation. It can even have beneficial effects on genes associated with cancer. Since monounsaturated fats are also quite resistant to high heat, this makes extra virgin olive oil a healthy choice for cooking.

You can read more articles about other DIY prepper projects like this handy olive oil lamp at

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