Make a Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp – Gifts for the Holidays

Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp tutorial. Beautiful pine cones, evergreens and cinnamon sticks, combined with essential oils make great gifts for the holidays.

Every year I make a handmade gift for my friends, family, co-workers and others we want to thank at Christmas time. In the past I’ve made bayberry candles, simmering potpourri and spice mixes. This year I decided to make a mason jar oil candle lamp, that looks pretty and smells nice too.

Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp

Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp tutorial. Beautiful pine cones, evergreens and cinnamon sticks, combined with essential oils make great gifts for the holidays.

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I found the general idea on Pinterest. They were a lot of people making oil candles for the summer with citronella, and several survivalist using vegetable oils for an extra lighting source, when the power goes out. One of the articles specifically talked about using olive oil, as it burns well without an unpleasant odor.

Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp materials. ~

That’s where I started. I wanted the oil candle lamp to smell nice so I used scented pine cones, cinnamon sticks and added some essential oils.

Mason Jar Oil Lamp with cotton wicks -

The first few I made were so beautiful. I packed them with botanicals, drilled a hole in the lid and added a cotton wick.

Only they did not work.  😐 

The wick would only stay lit for a minute or two, even after letting it soak overnight.

Mason Jar Oil Candle Lamp Floating Wick -

So after some research and experimentation, I found floating wicks, often used for Menorah candles at Hanukkah.

They worked!  😛 

I was so happy because I had already bought all the materials for many, many gifts.

I did have to replace a few lids, and I no longer needed the cotton rope, but every thing else was still viable.


Pint Mason Jars
Olive Oil 
Dried Orange Slices
Cinnamon Sticks
Small Pine Cones
Essential Oils (rosemary, sweet orange, cinnamon)

Oil Candle Lamp filled with botanicals -

The Process

Start by filling the mason jar with botanicals. You can see I’ve used cranberries, dried orange slices, pine cones, cinnamon sticks and some fresh cedar from the yard. Don’t stuff them too full. You need to leave some room for the floating wick.

Use a Skewer to place items in jar - Oil Candle Lamp -

Using a wooden skewer, an old pencil would work too, position the plant material where it looks best.

Add some essential oils to your oil. I used light olive oil because it is the least scented, and cheaper than extra virgin. For essential oils, I used rosemary, sweet orange and lemon. Cinnamon oil would be great too. Just remember that cinnamon and rosemary are pretty strong so be careful when adding them to the jar.

These mason jar oil candles are easy to make with botanicals like cinnamon sticks, cedar and cranberries. Add some essential oils for extra fragrance.

Fill the jar with oil, then add your floating wick.

As the oil burns you can add some water, which will make the oil will rise, and allow you to burn the candle longer. However, if the candle goes unused the water will turn and bacteria may start to grow making the candle cloudy. It’s best to just add more oil to raise the level above the botanicals.

You can also use a piece of an old candle’s wick when the original one burns up.

Oil Candle Directions & Precautions Tag -

2015 Christmas Gift Tags ~ gardenmatter

I’m adding these tags to my gifts. Feel free to copy them. You can right-click to “save as” and print them as you would a photo or insert them into a Word document.

I love the way they turned out.

Once I figured out how to make them, it was pretty easy to put several together in one sitting.

One last note: Since I would be traveling with many of them, I decide it was best to tape the floating wick to the top of the jar with a little washi tape, so it wouldn’t get lost in the oil while traveling. This is what I’m referring to on the directions tag.

Check out some of my other homemade Christmas gifts from the past:

Bayberry Candles For Good Luck          Simmering Potpourri                Homemade Lip Balm


Check out the DIY/Projects Page,
for more great handmade gifts and project ideas.



About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. This is Fantastic – I just finished all my giving for this season so this one I’ll have to save for next year. Love it! These would also look amazing at the dinner table so I might have to think about trying this on a small scale. So pretty and I like that little touch of red, to simple..

  2. Beautiful! I have to give this a try!

  3. Hello, saw your link on Blogtalk. These are gorgeous! Pinning and FB sharing 😉 Merry Christmas!

  4. These are so lovely!Thank-you for sharing! xo

  5. You don’t mention what you did specifically with the jar lid and your photos don’t show the lid on while the candle is burning? Did you cut a whole in the lid (disc) and then run the wick through it and screw the top back on and do you leave it that way while its burning? I’m thinking if you do it like in the photo with no lid and the wick burning the wick will eventually float down into the oil.

    • Hi,

      Okay. Here’s what happened. I wanted to make them with a wick through the lid. In fact, you can see in my post that this is how a made them at first. But they would not stay lit for me. 🙁 …. So I did some research and found “floating wicks.” These are tiny discs with a inch piece of candle wick in the middle. They float on the top of the oil and burn nicely. The lid would only be used to cover the candle when it was not in use. As the oil burns and the wick can no longer float you can add some water which will raise the oil level or just add more light olive oil. Also, the little candle wick can be replaced with a little but of wick from an old candle/tealight etc…
      I hope that answers your question. Have a Merry Christmas!

  6. Monique Stam says:

    These are stunning, wonderful gifts.
    Do you have an idea of how long the botanicals last in the oil?

    • Hi Monique,

      I really cannot say. I made some about three weeks ago and they still look good. I also think it may depend on what you put inside whether they will last longer or not.

  7. Monique Stam says:

    Thank you! And I’m guessing the oil will preserve it. Probably start decomposing when you add water..Wonder if vinegar in the water would help? 🙂 Knowing they lasted 3 weeks is a great help.

  8. Thank your for such great and detailed directions! Beautiful candles!

  9. I love your projects! You always inspire me to try make fun things, thank you!

  10. What a lovely, lovely idea. Middle of the year gives me time to make some of these.

  11. Is there any concern of the embeds burning, smoking, catching fire….. etc?

    • Yes, to some degree, you always need to keep an eye on candles… That why I included the safety tips on my gift. Make sure there is plenty of room between the materials and the floating wick.

  12. Cynthia Strecker says:

    These are lovely! I definitely want to try them. What do you think about starting with a potpourri mixture? Especially in terms of lasting longer.
    Thanks again,

  13. Do you fill the whole jar up with oil? If so wouldnt the other things in the jar burn when all the oil has burned up and theres nothing left? Or do you only add a small amount of oil on top of water that you already poured in the jar?

    • Hi Hannah,

      Two things you do need to leave some room at the tip for the oil so that your materials do not burn. Second after the oil burns and the level goes down you will have to add more oil. Originally I mentioned adding water. This works as the oil it lighter and the water will stay at the bottom. However, after a while the water got murky and it did not look pretty so I suggest more oil. One reader suggested vinegar and I think that may also work but I have not tried it.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  14. These are so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t know anything about essential oils, though. How much do you add? How do you add them?

    • Hi Linsey,

      You can use essential oils or fragrance oils. It’s hard to give an exact amount as they all have different strengths. Especially with essential oils. Some you smell right away and then they dissipate. Others are stronger. The best way to do it is to try testing the scent to see if you like it and write down how much you used. I remember using a lot of orange, maybe 50 drops or about 1/2 teaspoon. I did not use near that amount of rosemary, maybe 15 drops. The pine cones were already scented with cinnamon when I bought them, and the oranges, cranberry and pine have their own natural scent. I will also say that this project is not like a scented candle. It’s more for beauty and scent.
      Hope that helps,

  15. Thanks for sharing. I want to try it.

  16. Michele Young says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this idea. I love it and I’m going to make them for coworkers and neighbors this year. I made a tester while I’m waiting for the rest of my supplies to come in and I’m wondering if there is a way to increase these scent throw as they burn? Are there oils that are better for this than others?

    I’m also wondering how long the floating candles wicks last?


    • Hi Michele,

      Some oils are definitely stronger than others but the quantity could get pricey. I really relied on their beauty more than the scent. You could check out some candle making sites for more information on strong scents. Also, the wick holder should last a long while however the wick itself will not last that long. You could purchase some additional wicking and cut it up and add it to the gifts or simply tell or write in a message that any piece of wick from an old candle will work for a replacement.
      I’m sure your coworkers and neighbors will love your gift.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  17. These look absolutely fantastic!! I would like to make some for my mother and sister in law for Christmas. Would it be safe to ship them via USPS if packaged carefully? I live in California and they are in Colorado.

    • Hi Ana,

      I’m sure there is a way to ship them however I have no experience. I would suggest you ask someone at the post office or USP/FedEx for advice.
      I’m sure your family will love them.

  18. Amber Lynn says:

    I am making these for gifts this year! I love this idea! I have made one to try a test run and see how it turns out. But I’m running into one problem. All of my stuff (pinecone, dried orange, cedar branch, and cranberries) have all floated to the top so I cannot put a wick in it to float because my pincone is sticking out of the oil. Have you had this same problem or have any advice on how to get the stuff to not float?

    • Hi Amber,

      I do not remember having that problem. I did pack mine pretty good so maybe that’s the problem. You don’t need a lot of oil at the top but the pine cones should not be sticking out either. Try using an old pencil or skewer to push the material down and around to see if this helps. Add more materials too. Also, I don’t know if this would work but I have seen other projects where people used small floating candles on top. The weight of the candle may help but I’m not sure.

      Hope this helps,

  19. Hello!

    I love the candle! Do you think canola oil or any other cheaper oil would work just as well as olive oil?

  20. Hi Patti,
    Could you use lamp oil for this project?

    Thanks Helen

  21. I love your lamps and really have to try this. Thanks Patti!!

  22. This is a wonderful idea. TY. Im starting an looking for mason jar projects for this xmas. This will be perfect. I was wandering if vinegar would work too. I seen a piece on science show. The guy took xmas tree branches n vinegar put in pickle jar for 6 wks. Says it was scented like pine sole. And you can clean with it. Very strong. But idk if vinegar burns like oil. Wat do think?

    • Hi Michele,

      I don’t think the vinegar will burn but you might want to try using vinegar and adding some oil on the top for burning. Definitely test it out on one first before buying to much for your gifts.
      Good luck and thanks for stopping by,

  23. Hi there, I was wondering if I would be able to put raspberries/strawberries/blueberries into the jars to make a berry candle? If so do I just put them in fresh or is there a specific route I have to take to make them? Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Kayleigh,

      I would be concerned with the water content in berries. Have you ever noticed how quickly raspberries tend to mold a day or two after you buy them from the grocery store? However, I have not tried it. I would certainly suggest trying one and waiting a week to see if it is a problem before making more.

      Hope that helps,

  24. Hi, I love this idea! Currently planning on giving it a try this holiday season. But I was just wondering, will all of the stuff in the jar still smell while it’s burning if you don’t put any essential oils in it?

    • Hi Alisha,

      Honestly, I don’t think so. They are more for visual appeal. There may be some scent but not enough to scent a room. That being said, you could test one to see if you like it.
      Hope that helps,

  25. Hi Patti,
    I love the pine cone ones. Ive seen bags of mixed scented pine cones, tree trimming, xmas things. Im sure you know what i mean. But can i use that in the jars or does everything have to be freash? Can i pick stuff up out of back yard also? Also idk if you have directions you can email me, i would appreciate it. I was gonna make a bunch xmas gifts with mason jars. But my RA is preventing that. So this is a beautiful project i can do and everyone will love it. Thank you

    • Hi Michele,

      You can use pine cones from your yard but I would bake them in the oven. ( you can find tutorials online) to make sure there are no bugs, or eggs, and dry them out. Water and bacteria may cause unwanted growth to appear like mold etc…

      Hope that helps,

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