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How to make an oil lantern

The oil lamp has a history that dates back to at least 2000 BC in ancient China. The Chinese were "refining crude oil for use in lamps and house heating." Elsewhere in the world, crude oil lamps appeared in the Mycenaean civilisation in 1500 BC. The design of the lamp grew more refined with a covered bowl. The discovery of glass and metal led to more refined oil lanterns which became designs that people still use today. Read this article to learn how to make your own simple oil lantern and to light up the dark.

Collect the supplies

For the simple lamp, you will need: - A glass wine bottle with a screw on lid - An awl - Olive oil - A cotton sock (it must be 100% cotton) - Scissors

Prepare the lamp

-Clean the bottle thoroughly. -Clean the metal lid of the bottle. -Use the awl to poke a hole in the middle of the cap. Poke from the top down for the cleanest look. -Make the hole a little wider and force the sharp edges away from the hole by holding the awl at an angle circle all the way around the hole. This will force the metal to curl back toward the edges of the lid rather than the centre. -Use scissors to cut a long strip of cotton from the sock. Cut from the band of the sock straight down to the toe. The strip should be less that 1/2 inch wide. -Cut off the portion at the top of the strip where the fabric is folded over. Leave the rest of the length as it is as you can also make any adjustment later. This will be the lamp's wick. -Thread the wick through the hole in the lid. Do this from the top of the down. Use the awl to force it through the hole. Do this gently so as not to poke holes in the cotton. Pull the cotton through the cap until only a few inches remain on top of the lid.

The lamp

-Put the wick into the bottle and then, fit on the lid. -Adjust the length of the wick by pulling on it gently until the bottom of the wick touches the bottom of the bottle. -Cut off the top part of the wick, leaving at least three inches. -Remove the cap and the wick from the bottle. Set aside. -Add water to the bottle until the level reaches the bottle's shoulders. Fill the remainder of the bottle with olive oil. Wait for the bubbles to subside. -Slowly, lower the wick into the lamp. Put on the cap and tighten it securely. -Light the wick of your oil lamp.

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