Homemade oil burners

A scented oil burner removes bad smells and replaces those with a light scent. You pour oil into a top piece and light a candle underneath. As the heat rises and increases the temperature of the oil, it diffuses the scent of the oil around the room. Scented oil burners can be expensive, but homemade oil burners are much cheaper and consist of things you already have around the house.

Use a ceramic vase or coffee mug with a ceramic bowl that fits neatly on top. The bowl is the part of the burner that holds the oil. It should fit comfortable on the top of the mug or vase, without any movement.

Drill several holes into the side of your bottom burner piece, be it a coffee mug or vase. This allows air to flow into the piece and fuel the flame of the candle. It also keeps the bottom of the burner from becoming too hot.

Set the bottom piece of the burner on a flat surface and place the candle inside. This keeps the burner from rocking or tipping over.

Place the votive candle or tea light candle inside the bottom of the burner. Use a lighter to light the candle wick.

Add the bowl to the top of the bottom burner. Pour the scented oil directly into the burner. As the candle starts burning, the flame heats up the ceramic bowl and heats up the oil.


It's helpful if you cut out a section on the bottom half of the burner first. This makes it easier to blow out the candle when you're done.


Never touch any part of the burner while it's still hot, as you may burn yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Ceramic vase/coffee mug
  • Ceramic bowl
  • Drill
  • Ceramic drill bit
  • Votive candle
  • Lighter
  • Scented oil
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About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.