Making a Bright Betty Oil Lamp
(Part 3)

Dateline: 21 December 2016

In Part 1 of this series I introduced you to my Bright Betty emergency oil-lamp-in-a-jar. In Part 2 I told you about the materials I used to make my Bright Betty lamps. Now, here is a photo tutorial showing how I made the spiral wick holder and handle...

That last picture just serves to illustrate that the lamp can be easily carried from room to room and, in a room like the bathroom of my house, it will illuminate the area surprisingly well. Unfortunately, the bathroom light is on in the picture. I'm sure I took pictures of the room with the light off, but all of these were taken in 2010 and I can't find the light-off shots. :-(

One last thing... These lamps can also serve a decorative function. Fill them with citronella lamp oil and line them up on the railing of an outdoor deck on a quiet summer evening and they will lend a pleasant ambiance to the area.

This concludes the Bright Betty tutorial. CLICK HERE to go back to Part 1 of this series.


  1. Thanks Herrick, as always keep your ideas coming, neat stuff. We use oil lamps mostly, but I'm going to make 4 of these Betty's too and try them out. Appear to be much easier to carry around than the lamps. We were down your way (Hector) a couple weeks ago and wanted to eat at the diner, but alas it was closed, maybe next time....James Panos

  2. This is wonderful, Herrick! I am going to use this as the Industrial Arts Introduction (101?) for my son and daughter's homeschooling curriculum in the New Year. They are 8 and 6 yo respectively. Speaking of which, Merry Christmas and a blessed 2017 to your family.

  3. My husband & I live on an island that can see some pretty bad storms. We've been without power for up to a week. While eating in a Pub we saw an old brass oil lamp wall scone and the idea hit us to design our own wall scones using a napkin to draw our idea on while we ate. We had some left over seasoned Cherry wood from a mantel project and used the scraps for our project. They are beautiful and match our Shaker style furniture. The light and quietness is so calming. I don't run to start the generator any more. We just light the lamps and break out the board games and the good whiskey. We go to bed a little earlier and if the power hasn't come back on in the morning we make our coffee with our stove top percolator like we do every morning and after we down that we can deal with the generator then. Your idea is awesome and I can see a lot more areas that need some of these with our wall scones in my home!

    1. Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
      Sheri, I like your description of living simply. I want to live in such a simple, genuine way; it's very attractive to my simple mind. I'm glad for you and your hubby!

  4. I Herrick, I'm stealing this idea too! I have about 10-12 Alladin lamps from my grandparents and parents era. All have been updated to the newest burners, wicks , etc., All are in great shape and are covered top to bottom in brown paper bags and taped shut too keep the moisture and dirt off of them. But it would be a pain to undo all that on even one when the power goes out. So I am going to build four of these also. Guess I'll have to run down in the cellar and disconnect the standby Generator so I can use them. Or j just turn out all the lights and have at it!!

    Just picked the last of the Kale in the HT, Ate a bunch for lunch and the rest is in the dehydrator.

    Tomorrow I make all the pies and get all the veggies peeled and held overnight in ziplock bags of water. Also I usually make two bags of whole cranberry sauce with the grated rind of a whole orange and about a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. I could eat the whole bowl of that by myself and forget the rest of the stuff! Well, maybe a little raisin cornbread to put it on!

    Merry Christmas to you and your whole family and hope you have a great day. Best to you all , Everett & Verna

  5. Thank you for being so generous with sharing these three instructional posts.....and here I was about to go out and spend up on antique kerosene lamps