Second-hand stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and local mom&pop shops are treasure troves of things to hack or repurpose. When you hack something you’re probably using it in a way in which it was never intended to be used so, there is always a risk that things might not go the way you planned. But since you can get items from second-hand stores on the cheap, you don’t care too much if you are disappointed with the results. Luckily, this "MacGyverism" was successful. I'll demonstrate how I converted an olive oil bottle into an alcohol lamp.

This build includes, glass, a flammable liquid (rubbing alcohol), boiling water, and fire so, given this lawsuit-happy country in which we live, I’ll borrow a quotation that appears at the beginning of every Mythbusters episode:

Adam Savage: Don’t try this at home.

Jaime Hyneman: EVER!

Adam Savage: We’re what you call "experts.”

I found this “Olive You!” olive oil bottle at Goodwill:


It reminded me of a Erlenmeyer flask. It's short and squat and stable with a wider base than top. The build is very simple. I added a small tiki torch (tabletop tiki torch) wick to the olive oil bottle and created an alcohol burner, or spirit lamp. Just add rubbing alcohol for fuel.