With the backyard being finished, we’re serious about enjoying it. We’ve been spending a TON of time outside grilling, hanging, relaxing, and soaking up every last bit of summertime. I love being outside, but there’s one thing that instantly puts me in a bad mood… mosquitos. I’m one of those people they swarm to. I’m not sure if it’s my blood type or what, but they seriously eat me alive. They can make summer pretty miserable. Aside from treating our yard and drenching myself in bug spray, I’ve been burning citronella candles while chilling in the yard and they really help! I wanted to share an easy recipe for DIY citronella candles and how I find cool vessels for them. Click through for the details…
First of all, I’m all about recycling vases, planters, and used candle containers that I already have. If one of your favorite candles is burned to the quick and totally gone, pop it in the freezer overnight (it will loosen the wax from the edges), then dump the wax and it’s ready for a refill. Odds are, most of the things I already have on hand, I bought because of their aesthetic. Therefore, they’ll go from vase, to candle, then back to a vase or planter again.
Anyway- back to the candles! Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Soy wax flakes
- Citronella oil
- Glass measuring cup
- Medium sized saucepan, for heating wax
- Vases, glass tumblers, or planters
- Wooden spoon
- Scotch tape
Step 1 // Prep your glasses. Clean your existing vessels and add a wick to the center of each glass. Push the wick through the metal bottom, securing it in place with the sticky wax.
Next, make a web with scotch tape to hold the wick in place. Feel free to add multiple wicks, depending on the size of your container.
Step 2 // Melt the wax and add fragrance. In a medium size saucepan, heat the wax flakes until they are completely smooth and the liquid looks pure and golden.
This is what it will look like once it’s totally melted…
Add around 10-12 drops of citronella oil and continue to stir. You can add more or less depending on how potent you like your candles. I’m all about adding a little bit more for extra mosquito protection, but the candles will have a much stronger aroma.
Once the liquid and fragrance are completely combined, pour the melted wax into a large glass measuring cup. This will make transferring the liquid to the vessels much easier!
Carefully fill each container with the citronella soy wax.
Step 3 // Allow the candles to cool completely. It’s important to leave the candles alone as they solidify! Resist the urge to move them, shake them, or touch them until they’re completely solid. Otherwise, you will end up with lumpy looking candles.
Step 4 // Trim the wicks. Once your candles are fully set up (approximately 4-6 hours), you can trim the wicks. I recommend cutting it just below the top of the container on a slight angle.
That’s it! Easy peasy. Citronella candles are a great addition to any patio or backyard space and they’re super functional. I like a little ambiance at night with twinkle lights and lit candles anyway… mosquito protection is just an added bonus.
These also make great gifts. You could even do tea light sizes and install them in something like my friend Erin’s clay fabric votives. Coming into fall, I’ll make another batch but use a different fragrance and burn them inside- just switch out the citronella to a different essential oil. One other alternative to keep the bugs away? Check out these cute mosquito repellent tiki torches. If you have any questions, please comment below! I’m happy to help.