It’s summertime and that means lots of time spent outdoors. Here in Texas we had a very wet Spring which means the bugs are out in full force this year! We do everything we can to keep them at bay and one of my favorite ways is to make Homemade Citronella Candles!
Most of the citronella candles you buy in the stores are made from synthetic citronella. Personally I think real citronella is more effective and I like that it’s totally natural. I use Citronella Essential Oil. You can learn more about the kind I use here.
If you don’t love the smell of Citronella there are several other scents that repel biting bugs including:
- Tea Tree
Personally, I love to mix either Citronella and Peppermint or Citronella and Lavender together in my candles. The Peppermint gives it a fresh clean scent and lavender seems more soothing and is perfect for those summer nights. Homemade Citronella Candles are super easy to make. Let’s dive right on in:
- Container for your candle (I love to use Weck jars but colored mason jars, old candle holders, tin tea canisters, small galvanized pails… anything will work!)
- Microwave-safe container (I use an old, glass spaghetti sauce jar.)
- Wax Chips (or from Michael’s)
- Glue Gun
- Wicks (or from Michael’s)
- Citronella Essential Oil or other fragrance
Step 1: First grab your wick. Add a little glue to the bottom and adhere it to the middle of your container.
Step 2: Wrap the wick around a straw and lay it across the top of the container. This keeps the wick straight.
Step 3: Add wax chips to a microwave safe container. I use wax chips because they are much easier to melt than the wax blocks. Wax chips significantly shrink in size once they melt so you need much more than you think. For my small Weck jar, I needed the entire spaghetti sauce jar and you can see it still wasn’t quite full enough.
Step 4: Melt the wax chips in the microwave for 5 minutes stirring every 1 minute until melted. Your microwave may take more or less time. I have a 1000-watt oven. Also, be careful removing the wax because the container will be hot. You can melt them in your double boiler instead of the microwave but I’m lazy and hate cleaning the wax off my pots
Step 5: Carefully pour the wax into your candle container. Make sure not to disturb the wick and check that it is straight once the wax has been poured.
Step 6: Add your essential oils. The amount really depends on the person. I like mine strong in the hopes that it will scent our large patio. I use 25 drops of Citronella and 15-20 drops of Lavender. I think Peppermint is stronger so if I’m making a candle with that, I only use 5-10 drops.
Step 7: Let the candle set. This can take a while. You may want to periodically check it to make sure your wick isn’t slipping and that there are no air bubbles. I usually just tap the jar on the counter to get the air bubbles out.
Step 8: Trim the wick to about 1/2″ and put your new candle to work!
That’s it! Making the candle took me about 10 minutes. The setting took a little longer, about 2 hours, but it’s a pretty simple project. I love using these in the summertime and making them myself is so much better than buying the ones at the store!