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DIY Citronella Candles For Summer

One of the best things about warmer weather is throwing parties outside! I love cooking on the grill and spending as much time as possible outdoors during the spring and summer months, but there is one thing I have little tolerance for: bugs. Particularly mosquitoes. I tend to shy away from using insect repellant, because I hate the smell and having it on my body. I prefer citronella candles to keep the bugs away – citronella oil is plant based and non-toxic, so you don’t have to feel bad about harming the environment. These candles also very easy to make at home! Plus this way you can put them in whatever type of container you want and make large batches of citronella candles for summer parties.

citronella candle supplies

What you need: Wax (I used soy wax for two candles and I also used the remainder of my block of wax from this project – both from AC Moore), candle wicks, containers for your candles, Krazy glue, and citronella oil. I ordered the citronella oil from here, and I also picked up some eucalyptus oil to mix in. If you don’t want the citronella scent to be too strong, I recommend mixing in a second oil.

how to make your own candles

Start by adhering the wick to the bottom of your candle containers with Krazy glue. Melt the wax in a pot over the stove at a low heat – I recommend having a dedicated pot for stuff like this. Remove the wax from the heat as soon as it has fully melted, and at this point mix in your essential oils. I used about ten drops of the citronella oil and five drops of eucalyptus. Pour the wax into your containers and place them in the refrigerator or freezer – they’ll harden in just a few hours!

how to make citronella candles

homemade candles

This is a great way to re-use old mason jars!

homemade citronella candles

homemade citronella candles

homemade citronella candles

homemade citronella candles

The addition of eucalyptus makes these smell much better than store-bought citronella candles, and they’re far prettier too! I’m sure I’ll be making lots of these for the summer months ahead :).

More DIY projects from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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Wendy -April 24, 2013, 8:54AM

This is awesome, thank you for sharing!

Jessie -April 24, 2013, 9:58AM

I’ll have to make these soon! :)

If you want a nice-smelling bug spray though, try the one from Burt’s Bees. It has a great herbal scent and doesn’t smell like a typical bug spray at all!

Victoria -April 24, 2013, 11:09AM

Love that you used soy wax… vegan candles FTW :)

Meg -April 24, 2013, 11:28AM

These are WAY prettier than the ones you buy at the store.

inspirational bracelets -April 24, 2013, 1:55PM

Very good way to reuse mason jars. Great way to light the garden for summer time.

Shelley -April 25, 2013, 12:27AM

Such a good idea! These candles wouldn’t only help ward off mosquitoes, they would also create a lovely ambiance.

Inspire Me Heather -April 25, 2013, 7:40AM

Your candles would be perfect for the patio – thanks!

alix -April 25, 2013, 12:22PM

So fun! Do you have any tips for cleaning the pot you melt the wax in?

shirlene -April 27, 2013, 8:15PM

A good bug spray is Lavender essential oil and water in a spray bottle. Lavender is a natural bug repellent.

Lauren -April 30, 2013, 10:49AM

A good way to clear out candle jars is to warm up the glass in the oven. The wax turns soft and poof! it’s super easy to scoop out :) I always keep the jars from my candles and use them as storage or as a jar for a homemade candle!

Candle Supply -May 1, 2013, 8:56AM

Great pics Julia, very well done. Where did you get the Krazy glue, and citronella oil from?

Going to give it go :) These would love great in my Garden in the summer. I’ve got some spray instead of the oil, that could work.

Sarah Midland

RhaunDel -June 12, 2013, 12:00PM

Can you color the wax? If so, what would you use, food coloring? Where is an inexpensive place to purchase essential oil scents?

Brittany -June 17, 2013, 5:12AM

I found citronella oil at whole foods!

Gmat -June 19, 2013, 10:22AM


I haven’t made the candles yet, but I have looked into it and some other sites have recommended using real Crayola crayon chips for added color. You just melt the chips with your wax – the more crayon you use, the deeper the color. Like I said, I haven’t tried it, but it might work.

Ken -June 20, 2013, 1:55PM

There are wax dyes, etc at Hobby Lobby. Citronella oil is available at Lowe’s, Home Depot and Hobby Lobby.

Courtney -June 27, 2013, 8:07PM

I love this idea! I can’t wait to try it. I actually just posted a DIY tip about how to make your own gel candles. You guys should definitely check it out and share more of these great tips at

Frances Yniguez Miranda -June 29, 2013, 5:48PM

To clean pots after use or candle containers place in fridge for about 1/2 hour and push wax out with a old butter knife. Wash pan but only use it for melting wax it won’t be good to use it for anything else. Thank you all for the great ideas

Sarah -July 9, 2013, 5:02PM

I am in love with this blog! What about a post on making a wind chime?

Lisa Flurie -July 11, 2013, 4:17PM

I would like to make these with beeswax and have the perfect mold. How many drop of citronella oil do you use per ounce of wax. Thanks

rosie -September 29, 2013, 8:37PM

We use the candle outside when partying at night

salsa dancing -November 9, 2013, 2:19PM

Thanks for this inspiring content. I really enjoyed it lots.
What you have done is actually pretty inspirational.

This is really great content. I would like to use your style to better
my own content on my website.

Hayley -February 18, 2014, 11:29AM

Where did you get the soy wax and wicks?

Rookayan -May 1, 2014, 1:18AM

It’s really interesting, I would like to know how to proceed from making candles the raw one. Thanking you.

Simone -June 12, 2014, 11:37AM

I also make my own citronella candles. I order my oils from Nature Garden Candles or Candle Science though, it’s much cheaper than Amazon! I also use wax and such from AC Moore and MIchaels too when I am in a pinch and don’t have any wax left from my online supplier. Great tips and info. I love the Citronella Candles. I make mine with Citronella and Lime! Makes the Citronella much stronger. Just thought I’d share. I am going to try it your way with the Eucalyptus Oil and Citronella too!

Chris -June 22, 2014, 9:25AM

Hate to throw a wrench in the works, but soy is horrible for us! Yes, you are not ingesting the candle however, when it burns you are breathing in whatever burns off in the air. Just an FYI. Also, you can use old candles to make new ones! Put them in a coffee can, put that in a pot of water over a low flame and as it melts, you can pick any debris out. Much cheaper than buying wax as you can always get candles at thrift stores. You can also use a heavy cotton thread or yarn as a wick. Tie a small washer to the end and drop it into your container. So many great ways to do DIY projects much more cheaply than buying new products!!!!

Trish -July 21, 2014, 6:59AM

@Chris : yes you can do this much cheaper by going to second hand shops etc but for someone who has never done it before they are better off by getting the right things in the beginning,gaining confidence in what they are doing and then look at how to do it much cheaper.I do it much cheaper now but i make candles and melts anyway but friends save jars and suitable containers for me,they also save their left over candles for me to recycle. Yes you can use crayola crayons to colour the candles but sometimes you can get a residue on the top,but if you are doing them for yourself this rearly doesn’t matter.I have just poured a lot of citronella candles,just waiting for them to set then will be giving them to friends as just at the moment flies are a pest both inside and out.

Janet -September 12, 2014, 7:34PM

Hi ya

What a great tutorial and i love how you recycled small glass jars. They look so cute and i have a few from baby food so i hope to try your tutorial soon. Turning baby food jars into cute Citronella candles who would of thought.

Glad i found your blog today

Thanks for sharing


granola -November 19, 2014, 8:27AM

I am coming late to the party, so to speak. After reading some of the comments, I just wanted to mention one thing about coloring. Although most people now enjoy the simple eleganice that the look of soy brings , if you want to color your candles, do Not use crayons. Although they are fun to use for kids to play with candle making, they tend to clog the wick. So soon after using, you will no longer be able to keep your candle lit. It is worth the few dollars (at most) to go to a craft store and buy only candle dye. It comes in chips, blocks, powder, or liquid

E-Jhay -January 29, 2015, 9:37PM

i like it and thanks for the tip and this will really help us to lessen mosquitos in our opening for the gym this february 2015. Gracias!

Cait -April 21, 2015, 6:48PM

Just ordered the soy wax to make these. Thank you so much!

Kelli -May 29, 2015, 9:30PM

I’m making these right now and I krazy glued the wick to the bottom of my mason jar and it was stuck. I melted the wax. Poured in oils and poured in jar. Immediately the wick became undone. Any help? It didn’t stick.

stehen -November 28, 2015, 2:35PM

Its really interesting post. I haven’t try it yet but i will surely try this out. Most of my parties I use PrestigeCandles . Because it gives gorgeous looks. but now i think for outside party citronella candles would be best.

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