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.


  1. 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!

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

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

  6. RhaunDel,

    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.

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

  8. 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

  9. Thanks for this inspiring content. I really enjoyed it lots.
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  10. 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!

  11. 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!!!!

  12. @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.

  13. 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


  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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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