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Make a DIY Citronella Candle to Repel Insects

Dinah Wulf
Written by Dinah Wulf
Updated July 19, 2016
citronella candle on patio table
When entertaining outside, use citronella candles to keep bugs away. (Photo courtesy of Dinah Wulf/DIY Inspired)

Learn how to make a DIY candle that will repel mosquitoes all summer long.

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Citronella beeswax candles are ideal during the summer months because they repel insects and are natural and slow burning. With one hour and the following supplies, you can make four small candles.

Materials and tools needed

  • 14 ounces beeswax

  • 4 drops citronella oil

  • 4 drops eucalyptus oil

  • Candle wicks 

  • Wooden skewers

  • Small rubber bands

  • Small clay pots

  • Paintbrush (optional)

  • Acrylic paint (optional)

  • Duct tape

  • Cutting board

  • Sharp knife

  • Glass measuring cup

  • Pot

  • Pot holder or oven mitt

  • Scissors

Making your DIY citronella candles

Choose your vessel. Small clay jars work nicely, but you can use any holder that will withstand heat, such as glass jars or tin cans. To add some color to match your decor, consider painting the clay pots with acrylic craft paint.

painting clay pots with acrylic paint
Photo courtesy of Dinah Wulf/DIY Inspired

Next, cut your beeswax. Beeswax comes in pellets and blocks. You can purchase a 14-ounce block at a craft or hobby store. Using a cutting board and sharp knife, carefully cut the beeswax into small pieces.

cutting beeswax
Photo courtesy of Dinah Wulf/DIY Inspired

Melt the beeswax using a double broiler or glass measuring cup and pot. If you’re using the measuring cup, fill the pot halfway with water, and place the glass measuring cup inside. Turn the burner on to a medium-high heat. Place the beeswax inside the cup. 

melting beeswax
Photo courtesy of Dinah Wulf/DIY Inspired

Allow the wax to melt completely. This may take up to 30 to 40 minutes. If you’re using a thermometer, the wax should be melted at 145 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the wax is melting, prepare the clay pots. Place a piece of duct tape over the hole to prevent the wax from leaking out.

preparing clay pots for DIY citronella candle
Photo courtesy of Dinah Wulf/DIY Inspired

Place a wick in between one wooden skewer cut in half. Measure the length by placing it inside the pot, pinching the sticks together so that they hold the wick, and then securing each end with small rubber bands. Small children’s rubber hair ties work very well. With this method, the wick will stay centered and in place without having to be taped to the bottom of the pot.

making DIY candles
Photo courtesy of Dinah Wulf/DIY Inspired

When the wax is melted, add citronella oil and eucalyptus oil. Stir the mixture with a wooden skewer.

adding essential oils to beeswax
Photo courtesy of Dinah Wulf/DIY Inspired

Carefully pour the wax into the clay pots using an oven mitt, making sure the wick stays centered.

Allow the wax to cool completely, then remove the duct tape.

making DIY candles
Photo courtesy of Dinah Wulf/DIY Inspired

These candles look and smell great on your outdoor patio. They are also convenient to take camping or can even be packaged together and given as a hostess gift. Best of all, they keep the insects away.

DIY citronella candle in clay pot
Photo courtesy of Dinah Wulf/DIY Inspired

By changing the type of wax and adding different oils, you can make a variety of different scents to meet your purpose.

What essential oils would you add to your DIY candle? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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