Homemade scented candles are satisfying (and simple) to make, and here’s another option: making a DIY citronella candle! Make the most of warm weather and nights with friends with one of these beauties.
- A pretty canister! Pick one that you love, in metal or ceramic. I was drawn to this gold ceramic canister with a white interior.
- Candle wax, broken into pieces. Soy wax makes for a nicer, longer-lasting candle in my opinion, but paraffin wax melts very easily and it’s considerably cheaper. (You can even reuse old, unscented candles for this purpose – just break them into pieces with a hammer.)
- Citronella essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil (optional, but the scent is nice)
- Cotton twine and a metal wick base
- Popsicle stick or wooden skewer
- Saucepan that you don’t mind using for crafts only
You can find most of these materials at a crafts store, so don’t worry if they seem like they’d be out of the way. The essential oils can be found at a health foods store or online.
Making the candle won’t take very long at all:
- Melt the wax in the pot, on a low temperature.
- Thread the twine through the metal wick base and crimp it shut with pliers. When the wax has melted, dip the wick to coat it in wax.
- Stir a splash of essential oil into the melted wax – enough for the scent to waft upwards. You want the smell to be noticeable.
- Pour the melted wax into your canister, leaving at least 3/4″ clearance from the rim.
- Place the wick into the center of the canister, making the metal base touch the bottom. Wrap the remainder of the wick around a popsicle stick to keep the wick centered and upright while the wax dries.
- Once the wax is dry, trim the wick to 1/2″ long.
I used paraffin wax with this candle, and you can see that it dries very quickly. This has its benefits and drawbacks, but the main consideration is that you’ll want to make sure the wick is placed properly.
My DIY citronella candle is finished, it’s lit and it’s keeping the mozzies at bay. (I had a curious cat come to investigate the new object I set on her patio, but I haven’t had any other creatures approach it.) It’s the finishing touch in the outdoor entertaining area, and just like the scented candles I made for Mother’s Day, it becomes quite cost-effective if you have the supplies to make several candles at once. House-warming gifts, anyone?