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DIY Citronella Candles with Herbs

Easy tutorial for making DIY Citronella Candles with herbs for your summer outdoor entertaining. They smell wonderful and repel mosquitoes naturally.

diy citronella candles in mason jars

You all know how I feel about herbs…I love them. Since my herb garden is growing like crazy, I have been using the herbs for all sorts of things. My latest obsession is with these citronella herb floating candles. Not only do they keep the bugs away, they look and smell just lovely. I can’t decide what makes me happier…their scent or how pretty they looked lined up on my table. They are the perfect addition to any outdoor space. 

ingredients for diy citronella candles

*Some links lead to shops or websites where I am an affiliate. Click HERE for my full disclosure. 

How to make DIY Citronella Candles Candles:

  • Gather quart size mason jars and floating candles. (Tip: wide mouth jars allow room for a bigger candle.)
  • Harvest fresh herbs. Rosemary, basil, thyme and lavender work well.
  • Cut a lemon into slices and a lime into wedges. (Each jar gets two slices of lemon and one lime wedge.)

assembly of diy citronella candles bug off essential oilFill the jars in this order:

  1. Herbs. (I used a large sprig of rosemary, 3 basil leaves and a few stems of lavender.)
  2. Water. (fill to an inch below the lid rings.)
  3. 20 drops of essential oil. I used BUG OFF from Rocky Mountain Oils. You can also use pure citronella oil or lemongrass oil.
  4. One lime wedge.
  5. Two lemon slices.
  6. Floating candle.

diy citronella candles in mason jars with lemon slices

These DIY citronella candles last for about 3 days before the herbs and citrus start to go bad. If you make them up on Friday they will last for the entire weekend. For easy clean-up, just dump the jar contents down the garbage disposal and put the jars in the dishwasher. (Not the candle of course!)

diy citronella candles assembled and lit

These DIY citronella candles add the prettiest touch and take just a few minutes to put together. If you don’t have herbs of your own, just pick them up in the produce area of your grocery store. 

Thank you for stopping by and spending part of your day with me. If you consider Memorial Day the beginning of summer, and Labor Day the end, we are at the halfway mark. I dare say the second half of this summer will fly by…so get out there and enjoy it! 

More Ideas for Using Fresh Herbs

10 Ways to Use Rosemary!

Fruit & Herb Infused Water
Rosemary Parmesan Chicken
Simple Arrangements Using Herbs & Garden Flowers

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25 Comments

  1. Karen Howard says:

    These look so much nicer & most likely smell much better than those store bought Citronella Candles. Easy enough to make too. I used to be able to grow everything when I had my plots in 2 of the community gardens, but I can’t get there now & I had to give them up temp., but I sure do miss gardening. I have basil & mint plants on my windowsill because I am craving Watermelon Salads & Salsas & I add mint to that & Caprice Salads, so I need the basil for that, & I can obtain the other ingredients from my grocer & an herb shop that sells shrubs, tea & gifts as well as many other goodies. I love buying my Lavendar ( it is edible), & Plum Tea there. I sometimes add some Lavendar to my Earl Grey Tea along w/ Vanilla. It is Very Good Hot w/ milk or Iced without. I will definitely make these & give some as gifts. Thanks so much.😊

  2. Catching up on your blog, I came across “Citronella Herb Floating Candles.” I love this idea but would need to purchase herbs in the produce section. So… what’s the best way to store herbs? Refridgerator? Freezer? Or better to just keep at room temp? How long will they last?
    I think these would work indoors as well, just as lovely fragrant floating candles. Do you think they would even need the essential oil(s)?
    Always appreciate your beautiful photos and informative DIY ideas.
    Thanks, Ann.

    1. Just found Alton Brown’s (Cooking Channel) excellent tutorial for FRESH HERB STORAGE in the refrigerator.

    2. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Laurie! Glad you found the info about storing herbs. If you use the candles indoors, you definitely would not need the Bug Off oil. You could use rosemary or citrus essential oil instead for added aroma. Hope this helps!

  3. Julie Briones says:

    Gorgeous, Ann! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh, can’t wait to make these! They are beautiful and our mosquitoes are hungry.
    Thanks, Ann!

  5. Hi Ann~
    How long will the mixture last?
    I really like the idea of using fresh ingredients instead of spraying your area or yourself with bug spray.

    Thanks so much for this blog.
    Have a great day
    Rose

    1. Ann Drake says:

      If you don’t leave them outside, they last about three days. Thanks!

  6. Beautiful and functional! You’ve got such great ideas Ann. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I LOVE this idea! I may share with my bloggers. Thank you for continuing to come up with innovative ideas for herb uses.

  8. Pickle jars work well also!

  9. Marlene Stephenson says:

    These are great ideas, you are always coming up with really neat ideas. Will try, if it ever gets cooler here at night.

  10. Rebecca M says:

    I’m going to try this!

  11. So pretty and easy to make.

  12. Can’t wait to try these.Do you think if you wanted to use indoors you could use lemon oil plus herbs? I have recommended your blog to many of my friends,love your style & affordable ideas. Wishing you love & laughter.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Oh yes that’s a great idea! Any other essential oil would work for indoors. Rosemary would be amazing. Thanks so much!

  13. Oh I must try these…thanks for the recipe! We are getting eaten alive on our second story deck. Didn’t think mosquitoes flew that high! ;)

  14. I can’t wait to try these! They have got to smell better than the oil I’m burning in my Tiki torch. And they are a whole lot prettier.

  15. Hi Anne!
    I love this idea! Simple yet so useful!! Thank you!
    I luv your blog and all your posts so much! Everything’s is classy, simple, and yet so useful and very helpful! Your added suggestions and directives are so helpful in finding/gathering all of the items needed to complete the project! I get very excited waiting for your next post! I have recommended you to all my family and friends!! Thanks again and keep them coming!!! These are an awesome idea!!!

  16. Shirley@housepitality designs says:

    These are amazing…..truly the meaning of beautiful and functional!!! Thanks for the tutorial/recipe Ann!

  17. These are lovely. Our herbs are doing spectacular this year too. I just added a few to a flower arrangement last night. I used sage and savory. I even used the sage to help relieve a headache. Just running my fingers over the leaf and releasing the oils, the smell was SOOO soothing. I need to get some floating candles so I can make these next weekend. They’d be great for a party!

  18. These are beautiful, and I love all those scents – rosemary, basil & lavender! We’re not spending much time outdoors this summer, but when that changes, I will definitely pull out this “recipe for outdoor candles”! These would actually look lovely on an indoor dinner table too!! Thank you for this inspiration!

  19. This is a wonderful idea, thank you for sharing it. They look so pretty and I know will look and smell fantastic on my porch! I have old candle lantern jars from Keepers of the Light I can’t wait to use!

  20. Thank you for sharing. You’re the best????

  21. Great idea. Great to use the herbs we’ve n growing. You can always save the wide mouth mayonnaise jars. They make perfect containers.

    Thanks for sharing

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