DIY Citronella Candles with Herbs

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An easy tutorial for making DIY Citronella Candles with herbs for your summer outdoor entertaining. They smell wonderful, and repel mosquitoes + flying pests naturally.

diy citronella candles in mason jars 2022

You all know how I feel about herbs…I love them. I love candles too, and these citronella herb floating candles are the perfect blend of both. Not only do they keep the bugs away, they look and smell just lovely, and no candle making skills are needed! I can’t decide what makes me happier…their scent, or how pretty they looked lined up on my table. They make spending time outdoors pleasant and bug-free.

diy citronella candles ingredients 2022

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What You Need for 4 Candles

  • Gather 4 quart size mason jars and 4 floating candles.
  • Harvest fresh herbs. Rosemary, basil, thyme, mint, and bay leaf are perfect. Eucalyptus and lavender are good additions as well.
  • Cut one lemon into slices and one lime into quarters. (Each jar gets two slices of lemon and one lime wedge.)
diy citronella candles 2022

Assembly Instructions

Assemble your citronella candles in the following order:

  1. Herbs. These go in the bottom of the jar.
  2. Add water. (Fill to an inch below the lid rings.)
  3. Add 20 drops of essential oil.
  4. Gently stir the water and essential oil together.
  5. Add one lime wedge.
  6. Add two lemon slices.
  7. Place the floating candle on top. (Double check that the wick is in good shape before adding the candle to the jar.)

Suggestions for Supplies

  • It’s best to use wide mouth mason jars because they allow room for a bigger candle. Any kind of clear bowl or pitcher can also be used.
  • The best essentials oils to use in these citronella candles are citronella oil, lemongrass, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus.
  • Fresh herbs work best: rosemary, basil, lavender, mint, cilantro, or thyme.
citronella candles in mason jars 2022

How Long Do These Candles Last?

These DIY homemade 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.

How Do You Dispose of These Candles?

Method 1:

Pour the jar contents down the garbage disposal (a little at a time) and put the glass jars in the dishwasher. (Not the candle of course!)

Method 2:

Remove the candle. Drain the water from the jar. Place the remaining jar contents in the trash. Put the jars in the dishwasher.

citronella candle herbs lemon slices 2022

These mosquito repellent candles add the prettiest ambiance to any outdoor deck or patio, and they take just a few minutes to put together. The natural ingredients in these candles let you avoid bug sprays, and they keep the insects away. If you don’t have herbs of your own, just pick them up in the produce area of your grocery store, when you’re shopping for the lemons and limes!

More Ideas for Using Fresh Herbs

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  1. Can I use these candles indoors?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Yes! My only advice would be to possibly leave the Citronella oil out of the water if you don’t want the scent. Enjoy!

  2. I love this idea and they look beautiful. I will be doing this for my next out door get together.

  3. I have everything but the lime! Great idea! Making them for sure. Thanks!

  4. 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.😊

  5. 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!

  6. Julie Briones says:

    Gorgeous, Ann! Thanks for sharing!

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

  8. 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

    1. Ann Drake says:

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

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

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

  11. Pickle jars work well also!

  12. 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.

  13. Rebecca M says:

    I’m going to try this!

  14. So pretty and easy to make.

  15. 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!

  16. 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! ;)

  17. 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.

  18. 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!!!

  19. Shirley@housepitality designs says:

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

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

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

  24. 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