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DIY Citronella Candles

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Make your own easy DIY Citronella Candle to help keep the bugs and mosquitoes at bay this summer!

text reading diy citronella candle over photo of white candle in mason jar

DIY Citronella Candle Tutorial

I’ve already shared with you all the 7 plants that repel mosquitoes but in case that post didn’t convince you how truly anti-bug bite my stance is, I’ve got a backup project today that’s actually a pretty fun and cute craft-DIY Citronella candles.

A close up of DIY citronella candle next to citronella essential oil

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Yield: 1

DIY Citronella Candle

candle in mason jar with text reading diy citronella candle

Make your own easy DIY Citronella Candle to help keep the bugs and mosquitoes at bay this summer!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $10


  • mason jar-size of your choosing
  • smokeless candle wicks
  • flaked soy wax
  • Citronella Essential Oil


  • microwave safe glass container or double boiler
  • skewer or pencil


    1. Make sure your mason jar is clean and dry. Microwave soy wax in a glass container for approximately 2 minutes, checking every 30 seconds. Note-for my small jar I was able to melt my soy wax in the microwave, if you are doing a large jar you may want to use a double boiler instead. I melted my wax in 1 cup increments and my jar took 2.5 cups total.
    2. While your wax is melting prepare your wick by placing it on the bottom center of the jar and wrapping any excess around a skewer or pencil balanced on the top rim of the jar.  This keeps your wick in place while your wax hardens.wick in empty mason jar with top wrapped around skewer balanced on the top of the jar
    3. When wax is fully melted add 10 drops per cup of Citronella Essential Oil per every 2.5 cups of melted wax.hand holding bottle of citronella oil above measuring cup and mason jar
    4. Carefully pour the wax into the candle mold. If the wick gets disturbed put it back in place before the wax cools.glass measuring cup pouring melted wax into mason jar
    5. Allow the wax to dry undisturbed for 4-5 hours or until firm.homemade candle in mason jar with wick wrapped around skewer on top rim


Hot wax can burn, handle with care!

The fun thing is you can easily make any kind of scented candle you want by replacing the citronella with other essential oils. Add some pretty fabric and bakers twine and you have a perfect hostess gift or even a candle wedding favor! (See another version of Mosquito Repellant candles here.)

diy candle gift

Am I the only one with a multi-pronged mosquito defense plan? Tell me I’m not!!

This blog post was originally published in June 2014 and updated in July 2020.

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  1. Hi. I just wanted to let you know that your link for the smokeless candle wicks does not take you to candle wicks. It is showing some picture of a charger of some sort.

  2. Hi! I was just wondering if the candle was really good with getting the bugs away. Has anyone tried it?

  3. Hello. The blog says you melted the wax in 1 cup increments but the candle took 2.5 cups altogether. Are you using 10 drops of YL Citronella oil per cup or for the entire 2.5 cups of wax? Thanks!

  4. I know you said you only recommend young living essential oils, what do you think of the Now brand essential oils? Now and young living are the brands I see the most. Would now be an option to use? It’s easier to buy for me because it’s available at the health store where young living I have to order. And what would you suggest doing to give the candle some color? Thanks!

    1. Hi Danielle,

      I don’t have any experience with Now brand oils-for a candle I don’t think it would matter but for some of my other projects like body butter or lip balm I would only recommend Young Living because you’re actually putting the oil on your body. In my experience most of the essential oils found in health stores are more like fragrances and say on the bottles that they aren’t for ingestion which makes me wary of how I’m using it. Young Living oils are therapeutic grade and most can safely be ingested so that’s why I’m most comfortable with them. But like I said, for a candle I don’t think it’s an issue.

    1. Shannon, it is important to mix your oils with your wax while it is cooling on the lower end of 130. There are % restrictions on melts that are different from candles. Most candles are 3-7% oil to a pound of wax.

  5. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest blogs on the net.
    I am going to highly recommend this site!

  6. Hi, I was wondering about how many cups of wax is in the 2lb bag or how many candles one bag would make? Thank you

    1. For the size candle I made I think the 2 lb bag would make 4 Stephanie…I think if I was going to make a lot of these I’d buy in bulk, but still cheaper than store bought citronella candles!

      1. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing! We made these at my make and take class and they turned out perfect. I ended up using 4 oz tins from amazon. Love these little candles! =)

          1. Hi Melissa! I love the idea Stephanie had with the tins but just wanted to be sure that was ok to use verses glass? Also do you think Lemongrass would be a good one to use? Young Living of course:) Thanks!

          2. I think you’re safe as long as it isn’t made in plastic! And yes, I think Lemongrass would be another great option to keep away insects!

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