In this quick tutorial, we show how to create DIY citronella candles at home. Citronella candles are a patio stable in the summer. They not only shine a lovely light when the day turns to dusk, but citronella oils fight off mosquitos and bugs. Make sure to use citronella essential oil since citronella oil is said to repel insects but not the fragrance. The instructions work both with soy wax and paraffin wax. Make sure the wick is suitable for your choice of wax and size of the container. And for gift giving, decorate the candles with our printable citronella candle labels that you can download below this post.
The Polperro Lemon series
DIY Citronella Candles
You can also add additional essential oils to the candles such as lavender, peppermint or rosemary.
- soy or paraffin wax (We used soy wax flakes.)
- citronella essential oil
- yellow candle dye (optional)
- wicks and wick holders or pre-tabbed waxed wicks
- glue dots or hot glue
- heatproof containers (e.g. glass tumblers, canning jars or candle tins)
- printable candle labels (download below)
1) Prep the jars
Shorten the wick, so it’s a little longer than the container of your choice. Thread it through a wick holder and affix firmly at the bottom of the container using glue dots or hot glue. Place the containers on a baking tray (sheet) and keep in the oven set at the lowest temperature until you are ready to pour the wax.
Info: Warming the containers helps the wax to evenly distribute in the container.
2) Melt the wax
Set up a double boiler by placing a heatproof metal or glass bowl on top of a pot filled 1/3 with water and ensure the water doesn’t reach the bottom of the bowl. Add the soy wax to the bowl and bring the water to a mild boil. Be mindful of hot steam rising from the pot at the side of the bowl. Heat and stir until the wax has fully melted and no solids remain in the bowl.
3) Scent and colour the wax
Add 30 ml (1 fl oz) to 45 ml (1.5 fl oz) of citronella essential oil to 450 – 500 g (1 lb) of wax and stir in yellow candle dye. Keep in mind that the candle will be much lighter in colour once cooled.
4) Pour the candles
Set the wax aside to cool for a little while. Then carefully fill each container 1 cm (0.4 in) below the top of the container. Be careful that the wicks stay in the centre of the container. Turn off the oven and return the container to the still warm oven for a couple of hours or overnight night. Allowing the wax to cool slowly will create the best-looking result and helps to avoid cracks. If an indentation form around the wick re-melt leftover wax and fill up the dent.
5) Cure the candles
Allow the candles to cure at a cool place for at least 48 hours before burning. When burning the candle for the first time, let the entire surface of the candle melt to the edges of the container before blowing the candle out, so the candle will burn evenly every time.
Materials: essential oils, soy wax
Print and apply the printable labels
Print the labels on DIN A4 or letter size sticker paper or self-adhesive paper and cut out along the grey outline. Remove the backing of the paper and adhere to the designated lid or container.
Free Printable Candle Labels
Click on the button to download your free printable labels to decorate your DIY citronella candles!
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