Quirky Kitsch Citronella Candles

Quirky Kitsch Citronella Candles

Sitting outside from June through August is not, admittedly, my favorite way to pass time. I have a chronic case of “humidity hair” paired with a damp “Southern glow” all summer long, which means that air conditioning is my seasonal BFF.

But, every so often, we’ll get a luxuriously cool front here in the foothills which knocks down the temperatures and snuffs out the humid air. But you know what continues to persist no matter what?

Mosquitos. The skeeters. Those blood-sucking bugs and all their little friends.

So I decided to try my hand at DIY citronella candles as a way to stave off a biting attack. In true Sadie form, I decided to use natural, local beeswax (renewable resource! No petroleum!) and used kitsch-y thrifted vintage pieces (planters, etc.) as my candleholders. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Vintage planters and vases for repurposing into DIY citronella candles / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Vintage planters and vases, Made in Japan…thrifted on the cheap. Yes, these’ll do…

Making a Citronella Candle

For my beeswax, I certainly could have ordered some online…but I decided to use raw, unfiltered, local beeswax from The Carolina Honey Bee Company, located in nearby Travelers Rest.

Raw local beeswax from The Carolina Honey Bee Company / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Ready for candle-making!

Because it was raw wax, I needed to filter it before making my candles. Raw beeswax is filled with…well, any number of things…including bee parts. Not pretty in a candle!

So, to filter the wax, I melted it down (keep reading to find out my melting method), and poured it through clean rags/t-shirts. I didn’t need fancy molds, so I simply used a recyclable aluminum pan from the grocery store.

Filtered beeswax for candle making / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Prettier AND more manageable…

To prep for candle making, I gathered my roll of wick and some wick clips.

Candlemaking supplies for DIY citronella candles in vintage planters / www.sadieseasongoods.com

I’ll have a LOT of wick left…

I threaded wick into each clip, pinched the end with pliers, and used a bead of glue to hold the clip in place at the bottom of each of my candle-holders-to-be.

Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Prepping for wax…

To keep the wicks in place (straight and up), I sandwiched them between coffee stirrers and taped the stirrer ends together. And because my containers aren’t perfectly smooth/even, I then taped the stirrers to the holders to keep them from sliding off.

Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Coming together nicely…

To melt my filtered wax, I used a very simple double boiler using a clean aluminum can. I filled a sauce pan with an inch of water and turned the burner to high. Then, I placed my beeswax in the can and placed that in the water. Ta-da!

Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Make bean soup the week before and save the cans!

Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Super simple, but perfectly effective, DIY double boiler for melting wax.

**Note/hint: Keep a measuring cup of water nearby to add periodically to the pan. The shallow amount of boiling water (which is all you can have at a time to keep the can from floating/tipping over) will try and boil away on you! So add water periodically to keep a constant depth.**

Once the wax melted, I gathered my essential oils- citronella and tea tree.

Citronella and Tea Tree Essential Oil / www.sadieseasongoods.com

The inexpensive kind…from Whole Foods.

Now, I’m going to admit that I added an arbitrary, uncounted number of drops as I melted the wax. After each “tab” of wax was melted, I removed the can from the double-boiler (wearing an oven mitt!); added many, many drops of tea tree and citronella oils; and once I could really catch the aroma of the oils in the wax, I stopped and carefully poured the wax into each waiting holder.

I feel like I’ve let you down since I didn’t keep track of how many drops I used! But at the end of the day, I think best judgment will suit your candles just fine. And the reason I used tea tree oil is because it can have a similar deterring effect on insects and I prefer the scent over citronella! Mixing them produces an effective, but less pungent odor (in my opinion).

Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Cooling off period!

The Big Reveal

After a few hours of cooling/hardening, I simply snipped off the wick just beneath the coffee stirrers and they were ready to go!

Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Almost done…

Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

All done!

I’m pretty sure this is the cutest candle I’ve ever seen!

Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Oh the cuteness!

So, this means that on cooler summer evenings, I can enjoy my magazines…my wine…my funky little candles…and far fewer mosquito bites in the end.

Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Ahhh….bug free at last!

Gotta love that!

Craft on!

S


 

PIN ME!Creating DIY citronella beeswax candles for summer in vintage planters by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Comments

  1. chris aka monkey says:

    i pinned the cuteness i am in love with this xx

  2. Well those are just adorable! What a great idea!

    Tania

  3. I love this idea. What a great way to repurpose all those adorable vintage planters. Thanks so much for sharing at Vintage Inspiration Party.

  4. Adorable and oh so fun. What a great way to use such fun and pretty planters.

  5. Love this crafty idea! And they are super cute! Thanks so much for sharing on Dream. Create. Inspire. Link. Pinning:)

  6. These are great!!!

  7. These are so cute! You have officially sold me on needing to get some essential oils! (And given me an excuse to go thrifting! lol)

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Thanks!! Yes, they can come in handy for projects here and there. I don’t plan on going over board on my collection, but I do like having a few on hand!

  8. You’re right, these are super quirky, but adorable! I love tea tree oil, and was wondering where to get inexpensive essential oils so thanks for sharing!

  9. These are so sweet! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  10. Jann Olson says:

    Great idea and it’s so fun to use the vintage planters! thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  11. Both my partner and my Grandmothers had these donkey’s. What a good revamp for them!!

  12. Sarah,

    I love that little donkey citronella candle. It’s just too darn cute.

    catching you!
    gail

  13. Thanks SO MUCH for dropping by and sharing this at my Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party. I really appreciate your participation. (I needed to have made one of these for sitting on our patio tonight!)

    Nina

  14. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Those are the cutest candles! And I love using planters in unexpected ways!

  15. swood97 says:

    I am willing to admit that I have purchased those same adorable vintage flower holders from thrift stores just waiting for a fun way to use them! Now I found it! I’m featuring this post at the new Merry Monday party beginning tonight! Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  16. Love these homemade candles! And the addition of citronella makes it even better! Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Thursday!

  17. I seriously cannot get over HOW CUTE these are — and how practical they are!

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Thanks, Heather! And half the fun is finding something funky from the thrift store to use as your candleholder!

  18. This is definitely a neat idea!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  19. I love the idea of using the vintage planters! So kitsch! Those pesky mosquitoes keep me in during the summer up here in the northeast, as well.

  20. Sarah, these a both adorable and very useful here in the south. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm. Tweeted, pinned, and shared on FB. sb

  21. How adorable! I absolutely love the vintage thrift store finds! And this is such an awesome and creative way to re-purpose them! I’m definitely adding this to my list of ideas! I’m so glad I came across your post at #welcomehomewednesdays!

  22. Such a fun and cute way to repurpose those knicky knacks of questionable taste, lol! They’re darling!
    Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday!

    Mollie

  23. This takes me back to my aromatherapy days thanks for the memories!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Quirky Kitsch Citronella Candles […]

  2. […] cute is this vintage planter into a citronella candle holder by Sadie […]

  3. […] luck at each one! From framed crewel pieces to kitschy planters made in Japan(that I used for my Citronella Candles project), I could see myself making a day just going from one KARM store to […]

Have a question or like what you see? Please let me know!

%d bloggers like this: