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DIY Floating Citronella Candles

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Homemade Floating Citronella Candles are an easy DIY project for summer that is both practical and pretty! With just a handful of supplies, you can make these beautiful, customizable candles for your outdoor table settings this summer.

Side view of citronella candle in a glass mason jar with slices of lemon and sprigs of rosemary.

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What are Citronella Candles?

Citronella candles are candles made with the essential oils of different varieties of lemon balm which act as a natural insect repellant, making them the perfect choice for burning outside on a summer evening.

They also smell fantastic!

You can read about the further uses and health benefits of citronella oil here.

Closeup vertical view of floating citronella candle in a glass mason jar.


Create your own citronella candles with the following:

  • mason jars
  • water
  • lemon and lime slices
  • fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs (optional)
  • citronella essential oil
  • tea light or floating candle
  • ribbon or twine


Time needed: 5 minutes

How To Make Floating Citronella Candles

  1. Fill the jars with aromatics

    Place the fresh herbs in the bottom of the jars, if using.

  2. Add the water

    Pour water into each jar, stopping a few inches from the top.

  3. Add the citrus slices

    Add a couple of citrus slices to each jar.

  4. Add the citronella

    Add 10 drops of citronella oil to each jar, and top up with more water so the level is just below the top of each jar.

  5. Add the candles

    Add a floating candle or tea light to each jar, before decorating with twine or ribbon.


YouTube video

Frequently Asked Questions

Do these DIY Floating Citronella Candles protect against mosquitos?

Citronella is not an effective mosquito repellant so you should not rely on them where mosquito-carried disease is an immediate concern.

How long do these candles keep?

I would replace the oil, citrus and herbs (if using) every few days. Make them on a Friday evening and they will also the weekend, replacing the candles if they burn out.

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