Make a Citronella Candle by Upcycling a Mason Jar

Citronella candle made from a Bouqs mason jar with lemons, limes, rosemary floating in water

Summer means more outdoors, less worry. More memories, fewer obligations. There’s no place like home, especially during the summer. Yes, traveling abroad has its perks (who could say no to sightseeing in Prague or swimming the beaches of Santorini?). Still,  relaxing at home during your staycation or while working from home has its own benefits (especially in 2021). It’s the perfect time to take on those do-it-yourself crafts that can spruce up your home and garden and help you channel your inner Martha Stewart.

Have you received a few mason jars with your Bouqs subscription and now have more jars than flowers to put in them on a regular basis? Maybe you’ve received a happy birthday bouquet or flowers just because and are now unsure what to do with the jar. Mason jars have been around for over 150 years and have been used for everything from alcohol to bird feeders.

Today, we’ll help you elevate your mason jar into a gorgeous citronella candle to keep those pesky bugs away while you BBQ and picnic. Mason jar candles look great and complement a wide range of popular home decor aesthetics from rustic chic to industrial, bohemian to beach vibes.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is a creative process of repurposing old or unneeded objects into new objects. It’s a great way to get your creative juices flowing and has the added benefit of helping the environment. Every time you reuse objects instead of simply throwing them away, you reduce the amount of waste going to already packed landfills.

Did you know upcycling products also helps reduce CO2 emissions? That’s right! Instead of increasing the demand for new products to be made, you’re reusing already made products. When the demand for new products is lower, we use fewer raw materials, so we reduce air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Make a Mason Jar Citronella Candle by Upcycling

Mason jars make a perfect vessel for candles and lighting, among other things. They are made from thick glass that does a fantastic job at aiding the illumination.

Materials Needed

  • Mason jars
  • Fresh lemons and limes
  • Rosemary
  • Floating candle
  • Citronella essential oils
  • Knife
  • Eucalyptus leaves

Instructions for Making a Mason Jar Citronella Candle

Arrange Your Materials

two mason jars, citronella essential oils, rosemary sprigs, lemons and limes, floating candle on a cutting board

First, lay out all your materials.. You’ll probably want to use a cutting board to slice the lemons and limes. Make sure the floating candle is the right size for the mason jar opening or be prepared to trim it down.

Add the Rosemary

Dropping rosemary sprigs inside the mason jar

Drop the rosemary sprigs into the mason jar. You’ll want to add these first. Rosemary serves two important purposes. It provides a pleasant herbal scent. But more important, it helps repel those nettlesome bugs like mosquitoes and flies.

Slice the Lemons and Limes

Slicing lemons and limes with a kitchen knife

Here’s why you want that cutting board. Slice the lemons and limes into thin slices that will look good floating in the jar.

Drop the Lemon and Lime Slices into the Mason Jar

Dropping lime slices into the mason jar

This might seem obvious, but just in case you were thinking the sliced lemons and limes were for a fresh batch of limeade, they look great in the mason jar for your candle. Later, you can always use the leftover slices to make that delicious limeade.

Add Water

Filling the mason jar with water after lemon and lime slices and rosemary sprig has been placed inside

Now it’s time to fill your mason jar with water and let those delightful elements start swirling together.

Add Drops of Citronella Essential Oils

Dropping droplets of citronella essential oils into the mason jar filled with water

After you’ve filled your mason jar with water it’s time to add the special secret sauce. Drop in some of the Citronella essential oils. With a fresh, crisp aroma, Citronella oils work by masking the human scent that insects find so appealing. Citronella is made from the leaves of grass native to the tropical areas of Asia like Indonesia, Java, and India. Due to Citronella’s effectiveness, it is used as a key ingredient in many organic insect repellants.

Note: Make sure to wash your hands after dropping them in the mason jar as Citronella can be a mild irritant for the skin and eyes.

Insert the Floating Candle

Placing a candle in the mason filled with water, rosemary, citronella oils, lemons and limes

Your final step. Just fit your floating candle into the opening of the mason jar and voila, you’ve completed an easy do-it-yourself upcycling of your mason jar. If your candle is too large to fit you might need to trim it down a little to fit. If you can’t get a larger candle, you can also drop in a smaller floating candle to float at the top of the water in the mason jar.

Enjoy Your Beautiful DIY Citronella Candle

Mason Jar Citronella candle with lemon and limes floating in water

You’re all set. Now you just have to decide if you want to keep your beautiful indoors to complement a sunny breakfast or take it outside for a backyard barbeque or picnic to keep those troublesome intruders away from your fresh cooked meal.

By upcycling, you can create fun, creative items for your home while reducing Co2 emissions. What’s not to love, right?

Anytime you’re looking for bouquets online, add a Bouqs mason jar to your order. Even after the bouquet loses its luster, you can still use that mason jar. Or better yet, before your bouquet withers, you can repurpose the flowers into a pressed flower card or if your bouquet has the right flowers, you can even replant the flowers from your bouquet. With upcycling, it’s like you get three things for the price of one.

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