I don’t know about where you live, but in our area of the country mosquitoes seem to be everywhere this year. Usually I buy citronella candles to combat mosquitoes, but this year I thought I’d try making my own. I have quite a bit of beeswax that was given to me by a local farmer, and I’ve been looking for a reason to play with it. Mosquito repellent seemed like the perfect opportunity.
First I needed to make wicks. I hunted through my pretty extensive yarn collection and found scraps of 100% cotton yarn. Then, I cut the yarn into pieces of varying lengths — most were between 1 foot and 4 inches long. I soaked the pieces of yarn overnight in a solution of
- 4 TBS Borax
- 2 TBS table salt
- 1 1/2 cups of water
The next morning I put the soaked yarn pieces in the food dehydrator and turned in on low. I did this because it’s been humid lately and I didn’t want to wait 3 or 4 days for the wicks to dry. You can just as easily hang them or lay them out to dry. The yarn must be completely dry before you can proceed.
When the wicks were dry, I melted some wax that I saved from old candles, and I dipped each wick into the melted wax, and then let the wax cool completely. I repeated this twice, so that each wick was triple dipped.
Finally, it was time to make the candles. I melted the beeswax completely. As my wax was melting, I placed my wicks in my candle holders. There are several ways to do this, but I chose to use recycled wick holders from old candles. I just attached my homemade wicks to the wick holders depending on how it was attached the first time. Then, I sat the wick holders on the bottom of my containers. I used an old, small terracotta planter to create a candle holder for my back patio, an old glass candle holder for the kitchen, and 2 shot glasses that I picked up at a yard sale for $.50 each for my Etsy candles. As the wax melted, I poured it off a bit at a time into an old glass jar. To that I added citronella oil and then poured the wax into its designated candle holder. I do it this way so that I can scent each candle individually without mixing scents.
The candles turned out beautifully.