Hello dear Passionshake readers, it’s Patrizia here and I’m back with my monthly DIY column. Summer finally arrived, even here in Switzerland. Long evenings in the backyard, picnics at the lake and outdoor dinner parties with friends. I just love this time of year. There is only one little drawback: mosquitoes. The little stinging critters seem to love my legs and often leave me with itchy and ugly marks. Something no one needs, now that dress season is finally here. So what can I do? Light some nice fragrant citronella candles of course!
Sadly the store bought once, only come in ugly jars or aluminum bowls. Definitely not my style, when it comes to decorating the garden. And so, another DIY was born. Nothing complicated or ingenious, but super practical and totally stylish when you use some pretty pots. For the fragrance, I used a mixture of citronella and eucalyptus oil. Both work really well as a mosquito repellant and smell fantastic. Citronella is one of the most commonly used essential oils to kill and keep away insects but has far more benefits than that. Did you know that citronella can fight depression, eliminate infections, removes bad odor and has anti-inflammatory properties? Pretty versatile right? The dash of eucalyptus is a nice addition, especially if you like the scent as much as I do.
Here is what you need:
Pretty bowls or pots (I used these flower pots I found over at H&M Home), candle wax, a large pan filled with water, empty cans, candle wick-stickers or a hot glue gun, wicks and of course, citronella and eucalyptus oil.
Fill the pan with water and heat over medium heat. Fill the wax into the empty cans and place them into the water. Let sit until the wax has completely melted. Use the candle wick-stickers or a dash of hot glue, to secure the wicks to the bottom of the pots. Press them firmly into the center. If you are using a larger pot like me, add two or three wicks spaced apart around the center. Once the wax has melted, you can add the fragrance. Be sure to use real essential oil, as synthetic citronella oil will not be as effective at keeping the bugs away. Add 15-20 drops of oil to every 100 grams of wax. Mix well and carefully pour the wax into your containers. Secure the wicks with a few chopstick or clothespins so they keep in place. Let the candles cool out slowly and completely. If you get a depressed area around the wicks when cooled, just melt some more wax and pour it into the hole.
Allow your candle to set for at least 48 hours before the first use and properly trim the wick before you fire them up. When you use your candles for the first time, be sure to let them burn for a while so that there is a full, wide pool of wax before you blow it out. This way the candle will burn evenly the next time you light it up.
By the way, these candles make the perfect gift next time you are invited to a barbeque or a garden party. Every host loves a pretty home made and practical gift.
Here is to a bug-free summer! Currently we are on our four-week holiday in southwest England. I thought about packing few citronella candles and bring them along as well. I guess they have mosquitos in Cornwall too 😉 Happy summer lovelies and I’m back in September with a new DIY.
Photography, Text & Styling: Patrizia Furrer for Passionshake