How to Make Recycled DIY Citronella Candles


We all know how bad mosquitos can be during the summer and fighting them off, so you can enjoy a dinner outside, is always a nuisance! Since the weather is warming up, we wanted to create a few of our own citronella candles using recycled wax (candles we already had!) and charming tins we’ve collected. The nice thing about these DIY citronella candles, aside from the chic look, is that you can control how much citronella oil you put into the candle and also add in other scents to offset the smell. We added in a grapefruit scent and the combination was great. So, start saving your tins to make these this summer! And just a quick tip, don’t use any good kitchen items (i.e. shot glasses or measuring cups) you’ll want to keep when working with citronella. It’s so strong and the smell will last forever! We recommend separating craft and cooking items. Enjoy and stay charming!

Recycled DIY Citronella Candles 

What you’ll need:

Old candles and candle wax, tins, citronella oil, nicely scented essential oil (we used grapefruit), wicks.


Remove the metal from the bottom of the old candles. The actual wick can stay in and you can remove it after the candle has melted.

Melt the candles over medium heat in a large pot. We used about 4 large candles to fill these tins.

While the wax is melting, use a hot glue gun to adhere the bottom of the wick to the tins.

Wrap the wick around a stick and rest it on the top of the candle. This will help it stay in place.

Once the wax has melted, pour into a heat-proof bowl. Add in 1 ounce of citronella oil per 6 cups of melted wax. Then add in 1/2 ounce grapefruit essential oil.

Pour the wax into the tins and let them sit until they harden.

Enjoy outside!

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7 responses to How to Make Recycled DIY Citronella Candles

  1. April 17, 2015

    This is such a great idea! I have an empty tea can that I just have no idea what to do with… now I know! Do you think I can also use this for regular tin cans?

    1. Mary
      July 12, 2015

      Hi Mila, Yes I’ve seen homemade/DIY tin can candles for sale (so cute!!), but not sure if the technique to make them is the same as the brilliant idea above. Good luck!

      1. Mary
        July 12, 2015

        *Milly, not Mila lol. Don’t have my glasses on!

      2. Eden
        July 15, 2015

        Thank you Mary!!

  2. October 14, 2015

    Great DIY idea! That candles have a vintage kind of look and are just awesome! I’m in love with all those recycled crafts because not only help reducing waste, but also create something beautiful!

  3. Joanna
    November 2, 2015

    Two things I would add to the instructions:

    1) Burn the candle on something that is heat proof. The tins get hot and you don’t want to scorch your furniture.

    2) Before hot gluing the wick tab (the metal wick holder) take your glue gun and run a heavy bead along the seams inside the tin. Sometimes, the tins do leak. The gluing of the seams helps to seal up the tin.

  4. ig
    February 18, 2016

    This is a great tip especially to those new to the
    blogosphere. Short but very accurate info… Thanks for sharing this one.

    A must read article!

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