4. DIY Citronella Candles
Citronella oil is a tried and true mosquito repellent, and burning it in candles adds a pleasant ambience to a summer evening. You can pick up citronella candles at most hardware shops and supermarkets, but you can also make your own pretty easily, which also means you can be sure that it’s a good quality oil.
First, you’ll need to get your hands on some small to medium sized Mason jars, candle wicks, sturdy tape (or a hot glue gun), beeswax and a bottle of citronella essential oil. (Candle-making supplies are readily available online or at craft supply shops, and are not expensive.)
Cut the wicks to the right length for your jars, leaving at least 3cm over the rim and attach to the bottom of the jars with tape or hot glue. Once attached, put the jars in the oven on its lowest temperature, which makes pouring the wax easier and prevents the jars from cracking if the wax happens to be too hot.
Now you need to melt the wax, using a double boiler or equivalent. When it’s melted, pour in the citronella oil – about three drops per cup of wax — and stir it through the wax with a metal spoon. Pour the melted wax into your jars so it sits a few centimetres below the rim and use pencils or chopsticks to keep the wick centered. Once the candles have cooled – leave them for 48 hours — trim the wicks so they are about 1.5cm from the surface. And there you have it – homemade citronella candles that look great and keep your evenings mozzie-free.