These easy to make DIY bug repellent floating candles with essential oils will help keep you protected from bugs in your backyard this summer.
I live in a rural area, so there are a lot of bugs. We have three ponds and are surrounded by corn fields, so spending time outside without being bit can be a bit of a challenge.
In an effort to live a chemical free life, I started using essential oils to repel mosquitoes and other bugs a few years ago.
This year, I added DIY bug repellent floating candles with essential oils to my bug repelling arsenal. Not only do they repel bugs, but they also look cute sitting on a patio table while you're entertaining.
One benefit to making floating candles is that you don't have to keep them lit for hours at a time. With candles, you need to burn them about an hour per inch of diameter. If you blow them out before that time, they can tunnel down the middle.
These can be lit for an hour or more and then relit the next time you go outside. They are also very easy to make in about an hour.
I've seen several bug repellent floating candles online, but they don't add essential oils to the wax. They use a storebought candle and add essential oils and herbs to the water.
I tried this, thinking it was so easy and a cute decoration. Unfortunately, I didn't get a great throw. I liked the look of adding things to the water in the jar, so I do that for decoration and make my own floating candles with essential oils.
More DIY Bug Repellent Ideas:
I prefer to use soy wax in my wax melts and candles, so that's what I used for these DIY bug repellent floating candles. I love soy because it's renewable and doesn't put off the soot that paraffin does.
While soy has its benefits, it is a softer wax and doesn't always work well to make all types of candles. I picked up container soy wax from Crafty Bubbles, and I really didn't want to get a new wax just for this project.
You can also use this soy wax.
I'm not a candlemaker, but unless things have changed since I made candles, soy wax is best only for containers. I did find some very expensive soy and some soy and paraffin blends for making melts and floating candles.
No worries though. You can add one of two things to soy wax so your floating candles pop right out of the molds.
Without stearic acid or vybar, you'll never get your soy wax out of the mold. Vybar is probably the best choice to add to soy wax, but I use stearic acid in my DIY bath and body recipes, so that's what I use.
Vybar helps make the soy wax harder. This helps it pop out of the mold, and it prevents it from breaking. Use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon vyber per pound of soy wax. Don't use more because it can trap the scent.
Stearic acid also helps harden soy wax. Add 3 to 6 tablespoons per pound of soy wax.
I used Crafty Bubbles Insect Repellent blend to make my DIY bug repellent floating candles. It has five oils in it to repel bugs.
- Lemon eucalyptus
- Cedar wood
You can buy it on their website or on Amazon. Simply Earth also has a bug fighter blend that can be used in this recipe.
You can also use one or more of the following essential oils to make your own blend.
Lemon eucalyptus is the best natural bug repellent essential oil in my opinion. It makes up 40 percent of the Crafty Bubbles blend. If you do blend this, use this in a higher percentage than other oils.
Lemon eucalyptus is also great for repelling ticks. But always be careful and take precautions to prevent ticks and lyme disease.
Citronella is probably the most common bug repellent essential oil. It works by masking the lactic acid and carbon dioxide that humans put off. Bugs are attracted to these scents. If they can't smell them, then they won't bother you.
Lemongrass is related to citronella, so it works in much the same way. It can repel mosquitoes.
Lavender can help repel most bugs, including moths and mosquitoes. It's also relaxing, so it's a good oil for a relaxing evening in the back yard.
Peppermint has a clean smell, and I like diffusing it for aromatherapy. It can help repel spiders and mice as well as some insects.
Basil targets insects in the larvae stage, so it can help reduce the number of bugs in your yard. It can also help repel mosquitoes.
Pine is a strong scent, but it can be helpful to repel mosquitoes.
Vetiver can naturally repel mosquitoes and other bugs. I use vetiver in my sleep blend, and it knocks me right out. I can't use this in a blend or I get knocked right out.
MOLDS AND WICKS
I like this cute little mold for wax melts and floating candles and these DIY bug repellent floating candles. I got my wicks from Crafty Bubbles, but you can get wicks for this mold on Etsy.
There are several kinds of floating candle molds available on Etsy, so you can make different shapes.
I cut up some lemon for my jars purely for decoration. You can also add rosemary, peppermint, or other herbs. When my herbs get bigger in my garden, I'll probably add some peppermint to my jars when we entertain.
- 10 ounces soy wax
- 3 tablespoons stearic acid or 1/4 teaspoon vybar
- 0.5 ounce Bug Repellent essential oil blend
- Floating candle mold
Weight the soy wax and place in a double boiler. I used a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup inside a pan of water.
Do not heat soy wax over direct heat or in the microwave.
Add the stearic acid or vybar. Stir frequently while it melts.
When the wax is melted, carefully remove from heat. Use a laser thermometer to check the temperature.
Add the essential oil when the temperature is below 180 degrees. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
Set the wicks in the center of the molds. Carefully pour the wax around the wick to fill up the mold. Let sit for several hours until completely set up.
Gently remove the floating candles from the mold. If they don't release, place them in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. They should pop right out.
Let your DIY bug repellent floating candles sit for one to two weeks to cure. This helps the throw of the essential oils.
Just set them on top of water in a mason jar or other glass dish and enjoy fewer bugs.