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DIY Citronella Candles [with Beeswax]

For those who enjoy crafting with beeswax, making beeswax candles is a top priority.  In fact, candle making is the most popular way to use beeswax. This natural wax is valued for its bright light and clean burn with little smoke.  But, your beeswax candles do not have to be restricted to the indoors.  By adding a little citronella oil, you can create a simple centerpiece for your outdoor space with Beeswax DIY Citronella Candle Pots.

Homemade Citronella Candles

From times dating back to the Roman Empire, Citronella Oil has been used as an insect repellant.  This essential oil comes from the leaves and stems of several types of citronella grass (Cymbopogon).

Homemade citronella candles in clay pots with beeswax image.

The theory behind the use of Citronella oil to repel pests is that it masks the scents that insects find attractive.

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It is one of the most popular natural repellents in use.  Yet, many scientists say that it does not work well as a repellent for mosquitos. 

Though the studies may not back up the use of citronella candles as an insect repellent – it’s hard to argue with a thousand years of consumerism.

Clay pots with beeswax citronella candles image.

Beeswax Candles Burn Clean and Bright

When making your own candles, you can avoid the use of suspected carcinogens found in many commercial candles.  Beeswax burns bright and clean with little soot or smoke.

When using beeswax for making candles be sure to clean your beeswax well before you begin. Otherwise, your candle will not burn well.

Adding a little citronella oil to your beeswax candles is a great way to at least discourage some insect visitors at your outside events.

Homemade citronella candles in clay pots with beeswax image.

How to Make Beeswax Citronella Candles in Pots

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
These cute clay pots are perfect for making your own citronella candles for your next outdoor event. Leave them plain or decorate to match your decor.
5 from 1 vote



  • Choose several small clay pots. Simple craft clay pots are inexpensive and great for many projects. These are 2 1/2″ in diameter. Sometimes you can find them a local dollar store.
    Two small clay pots for candle making image.
  • Seal the drainage hole in the pot with some type of clay or glue. For this project, I used air dry clay.
    Small clay pot with drainage hole sealed with air dry clay image.
  • Measure and cut a 6 1/2″ piece of 2/0 cotton candle wicking. Attach a small amount of air dry clay to the bottom of the wick.
    Use your fingers to reach down into the small pot and adhere the wick in place. (You can use tape or anything that will seal the hole).
    Small ball of air dry clay on end of candle wick image.
  • Secure top of candle wick.
    Use a clothespin and skewer to secure the top of the wick. Be gentle-do not pull too hard or your wick will release from the bottom.
    Your goal is to center the wick inside the pot. It does not have to be pulled tightly.
    Beeswax Citronella candle wick secured on both ends image.
  • Place your beeswax in a double boiler for safe melting.
    I like using a neat little double boiler insert and a regular pot for the water in the bottom.
    Melting bars of beeswax in a double boiler image.
  • Adding the citronella oil. Once the beeswax is completely melted, remove the pot from the heat.
    Measure your citronella oil and pour into the beeswax. Stir well.
    Citronella oil for making beeswax candle image.
  • Carefully pour a small amount of beeswax into each clay candle pot.
    An inch or two of depth is fine.
    Let this sit for a couple of minutes – then continue to fill the pot to the desired level.
    Pouring beeswax citronella candle mix into clay pots image.
  • Cooling. Leave your beeswax citronella candle stationary for a couple of hours. Do not move it – allow the wax to cool and set.
    Cooling beeswax citronella candle in a clay pot image.
  • To ensure good burning, once the wax is completely cool – trim the candle wick to 1/4″.
    Using scissors to trim wick image.


** Always be careful when using candles with open flames to prevent fire or burns.
**These candles should only be used outdoors in a well-ventilated environment.
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Tips for Beeswax Citronella Candle Making

Have mercy! When you make crafts do things always turn out well? If so, I am happy for you but for myself that is not always the case.

Beeswax shrinks as it cools. Therefore when making large diameter beeswax candles (such as pillars – etc.), it is not unusual for cracking to occur. It doesn’t hurt the candle-but it sure is ugly.

Sometimes, when making larger diameter beeswax candles, cracking can be prevented by slow cooling. Therefore, I covered my cooling candles with a towel.

Insulating cooling beeswax candles with a towel image.

Alas, though this strategy helped 2 of my candles – one still had an ugly crack in the beeswax. Never fear – there is a fix.

You can either pour a small amount of additional wax on the cracked area. Or, you can place a bit of beeswax on the crack and heat it with a craft heat gun.

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Adding more bees wax to fix a crack in a candle image.

Decorating Your Candles

These cute clay pot beeswax citronella candles are just fine as they are. However, you can dress them up with a label, ribbon, etc to match your decor or party design.

Different images of beeswax candle pots decorated image.

Guidelines for Use

Always use beeswax citronella candle pots outdoors in a well-ventilated area. And, as always, avoid breathing the smoke of any candle.

None of this article is considered medical advice.   Always consult a medical professional for heath questions regarding citronella.

Your candles may not keep away all of the mosquitos in the neighborhood. However, any time we can discourage a few insects pests, I count that as a win. This makes a bit of citronella oil worth a try.

Enjoy this fun beeswax craft and make a few extra for special gifts. If you have a little beeswax left over, how about trying some egg shaped beeswax candles next time.

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Another wonderful option to use for yourself or give to someone special – try these homemade beeswax fire starters. And if you are looking for a unique elegant project, use your favorite dried flower petals in a candle.

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