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Potted Citronella Candles

Keep unwanted insect guests from crashing your outdoor gatherings with homemade citronella candles tucked into small terra-cotta pots.

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 6112





  • 3-inch milk painted or basic terra-cotta pot

  • Masking tape

  • Saucepan

  • Water

  • 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup

  • Beeswax beads

  • Kitchen stove or hot plate

  • Citronella oil (optional)

  • Pre-waxed wired candlewick with sustainer base

  • Scissors


  1. Prepare terra-cotta pot as directed in the milk paint instructions, if desired. Basic 3-inch terra-cotta pots can also be used.

  2. Place a small piece of masking tape over hole in bottom of pot to prevent melted wax from spilling out.

  3. Prepare a double boiler by filling a saucepan halfway with water and placing a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup directly in pan. Pour 1 cup of beeswax beads into measuring cup.

  4. To melt wax, place double boiler on kitchen stove or hot plate and bring water to a boil. Temperature of wax should not exceed 200 degrees.

  5. If desired, add four or five drops of citronella oil to melted wax. For a stronger citronella scent, add more oil in small amounts, but the mixture should not contain more than 3 percent oil by weight.

  6. Dip metal base of wick into melted wax and place in bottom of pot.

  7. Once wick is firmly secured, fill pot halfway with melted wax and allow to cool completely. Then pour remaining melted wax into pot, filling it to the top, and let cool completely again. (Candle is made in two layers to prevent the wax from shrinking and pulling away from the pot.)

  8. With scissors, trim wick to 1/4 of an inch before lighting.

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