Mason Jar Citronella Torches Tutorial

By July 29, 2013 , ,

Mason-jar-cirtronella-torches-tutorial-006So mosquitos in Nashville this summer have been ridiculous! Like every evening we’ve spent outside the following day I'm coating myself in aerosol Benadryl .(Yes it exists, yes it’s the best ever cause you don’t have to touch what you want to scratch so badly, and yes it works great!

So in my war against getting eaten my Mom sent me this photo that’s been floating around, of citronella torches gone cute.

No real directions though, so here’s my take.


Mason Jars  - from my collection. I HAD to buy some of the reissue Blue Ball ones too though. (6 for $9.99)

Cotton String to use as wick – This was the tough part, I looked a Michaels and the ‘real’ wicking was like $20 for a small spool, after some searching I found cotton string/twine at Lowe’s for $3

Citronella & Cedar Torch Fuel – Easy to find most stores with an outdoor section around $10 

Standard Screw Driver – to punch hole in the lid

Pliers or Tweezers – to pick up the wick out of the fuels


Mason-jar-cirtronella-torches-tutorial1. Make the wicks – the cotton string draws up the citronella oil, the larger the wick the more flame. So to make my wicks I cut many lengths of the string, then braided them together. I made them much longer than the height of the mason jars so they last longer. Rather than knotting them I took a scrap string and tied it, a knot would have difficulty going through the small hole. Mason-jar-cirtronella-torches-tutorial-002

2. Punch the hole for the wick – With the top on the mason jar carefully press the screwdriver through the lid, making a small hole, you can adjust it to the size of your wick later.

3. Wicks - Place wicks in the jars fill up with some citronella, I only filled mine up a third of the way to start. Let the wicks dunk in the oil then fish them out with the pliers and push through the lids so the braid is secure in the top.

Mason-jar-cirtronella-torches-tutorial-0074. Adjust & Light the wick – to start leave a good bit of the wick out to start, light the wick. At first you’ll have a large flame as the extra cotton from the end of the braid burns off.

5.Enjoy – Pull up the wick with pliers as needed between sessions. Blow out or use a small tomato sauce can as your ‘snuffer’. Keep your mason jar box as an easy way to transport in and out.citronella-torch-outdoor

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  1. Thanks! Will do. I'll also try the aerosol Benadryl. Two days out and about and my legs are suffering from mosquito in Texas. Boo.

  2. So did it work? Did you notice a difference in the mosquitos?!

  3. perfect my daughter wants to get married in Louisanna mosiquitos no see ems you name it right perfect and pretty and you can now find the mason jars in all different colors great idea thanks

  4. I wanted to caution you about something here. You must have a holder for that wick. It's a fire safety issue. I clicked through to the entire article on this and they are leaving them out. I have made many of these with regular oil for inside the house when we have electricity shortages and for decoration (regular oil looks beautiful with plastic flowers and fruit in it, believe it or not). I have found the wick holders at craft stores around here but, for want of finding them easily on the internet, I have included a link here so you'll know what I'm talking about and can see them. They keep the wick from sliding down into the oil and they also keep the top of the lid from getting too hot as well. I know you don't want 50 of these but wanted you to see what one looks like.

  5. Hardware stores should sell the wicks by themselves. We have a wonderful store here in Ohio called Lehman's and I know for a fact they sell them. They might also have something to hold the wicks as Lacey stated above. The link is

    1. I need to add... SOME hardware stores, maybe no all. If you live in the country or close to an Amish settlement... you'll have a better chance.


    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Sorry, I know I keep adding.. but I found this link for Lemans online and they have wicks for wine bottles!

  6. II just got a few orders of wicks from eBay but I order from China. They have every shape and size to be found and good prices too. Only thing is takes longer than just running to the store.

  7. I order my wicks for mason jars too but I am using it for emergency candles so have oil for inside the house. I found burners made to fit the lip if a mason jar so it's the old time oil lamp style burner screwed ontop of a mason jar the wick goes into the burner and has the handle to raise and lower the wick. I found the glass globes that goes over the flame from Home Depot for just over 7 dollars. In Canada. The mason jars I had but we came across some jars with handles it they are perfect old time oil lamp made with all new parts. They were so cute I bought a few. Here is a link to the burners so you know what I'm talking about .