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Is there anything more satisfying than an end-of-summer get-together under the stars sharing stories and a farm-to-table meal?

When autumn draws near and summer comes to end, we gather friends and family on our deck and large screen porch from the third floor. Our home is tucked into the rolling hills between plateaus of fields and pastures in the Midwest. Surrounded by woodlands, we enjoy the shade of maple, redbud, and black locust trees.

As the sun sets, we light torches around the outdoor spaces to hold the mosquitoes back. We watch the shadows the flames create as we sip cool summer drinks, trade stories, and savor the tastes of the season.

This recipe for DIY citronella lemon bowl candles came about with these memories in mind. Each naturally repels insects with essential oils and dried herbs. Together they make a beautiful centerpiece or small arrangements on outdoor tables. Make an extra dozen to send home with guests for an evening you won’t soon forget.

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Citronella Lemon Bowl Candles

How to Make DIY Citronella Lemon Bowl Candles:

Here are the supplies you’ll need to make these DIY citronella lemon bowl candles –

3 lemons

6 wood wicks

0.875 lbs (14oz) soy wax flakes

1/4 oz lemongrass essential oil

1/2 oz citronella essential oil

¾ teaspoon dried lemon balm

Citronella Lemon Bowl Candles

Candle Making Instructions

Slice each lemon in half and carefully hollow out with a paring knife and spoon to create lemon bowls. Cut wood wicks to size for each lemon bowl and set them aside.

Fill a large saucepan with about 2 inches of water and place it on the stove to heat. Place 0.875 pounds (14oz) of soy wax flakes in a metal candle pouring pitcher and set inside the large saucepan. Whisk often and heat until melted using the double boiler method. Remove from heat immediately to avoid wax becoming too hot.

While cooling, spoon a small amount of melted wax into the center of a prepared lemon bowl. Place a wood wick into the hot wax and hold until stable (about 10 seconds). Repeat for each lemon bowl. Let the wax cool to 150°F before adding essential oils.

Then, add 1/4 ounce of lemongrass essential oil and 1/2 ounce of citronella essential oil to the melted wax in your candle pitcher. Slowly swirl or quickly whisk to blend essential oils into the candle wax.

Next, carefully pour the wax into each lemon bowl while avoiding the top of the wood wicks. Last, top each citronella lemon bowl candle with an eighth teaspoon of lemon balm before the wax cools. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the wax is hard and white.

You can allow these to cure for a few days if you want a stronger scent.

Related: Bubbling Lemon Vanilla Bath Soak

Related: How To Create A Natural Essential Oil Room Spray

Citronella Lemon Bowl Candles

I love to use essential oils to fragrance our home. Don’t miss my Apple Blossom Soy Candle Jars or Pressed Flower Mason Jar Candles. Learn how to use essential oils to fragrance your home with more than 25 recipes and projects in my book titled Aromatherapy: A Practical Guide for Home and Family.



    1. lifenreflection says:

      Jill, they are the most beautiful candles I’ve ever made and I love that they are purposeful too!

    1. lifenreflection says:

      Exactly, I am really pleased at how pretty they turned out.

  1. Hi Kristy, these are gorgeous! They would be fun to bring to an outdoor party as a little hostess gift. Thanks for sharing!

    1. lifenreflection says:

      Absolutely, thanks Amy

  2. Hello, how does the lemon hold
    Up after a few weeks or months? Does it get rotten looking?

    1. lifenreflection says:

      Suprisingingly they tend to hold up for a few weeks. You can fill them with table salt for a few hours or overnight after scooping out the lemon to help preserve it before making candles too.

  3. So gorgeous! I agree with others, great hostess gift.

    1. lifenreflection says:

      Thanks Ella!

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