One of the best things about the warmer months of spring and summer is the pull toward the outdoors.
Working in the garden.
Parties on the lawn.
Sitting on the patio/deck in the evening.
Swimming in the pool.
Grilling with friends.
If you’re like me…I love spending as much time outdoors as possible!
But what I don’t like…biting insects…particularly mosquitoes.
They can ruin a perfectly wonderful evening.
Making your own bug repellent — or using an all-natural, plant-based product — is an excellent solution. But I also love using citronella candles to keep the bugs away…not to mention the beautiful ambiance they provide is most definitely a bonus!
Essential oils of citronella is non-toxic and 100% plant-based…so forget your worries of environmental pollutants.
Citronella candles are very easy to make and with the following recipe I’ll teach you my method.
Candle Making Basics
My journey into candle-making began years ago.
I started with the best commercially prepared ingredients I could find locally — then quickly began asking myself things like: “I wonder how people did this before these synthetic ingredients were available?” and “What happens if these supplies are no longer available to me?”
And as usual…my questions led me searching for the vintage, home-based, more sustainable solution.
I researched the ways and asked the older generations.
Those two ingredients led me to my conclusion.
Tallow — rendered only from the fat of grass-fed cows — is fairly easy to make and when combined with beeswax from happy, healthy bees produces a very hard, slow-burning candle.
Note :: A word on tallow :: A study by USDA scientists found that raising cows on grass, instead of in factory farms and feedlots, produces fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and other pollutants. Cattle that is allowed to roam freely — eating lush grasses and fertilizing pastures — contributes to more grass production and storage of carbon. Which as a natural by-product…removes carbon dioxide from the air improving the quality of the soil while reducing the overall carbon footprint.
Likewise, supporting local grass-fed, pasture-raised meat farmers insures cattle that:
- are raised on grasses and forage reducing the need for fossil fueled equipment.
- do not have large concentrations of manure — as you would find in feedlots…reducing air and water pollution
- graze on grass without the need for harsh chemical herbicides and pesticides
- roam native pastures high in biodiversity…naturally preserving the homes to various species of birds and wildlife.
Read more here:
- USDA Finds in Favor of Grass-Fed Cows
- New Study Finds Grass-Fed Beef Reduces Carbon Footprint
- Sustainability and Grass-Fed Cattle
Tallow & Beeswax Citronella Candles
- In a small pot — or double boiler — over low heat, melt the tallow and beeswax until both are liquid form.
- Remove from heat allow to cool slightly, but don’t allow to harden.
- While wax is cooling, prepare your candle jar by securing the wick in the center of the jar. I do this by dipping the metal end of the wick into the liquid wax and then immediately placing it in the center of the jar…holding it steady until the wax has hardened. Note: Any glass container will do. This is a great opportunity to reuse baby food jars, older glass mason jars, even reusable tea light tins will work for this project! I get my wicks here…they are super affordable and such a wonderful company.
- Once cooled, add essential oil blend to wax. Stir well to combine.
- Hand-pour mixture into jars.
- Allow to cool and harden complete prior to use.
- Cut wick to appropriate height.
- Enjoy your bug-free evening!
Where Can I Get This Stuff
-Mountain Rose Herbs…they have everything (essential oils and the cute little tins) you’ll need for this project! It’s your one-stop-shop!
–Brambleberry has a wonderful selection of candle-making supplies.
–The Bulk Herb Store also carries many of these ingredients if you’d like to price check.
-Search www.LocalHarvest.org for a local grass-fed, pastured meats farmer in your area. Call them up and ask for suet or tallow…then get to renderin’
-If you’re local to Arizona, I get all of my pastured meats and tallow from Chiricahua Pasture Raised Meats. They deliver in the Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff areas every 4-6 weeks. Check them out and tell Josh I sent you!
Ever tried to make your own candles? How did it turn out?