Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The great state of Texas is well know for its mosquito annoyance.  Ladies also seem to attract mosquito bites more than the gents.  Most people say it's because mosquitoes are drawn to fragrances and perfumes (neither of which I wear).  Turns out they are also drawn to detergents and clean clothes.  The modern-day woes of a dainty lady...

Citronella candles are far too expensive for my likings and I've never been a huge fan of tiki torches.  I had a small collection of old bottles that didn't serve a functional purpose, so I decided to make my own Texas-sized mosquito repellent lanterns!

BEFORE WE BEGIN : Please remember that there is a fine line between oil lanterns and Molotov cocktails.  They should only be made, lit, and handled in well ventilated outdoor areas.  Keep away from areas where they might be knocked over and especially out of reach of kiddos and animals.

TOTAL COST : About $15 - $20 for 3 large lanterns.

  • 3 - 4 old bottles with metal screw-on caps (preferably something heat/flame resistant like copper).  Vintage bottles, empty liquor bottles, and wine bottles all work well.  Clean each bottle inside and out before starting.  Make sure they have metal or aluminum caps.  This is necessary for step 2.
  • A bottle of citronella oil ($10 for a large bottle at the hardware store).  Make sure you only use oils that are manufactured for lanterns and tiki torches.  Never use gasoline or other explosive fuels.
  • Tiki torch replacement wicks ($2.50 for a two-pack of wicks at the hardware store).
  • A drill*.

  • Use a large drill bit to drill a hole in your cap large enough to hold your wick in place.  You want the hole to be large enough to pull the wick through but allow for a little wiggle room for when you need to adjust the wick length.

  • I spill everything, so I used a funnel for this step.  Fill your bottles about half-way up.  You want to make sure there is enough oil to saturate your wick.  The oil will work its way up the wick, so you do not need to fill the entire bottle.  

  • Screw on your cap and make sure the outer area is clean of any oil you may have spilled.  The top of the wick only needs to stick out about 3/4" - 1" above your cap.  Any longer than that and your flame will be way too big.  We're trying to deter mosquitoes, not light the porch on fire.

*This asterisk is for ladies who are not yet drill owners.  Go purchase one immediately (or permanently borrow one from your dad).  It will change (and simplify) the way you work on projects, decorate your home, etc.  It is a must-have for any lady and they are super easy to use!  Do not fear the drill.  Embrace the drill.

That's it!  You now have some inexpensive, super cool looking lanterns that will help you enjoy the summer sans mosquitoes!

1 comment:

Jules said...

This is awesome!!! We have mosquitos in California too... and they always come after ME! Your instructions were awesome, and you are right ... every lady needs her own drill! Great post, found you after following a Pinterest pin!!! xoxo jules

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