Bug Repelling Mason Jar Luminaries

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Decorative and effective, bug-repelling mason jar luminaries will keep the bugs away while making your patio look like a glowing summer oasis.

If you are looking for more all-natural bug repellant ideas, check out homemade outdoor camping spray, DIY citronella candle, and six natural pest control methods that really work.

mason jar luminarias with floating candles

Keeping bugs away is a constant struggle. Too many bugs can really ruin a fun cookout or picnic. Thankfully, you don’t have to compromise and use stinky or dangerous chemicals just to enjoy a bug-free event.

When you use fresh fruit, herbs, and essential oils, you will create an environment bugs hate that also smells like an outdoor oasis to us humans.

These bug repelling mason jar luminaries will provide a soft glow to your picnic tables while filling the air with an invigorating combination of citrus aromas. Thank goodness bugs can’t stand citrus smells – all the better for us!

Keep reading and I’ll share all the exact steps so you can make some mason jar luminaries too. It’s easier than you might think.

lemon lime luminaria in mason jar

How Mason Jar Luminaries Repel Bugs

Yes, these cute mason jar luminaries really do repel bugs! The strong citronella essential oil diffuses into the air and creates an environment that mosquitoes hate. They won’t go near you if that stuff is in the air.

I also used limes, lemons, and fresh rosemary. The compound D-limonene is found in citrus fruits like lemons and limes, and it is an effective insect repellent. Rosemary is another natural fly and mosquito repellent. It has a pungent scent that drives away bugs of all sorts.

When you light the votive candles, it helps diffuse the oils, zest, and herbs. This combination might smell heavenly to us, but it is quite the opposite to bugs.

lemon lime luminaria in mason jar

Supplies Needed for Glowing Summer Mason Jar Luminaries

All of the supplies to make glowing mason jars are easy to find at your local craft shop or online.

First, you’ll need some mason jars. I used 16-ounce jars (similar) – they are the perfect size to hold the candles and other ingredients. If you want to use a smaller mason jar, just use smaller bits of lemon, lime, and rosemary.

You’ll also need some floating votive candles. It not only gives a soft glow, but it actually helps the odors get into the air.

Use a pure citronella essential oil that is high-grade. This oil is extremely effective at repelling mosquitos. You’ll also need fresh lemons and limes. The fresher they are, the better. You’ll also use fresh rosemary. Again, if you can use really fresh rosemary, it will work better.

Finally, you’ll need some filtered water. Tap or well water can work too, but it will have other additives in it that could interfere with how effective these luminaries are.

candle floating in mason jar

How to Make Mosquito Repelling Mason Jars (Tutorial)

This entire DIY project could not be any easier. First, make sure each jar is completely clean. Then, add a few lemon and lime slices to the bottom of them. Make sure you slice them really thin – the thinner, the better. You may find a mandoline slicer helpful here!

Place some sprigs of fresh rosemary on top of the lemon and lime and fill each jar with filtered water. If the water becomes cloudy, add some more lemon or lime slices. Add 20 drops of citronella oil to each jar and gently swirl with a spoon.

adding lemons to mason jar

Next, add the floating candle on top and light it.

These bug-repellent mason jar luminaries look darling on top of your picnic table and enhance the mood of any outdoor dinner party you have.

lighting candles in mason jars

Bug Repelling Summer Mason Jar Luminarias

Decorative and effective, bug-repelling mason jar luminaries will keep the bugs away while making your patio look like a rustic oasis.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Keyword: bug repelling mason jars
Yield: 4 Luminaries


  • Knife
  • Matches



  • Add a few lemon and lime slices and sprigs of rosemary to each jar.
  • Slowly fill with water to keep the water from getting cloudy, and add more lemon or lime slices if needed.
  • Add 20 drops of citronella essential oil to each jar and gently swirl.
  • Add the floating candle to the top, carefully light, and enjoy!


Never leave candles unattended or use them around children. Take care when lighting the candles and make sure to extinguish them when finished.

How to Make Mosquito Repelling Mason Jars (Video)

Here is a quick video showing you how to make your own bug repellent mason jar luminaries. Follow along as you create all-natural bug repellant mason jars.

shop the post handlettered

You don’t have to compromise style for effectiveness. Enjoy the best of both worlds when you make these super-cute bug repelling mason jars that actually work. Set three or four of them on your patio tables or around your deck as you spend time outside.

These cute mason jars make the best hostess gifts, and they are perfect for anyone that is trying to use fewer harsh chemicals in their life.

glowing mason jar luminarias the repel mosquitos

Love these gorgeous bug repelling mason jars? Pin it for later!

mason jar luminarias with floating candles
mason jar luminarias with floating candles
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