DIY Tiki Torches (with Video)

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These DIY Tiki Torches are a quick and easy backyard project to help keep the bugs away and use up some of your mason jar craft stash!

Make mason jar tiki torches that smell like peppermint, lavender or roses - none of that yucky citronella smell! This easy DIY bug repellant will keep the bugs away from your backyard or patio party

DIY Tiki Torches Craft

Nothing ruins a night on the porch like swatting away mosquitos or getting a face full of big red welts from where they got you before you got them!

I used to think nothing of buying tiki torches and having them around our deck and yard, but after finding out that it can be toxic to the neighbourhood cats I thought I’d try to find something homemade and maybe even a bit prettier to replace the classic torches. (Plus, I was never a fan of that citronella smell – so replacing it with peppermint or lavender has transformed my patio experience.)

These Mason Jar Tiki Torches were such a cheap project to make since I already have a giant stash of mason jars. Any glass jar with lid will work, though, so if you don’t have any mason jars, just save your pasta sauce jar the next time you whip up some spaghetti!

There are a few different options for filling your tiki torches, naturally:

  • coconut oil (with or without essential oils)
  • olive oil (with or without essential oils)
  • 16oz isopropyl alcohol mixed with 1 teaspoon distilled water (with or without essential oils)

Essential oils that are great for warding off unwanted pests (siblings not included) include:

  • tea tree oil
  • lavender
  • rose
  • citronella
  • peppermint

Of course, this method works well with standard citronella tiki torch fuel, but this homemade tiki torch fuel is so convenient to be able to whip up whenever we’re running low – I always have coconut oil and olive oil on hand, so those are my go-to fillers. (No need to use the good stuff, though.)

What can I use for a tiki torch wick? If you want to avoid using actual tiki torch wicks, you can use any 100% cotton rope. Some mops are even made with 100% cotton rope! Do not use a cotton blend or nylon rope as this will burn rapidly.

How long do these tiki torches burn? This tiki torch uses approximately 1oz of fuel for each hour that it is lit. So, if you add 6oz of fuel to your mason jars, you will get 6 hours of burn time before you need to refill the mason jar.

If you want to make a DIY Tiki Torch pole to insert your mason jars into, here are some great ideas:

Watch our quick DIY tutorial video for how to make mason jar tiki torches with nontoxic homemade tiki torch fuel, and then don’t forget to scroll down below to grab your free printable tutorial (to refer to as you make this craft yourself):

 

Materials to Make Tiki Torches

  • Mason Jars with lids
  • Hammer and nails (or drill with bit slightly smaller than the width of the wicks)
  • Thick wicks
  • 1 cup homemade torch fuel (see below)
  • Food dye, optional

For the homemade tiki torch fuel:

Alternative tiki torch fuel:

Tip: I make a few different cups of the homemade tiki torch fuel and keep it on hand for easy refills. I also use the food dye to help indicate which scent the oil has – pink for rose, purple for lavender, blue for peppermint, green for tea tree oil, yellow for citronella, etc.

How to Make DIY Tiki Torches

Start off by making a hole in the canning lid of your mason jar.

You may want to use a drill for this, but if you don’t have one, you can use a nail and hammer and slowly form a hole large enough to fit the wick through, but tight enough that the wick doesn’t just fall through. (For these 1/2″ wicks, we went with a drill bit just slightly smaller than 1/2″ to ensure there would be some resistance in pulling the wick through – you do not want it to fall through the hole and into the jar.)

Mix together your torch fluid, if making our DIY version. Adjust the scent and color, as desired.

Pour 1 cup of torch fluid into the mason jars – you want at least 2″ clear at the top of the jar.

Thread the wick through the hole in the lid and place the bottom of the wick into the bottom of the jar.

Secure the lid with the ring, and light!

Enjoy your bug-free, pleasant smelling night.

 

Pin this tutorial for homemade tiki torches with customizable scents:

How to make homemade tiki torches with mason jars, coconut oil and essential oils. A simple method for keeping the bugs away from your party

Grab our free printable tutorial for how to make mason jar tiki torches:

DIY Tiki Torches

DIY Tiki Torches

Ingredients

  • Mason Jars with lids
  • Hammer and nails (or drill)
  • Thick wicks
  • 1 cup homemade torch fuel (see below)
  • Food dye, optional

For the torch fuel:

  • 1 cup coconut oil or olive oil
  • Plus, 1 teaspoon tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, rose essential oil, citronella essential oil, peppermint essential oil

Instructions

  1. Start off by making a hole in the canning lid of your mason jar. 
  2. You may want to use a drill for this, but if you don't have one, you can use a nail and hammer and slowly form a hole large enough to fit the wick through, but tight enough that the wick doesn't just fall through. (For these 1/2" wicks, we went with a drill bit just slightly smaller than 1/2" to ensure there would be some resistance in pulling the wick through - you do not want it to fall through the hole and into the jar.)
  3. Mix together your torch fluid, if making our DIY version. Adjust the scent and color, as desired.
  4. Pour 1 cup of torch fluid into the mason jars - you want at least 2" clear at the top of the jar.
  5. Thread the wick through the hole in the lid and place the bottom of the wick into the bottom of the jar.
  6. Secure the lid with the ring, and light!

Pin this Recipe for Later

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

These DIY mason jar tiki torches make my entire patio smell great and are perfect for keeping the bugs away. If you don’t find a difference in the level of bugs, try adding more essential oils or increasing the number of mason jar tiki torches in your area. I found each one gave about 6 feet of coverage.

Be sure not to place these where kids will touch them or where they will come in contact with flammable objects.

For more awesome backyard ideas, check out our DIY Garden Windchimes or our PB&J Birdseed Ornaments.

Make mason jar tiki torches that smell like peppermint, lavender or roses - none of that yucky citronella smell! This easy DIY bug repellant will keep the bugs away from your backyard or patio party   How to make homemade tiki torches with mason jars, coconut oil and essential oils. A simple method for keeping the bugs away from your party  Keep the bugs away with these DIY Mason Jar Tiki Torches. Make these easy mason jar tiki torches in a variety of scents and colors and revel in your bug-free patio this summer! We made ours blue with peppermint scent!  Make mason jar tiki torches that smell like peppermint, lavender or roses - none of that yucky citronella smell! This easy DIY bug repellant will keep the bugs away from your backyard or patio party

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7 Comments

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Coconut oil is liquid at 74-76 degrees F.
      Using coconut oil for these torches assumes that you are using these outdoors in the summer when the temperature would be high enough for them to remain a liquid.

  1. Hi there! Love this idea, would these be safe to roast marshmallows over? Also is there any reason vegetable oil wouldn’t work?

    1. A teaspoon is about 5mL and the bottles I buy are 30mL to 120mL. You don’t need to buy the highest quality available since you’re really just diffusing it – not applying to skin/ingesting, etc.

  2. Can you use tiki torch wicks(fiberglass) with your homemade recipe for the fuel for these? Or does it have to be cotton?

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