Balloon-Wrapped Citronella Candle Votives

7 Materials
1 Hour
When I think of summer, I think of entertaining on my deck or patio. I just love eating outside in the warm breeze, don't you? One thing I dislike about it though, are all of those pesky mosquitoes buzzing around ruining my lovely evening! It was time to do something about it! These citronella candles do the trick and keep the pests away, while looking pretty too! These were a blast to create, so be sure to have fun with the process.

- Glass Votives (I used stemless wine glasses)

- Soy Candle Wax

- Balloons

- Long Candle Wicks

- Citronella Essential Oil

- Pencil

- Hot Glue Gun

Step 1) Apply hot glue to the base of your candle wick.

Step 2) Insert the candle wick into the center of the glass votive. Adhere the hot glue to the base.
Step 3) Wrap the extra length of the wick around a pencil. Rest the pencil along the edge of the glass. This will keep it in place before you pour in your hot wax.
Step 4) Melt your soy wax (according to package directions) in a large pot. Be sure to use a pot that is solely for candle-making. Stir as it melts.
Step 5) Once the wax has melted completely, allow it to cool slightly. Add drops of citronella essential oil the melted wax.

*The rule is 50 drops per 1 cup of unmelted wax chips to keep mosquitoes away.
Step 6) Pour your candle wax into the glass votive. Fill it 1/4 - 1/2 full.
Step 7) Let the wax cool and harden for approximately 2 hours.
Step 8) Trim the wick to 1/4" long with scissors.
Step 9) Cut the neck off of a standard size vinyl balloon.
Step 10) Cut a small amount of the tip off of the other end of the balloon.
Step 11) Stretch and slide the balloon onto the bottom half of the glass. This can be tricky, and takes a little patience to get it just right!

Remember, it's not meant to be perfectly straight. A part of the fun is it to be on an angle, off-kilter, etc. Think playful!
Just TRY to get me now mosquitoes! The final product is both fun and functional - two of my favorite things. Now, grab your balloons and give it a try for yourself.

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Frequently asked questions

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  37 questions
  • Kay Kay on May 26, 2017
    What about the balloons and the heat from the candles? Will the balloons melt? If so, could you use batterie tea light candles instead. Kay Adelaide Australia
  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on May 26, 2017
    I was curious about why you filled the glasses only 1/4-1/2 full
    • Karena Karena on May 26, 2017
      Shot in the dark here; I assume its so the candles burn without fear of blowing out in moderate windy conditions, the votives not filled to the brim allows the glass space to act as a hurricane glass without the need for one.
    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on May 26, 2017
      If the wax and therefore the wick were taller, the flame might catch something on fire or burn someone. I love the balloon idea. I've never thought of that. I would use some of the pounds of candle wax I already have. I understand the soy wax is to get us away from beeswax, because bees are endangered. Best wishes 😇
  • Pam Hill Pam Hill on May 26, 2017
    What keeps the heat from the candle from melting the balloon?
  • Nancy Wilson Nancy Wilson on May 26, 2017
    Correct me if I'm wrong but the balloons only serve to enhance the look right? Very cute.
  • Sarah Beavers Sarah Beavers on May 30, 2017
    After having to count 50 drops, did you go ahead and measure the amount for future reference? What is the equivalent, 1 tablespoon, 2? I'll be dogged if i'd count it more than once.
  • Alicia Haley Alicia Haley on Jun 11, 2017
    The idea of using cut balloons 🎈 to add color is great! Have you tried using the balloons as disposable drink markers? I think they would work. 🍷🥃
  • Denise Kilgus McBride Denise Kilgus McBride on Jun 11, 2017
    Can u put balloons on glass BEFORE u pour wax in and hot glue the wick?
    • Infoseekrs Infoseekrs on Jun 14, 2017
      I think it's done in this order to allow for the possibility of drips or spills while adding the wax; it's much easier to clean stray wax from just the glass than from the glass AND balloon.
  • Roz Couturier Roz Couturier on Jun 11, 2017
    what happens when the candle gets hot and heats up the balloon?
  • Dana Anderson Lynch Dana Anderson Lynch on Jun 12, 2017
    I was wondering the same thing. Would the balloons not melt and adhere to the glass, ruining it or the table top it is setting on?
    • Sheryl Rehberg Sheryl Rehberg on May 19, 2018

      Instructions say let the wax cool a little before pouring.

    • Kathy Truden Brassard Kathy Truden Brassard on May 19, 2018

      I think Dana means when the candles are lit. Instructions show pouring the wax before you put the balloons on.

    • M1zUnd3rst00d M1zUnd3rst00d on May 26, 2018

      Well, the balloons aren't on the actual bottom of the glasses, so I think that would avoid ruining anything it's sitting on, and if you make the candles with soy wax, they shouldn't get that hot!

  • Michelle Moore Michelle Moore on Jun 16, 2017
    Can you add color to the wax as well? Just to add to the décor? Like food color?
  • Gerri Gerri on Mar 19, 2018

    Is that $5.00 per complete candle or $5 for all four? How well does the glass withstand the heat of the candle brning?

    • Gail Gail on May 19, 2018

      I just thought the same thing. No way its $5 for all. I can buy citronella candles for less that $5. Click on the link to the ingredients and it adds up FAST! WE have tough mosquitos in Texas. Deep Woods Off barely keeps them at bay. Citronella does not phase them.

    • Sue Buck Sue Buck on May 19, 2018

      Same here. In south Texas, we use tiki torches and candles both. (a shotgun helps on bad nights.) You would have to make sure the glasses are tempered or the heat could crack them. You can still put balloons on candle holders. Cute idea.

    • Synfulto Synfulto on Dec 06, 2018

      You have to use glasses designed for candles and soy was at Michael's is $20 for a large bag so I'd think these we're $5 for all 4

  • Sue Tronolone Sue Tronolone on Jun 24, 2018

    I learned something this year. Not all citronella is the same. Sounds like u made a scented candle not a big repellant candle. So my question. Can u use a few drops of bug repellant teki oil. If the amount is small, in wax, and has a wick. Would wax be flammable?

      • Do NOT use the citronella-scented oil used to refill outdoor Tiki torches! It contains no essential oil, and it is extremely flammable.

    • Shirley Shirley on Jan 01, 2019

      Citronella is to ward of mosquitos. While candle is burning it's releasing the citronella scent they hate

    • NancyMaria NancyMaria on Jan 05, 2019

      You can buy small Citronella candles and melt them into a larger container and can purchase the correct Citronella oil to add to wax candles at craft stores in the candle isle.

  • Isr32832613 Isr32832613 on Sep 05, 2018

    How I get the Citronella Oil?

    • Wifey Wifey on Dec 17, 2018

      Usually stores carry it. Outdoor department. Family dollar sells it also.

    • NancyMaria NancyMaria on Jan 05, 2019

      Craft stores have the type you can add to melted wax for candles too.

  • Janel Janel on Jan 03, 2019

    why the hole on bottom of balloon

    • NancyMaria NancyMaria on Jan 05, 2019

      Most likely so the jar will still sit flat. When pulling a balloon skin over an object there is usually that little nipple of rubber that will not expand and leaves a bump on the bottom.

    • Kari Kari on Jan 22, 2019

      To make it easier to slide on the glass, letting air escape so the balloon is flush against the glass.

    • Nelida Nelida on Jan 23, 2019

      Could be heat related. So the latex doesnt stick to surface. Just a thought....

  • Betsy Arnold Betsy Arnold on Jan 23, 2019

    Can you put flavored oil in them I love candles that make you house smell good

  • Sue Cogswell Sue Cogswell on Jan 24, 2019

    My husband has honey bees. I would love to use bee’s wax for this project but i’m Guessing the aroma of the bee’ s wax would interfere with the citronella.

  • Vivian Vivian on Jan 25, 2019

    Won't the candle make the glass hot,and won't that melt the balloon?

    • Meme Meme on Jan 26, 2019

      You allow the wax to cool for 2 hours before applying the balloon

    • Arlene Ellerbrock Arlene Ellerbrock on Jan 26, 2019

      I was thinking the same thing. Once the wax gets down to the end or near the end, the glass would likely break. I have had that happen. Only glasses that can withstand heat should be used. At least, that is what I would recommend, for safety sake and fire prevention...

    • Lacey Lacey on Jan 26, 2019

      That is a great question Vivian! Although I don't have a direct answer to your question, maybe we can figure it out together. I am not sure what temp latex balloons melt at but someone commented on another string that one of the purposes of the hole in the base would serve as a heat release of sorts. I assume however that you are referring to the surface temp of the glass. On that note, I would have to say that as long as you stick with soy wax that doesn't get as hot as a regular candle, and keep your wick cut short so the flame stays low, then it shouldn't make the glass hot enough to melt the latex to the glass. I n the event that the latex does melt to the glass, I have read that you can use baby oil and a razor blade (or maybe even your fingernail) to loosen and remove it. Baby oil works for adhesive label and sticker removal as well. Of course this not expert advice. It's merely a mashup of tidbits I've learned over time that hopefully will find a little relevance here. I hope it helps!

    • Lacey Lacey on Jan 26, 2019

      Arlene, I have a couple of questions for you regarding the glass breaking.. We're you using conventional wax or soy wax. I am wondering if the soy wax was just a preference or if it was chosen purposely as it not only lasts much longer but also doesn't get nearly as hot as regular candle wax. As far as the glass actually breaking though, I can only speak through theory as I have been lucky to never have that happen. That being said, I am imagining it breaking outwards. Since the latex is so elastic, if the glass were to break, wouldn't the latex act as a stability band and hold everything in place? I am thinking along the lines of a windshield on a car that will spiderweb microcracks in place before it breaks. I am not sure if the same applies here, but figured it was worth mentioning.

    • Shannon'nSammy Shannon'nSammy on Jan 26, 2019

      I think the hole in the bottom of the balloon is so when you pull it up on the glass air doesn't get trapped inbetween the glass & the balloon & create an air pocket between the glass and the balloonThat's my guess

    • Amelia Amelia on Jan 27, 2019

      I will do for our family reunion 💗

    • Vmurph Vmurph on Jan 31, 2019

      My thoughts, exactly, Vivian. Whoever said “let the wax cool before applying the balloon” didn’t take into account how hot the glass will get when the candle is burning. The balloon will melt and the non-tempered drinking glass will break. It’s a BAD idea.

    • Gloria Gloria on Feb 05, 2019

      Just don't wrap the balloon around the glass when it's hot. You don't want a thin glass either. I use baby jars or Mason jars. I also put a thick plastic straw ( resuable ones) just because they are prettier and thicker in the jar so it looks like a drink... Lol

    • Jillian Jillian on Feb 07, 2019

      That sounds beautiful. I would love to see a picture of the finished product!

    • Beth Beth on Feb 09, 2019

      If you keep your candle wick trimmed at 1/4” you should be ok temperature wise. One rule of thumb with candles is that once the top layer has completely melted after being lit, extinguish it and carefully trim the wick to be onky 1/4” again. It alliws the candle to burn evenly and wont let the glass get too hot.

    • Janneva Janneva on Feb 09, 2019

      It did mine

    • Cathy Cathy on Feb 13, 2019

      I have a bag of citronella tea lights. Maybe that would be easier and protect the glass from heat.

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Jan 29, 2019

    Where do you purchase the soy candle wax from?

    • Brenda Brenda on Jan 30, 2019

      Probably hobby lobby or Michele craft stores

    • Kristin Kristin on Feb 07, 2019

      Craft stores carry both soy and parafin wax in various size packages.

    • Jillian Jillian on Feb 07, 2019

      If there is a Hobby Lobby or Michael's in your area, they usually have it in stock.

    • Debbie Debbie on Feb 08, 2019

      I get mine off Ebay. I buy it 10 pounds at a time. Check prices!!! I usually get mine for under 20 dollars. And that includes shipping. If you need it quickly Hobby Lobby has had it in stock before but het ready to pay mucho for it.

    • Dora Dora on Feb 09, 2019

      Wal-Mart Yaley Soy Wax for Containers Also can be purchased at Michael's craft stores.

    • Connie Connie on Feb 09, 2019

      I got mine at Hobby Lobby.

    • Karen Karen on Feb 10, 2019

      I get it from Michaels crafts. And maybe walmart. Pretty much any place that sells candle crafts.

    • Donel Donel on Feb 15, 2019

      Candle making suply stores

  • Lisa Parrish Lisa Parrish on Feb 06, 2019

    Where do you get essential citronella oil from ?

  • Judy Clarke Judy Clarke on Feb 15, 2019

    I was just curious if the burning candle would do any damage to the balloon?

    • Brenda Lee Brenda Lee on Feb 17, 2019

      Wouldn't think so since the balloon is on the outside of the glass.

    • Krisy Krisy on Feb 21, 2019

      I don't know, but I would think the glass would get mighty hot.

    • Linda Linda on Mar 01, 2019

      I don't think the glass would get that hot n if it did, you'd have a stuck on masterpiece. 😁

  • Becky Becky on Feb 19, 2019

    I cannot use regular flame candles. Can this be done with flameless?

    • Pat Pat on Feb 19, 2019

      Yes, but it would not keep the mosquitos as there is no citronella. You are basically just putting a balloon around the glass to make it decorative.

    • Dequetta Dequetta on Feb 28, 2019

      Love it

  • Judy Judy on Mar 02, 2019

    How much soy wax per glass?

    • Barbara Barbara on Mar 09, 2019

      Looks like 1/4 full...but I'd imagine u could make it as deep as u wanted..

  • Christina  Baker Christina Baker on Mar 03, 2019

    Would ir be possible to take a yellow twine and create a design with it and put it over the ballon on the bottom and to where the design goes up to just the top edge of the votive, if so could you show pictues andsteps of hpw this effect would be created?

    • Rosalee Smith Rosalee Smith on Mar 08, 2019

      I would say yes , I make ornaments from foam ball's and tree shape . I use a hot glue gun. Start at the bottom with the glass upside down. You do not need to use a lot of glue. Just make sure you keep the twine tight and together until you get coverage you want. I use yarn of different colors on the foam Christmas balls and trees. People cannot believe I made them. P.s. its soooooooo easy.

  • Michelle Michelle on Mar 04, 2019

    Can premade candles be used?

  • Midori Midori on Mar 12, 2019

    Can you add scent to these candles? Also Ive never seen the product to mske soy candles, where do I fond it?

  • Connie Unser Connie Unser on Mar 23, 2019

    Will the balloon get too hot?

  • Heidi E. Heidi E. on Mar 28, 2019

    Won't the heat on the votive melt the balloon? These are really cute tho.

  • Linda Linda on May 08, 2019

    How big of a bag of wax melts needed for the 4 tumbler project

  • Patrice Patrice on May 10, 2019

    Does the glue melt that's holding the wick when you pour in hot wax?

  • Deborah Deborah on May 14, 2019

    Where do you get the wicks and what type pot do ypu use

  • LadyJet1 LadyJet1 on May 16, 2019

    Ok, the balloon will melt on the glass if the wax gets too hot, won't it? Is this a fire hazard?

    • Elizabeth Elizabeth on May 17, 2019

      I am thinking the same...

    • Leslie Leslie on Jul 25, 2019

      No, unless you are using a very small glass, the heat disperses. Plus, if you are using this outside, at night, the length of use is negligible. If you are concerned about the melting of the balloon, get some paint samples from your hardware store and dip ( or paint) your glass into that, or try acrylics or a glue and acrylic mix to get a stained glass effect. Also you can try this with a candle you already have. Melt it into the glass in a microwave maybe at 1/2 power cover the bottom of the container with a balloon and experiment. Remember your candle should not have the metal tab on the bottom. LOL another idea is to fill the glass with maybe plaster of Paris or cement and cover a small container the size of a battery run candle and you can make a similar candle holder. Place your battery run candle when the cement or plaster has cured.But, you won't have the citronella for the bugs.

  • J Eric J Eric on Jul 25, 2019

    How do ya clean wax from the pot? ....or dou sacrifice it just for melting wax

    • No need to have a separate pot. Just wash it right after you pour out the wax. Hot water and soap will do the trick.

    • Bev Bev on Jul 06, 2021

      I'd go to a thrift shop and pick up an old pot for next to nothing and yes, you'd keep it for your candle projects

    • Jery Jery on Jul 06, 2021

      An old coffee pot from the thrift store is perfect with the pouring spout. I have kept a “wax” pot for years-started with canning lo those many years ago when we poured wax on top of Jellies/jams!

  • Asa30152378 Asa30152378 on Jul 06, 2021

    Can you add food coloring to the wax? Do you have to use the balloons?

    • Gina Gina on Jul 06, 2021

      Old crayon pieces make a great colorant for candles. Add it once the wax is almost melted and stir.

    • Sir27567132 Sir27567132 on Jul 07, 2021

      The balloons are for decorative purpose only. Skip steps 9-11 if you only wanted to repel mosquitoes.

  • Mgwouden Mgwouden on Jul 06, 2021

    Where does one find soy wax?

  • 'Janis Plourde 'Janis Plourde on Jul 07, 2021

    Just wondering if the balloons will melt away and or become sticky from the heat of the candles....

  • Kimberly Crowe Kimberly Crowe on Jul 07, 2021

    What is the purpose of the balloons? Just color?

  • Ana Ana on Jul 07, 2021

    What are the balloons for? How will it repel the mosquitoes?


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