Hosting an outdoor gathering this weekend or this summer? If you live in the south especially, you know the mosquitoes are already out in full force. Burning citronella torches or candles seems to be a common way at attempting to keep them away from your porch, backyard, or deck. So here’s a quick and easy solution and bonus – it uses mason jars which are sort of all the rage and highly available right now.
You can make your own tiki torch by using a jar, oil, and a wick. I saw the idea on Pinterest with no souce but it was pretty self explanatory.
I reused some old jelly jars that are actual mason jars and used tiki torch wicks although I think you could use a large candle wick as well. You could use anything from the vintage blue mason jars, they even have some pretty green mason jars out right now remade to look like the old vintage jars, or any glass jar you have around. You will also need a lid whether it is the lid that came on the jar or a ring and canning lid that you can buy in the canning section at any store. The oil was $5, the packs of wicks $2, and the jars I already had.
Use a hammer and nail to punch a hole in the lid and then keep punching holes to enlarge that hole until you have a hole big enough for the wick to go through. Or you can use a drill and a large drill bit.
Your holes may not be completely round or smooth and that is ok. They will be hidden by the wick and you want them to be tight enough so that the hole “holds” the wick and it doesn’t fall back into the jar.
Thred the wicks through the hole. I actually ended up cutting the wicks in half and they were plenty long enough.
Clean the labels off the jars if you are reusing jars. Fill with oil 1/2 – 3/4 full and screw the lid back on. Wait a few minutes for the oil to soak up the wick and light!
You can use these anywhere you need them – just be careful to place in areas where kids can not access them or people can’t accidently knock them over. I used them on our deck rail in areas where people weren’t sitting. But these could be used on tables or pretty much anywhere!
Not sure the oil is diffferent colors? It took that whole bottle of oil to fill 4 jars and it was a light blue color. Maybe the sun changed the colors? The below pictures were taken another day after we had burned these for 6 hours one evening and there was a good bit of oil left.
So fun and yet functional to provide light/ambiance and hopefully keep the mosquitoes at bay too.
Would you have ever thought to use mason jars as tiki torches?
Sherri Smith says
These are great, Christina! Thanks for sharing how you made them.
Have a wonderful evening…
What is the best way to extinguish them?
Blow hard !!! Lol !!!
Linda Brey says
a cheap candle sniffer works great. Or a short piece of plumbing threaded pipe with a cap on one end.
What a great idea. These look so easy to make, and I bet they last for a long time too.
I made these but mine keep filling with smoke and pop like it wants to explode and the flame goes out. Any suggestions on to make this not happen I have little kids and don’t need then getting hurt
hmmm… I am not sure why it is doing that? what kind of oil did you use and what kind of wicks? how far are the wicks sticking out of the jar?
Mine are doing the same. I’m afraid to use them now and they look so pretty 🙁
I just made some and mine are filling with smoke and going out too! But I made them yesterday and lit one to test it. The wick was a bit long so the flame was big and I burnt it for about an hour or so and nothing happened. I lit that and another one today that the wick was shorter and after 10 mins it filled with smoke made a popping sound and went out. Did anyone come up with a solution??
Do the jars get hot while lit?
Not the jars necessarily but the lids do.
I made some with wine and whiskey bottles that did the same. I discovered the hole for the wick was too big. If you remake the top with a smaller hole- it should help. Love the mason jar idea!
I made these this week and the hole is not too big plus I placed the wick through a washer as well and the jar filled with smoke. I’m not sure what to do, but they are pretty cool if I can get them to work.
Just made one but used a copper plumbing fitting and soldered to lid. Seals it much better.
Is there any sort of material lining the lid? Sometimes there is a thin plastic material coating the inside of the lid that melts and smokes from the heat, and the smoke has no where to dissipate so it stays in the jar. If that is the case, either remove the inside coating first, or look for a jar lid that does not have it.
Debbie Collins says
If you use a wine bottle, what do you use on the top of the bottle to hold the wick in place?
Does it burn the cover of the maison jar?
I did one and I am afraid it will explode.
How do you raise the wick when it burns down?
I made these last year with the canning lid and ring. The lids will get black and they sealed so well I had to pry them off and the black wick was a huge mess. I still think they are beautiful but haven’t made any more.
What a neat idea! I like how you repurposed the glassware. I’ll have to make these for my patio this summer.
kimberly cassel says
I’ve read somewhere if you make the hole small enough where the wick just barely gets through. And have the middle part of the lid with the wax part or whatever it is pointed up when you screw the lid back on it just seals to the lid not the whole jar. Then you should see smoke inside and it won’t sound like it wants to explode. Plus make sure its a thick mason jar that can with stand the heat from it all.
I have made these using mason jars with the lid and band the ones you use for canning. This did not go well for me because the rubber that makes the seal melted. Making mine a one time only use ?. Just a heads us.
Diana G says
The lids are the drawback, they do seem to get ruined and sooty and crust onto the jar. But i made one with glass peanut butter jar with a metal lid and it’s also working fine and the lid doesn’t look as burnt. Only thing it doesn’t fit down in the tiki holder. Replacement for those canisters is a bit pricey.