Quick & Easy Bug Repellent Luminaries

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For a quick and easy way to get rid of pesky mosquitoes this summer, try making these bug-repellent luminaries. They’re not only effective but also attractive!

Bug repellent mason jar luminary with a lantern on a patio table with text reading "Bug Repellent Mason Jar Luminaries"

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Natural Bug Repellent Luminaries

If you’ve lived in a warm climate near large bodies of water, you’ve encountered your fair share of mosquitoes. They can really rain on your parade and make gardening a chore.

(If you’re wondering what the mosquito outlook is for your area, you can find your forecast here.)

When it comes to getting rid of these blood-suckers, you usually have two choices:

  1. Slather a large dose of insect repellent over your skin, or
  2. Use candles, lamps, or this amazing (but expensive) device.
Mason jar luminary supplies with lemon slices, rosemary and essential oil

To avoid smelling like you dipped yourself in lemon balm, try making natural bug repellent luminaries!

You’ll only need a few, simple ingredients for this mason jar craft. Plus, it can double as pretty decor for your next outdoor dinner party.


Mason jar luminary supplies, including lemon slices, rosemary, and essential oil

Step 1: Prepare lemon slices and rosemary

To make one large mason jar luminary, you’ll need to slice 1 large lemon into pieces about 1/4-inch thick.

The thickness doesn’t really matter, but smaller slices help fill the jar and add more alternating layers of rosemary.

I cut stems from a living rosemary plant, but you can always find rosemary sprigs at a local grocery store if you don’t have a plant handy.

If you don’t like rosemary, you can try basil, mint, or lemon balm instead.

Step 2: Add water and essential oil to mason jar

Fill the mason jar about 3/4 of the way with water. Then, add 5-10 drops of essential oil. Adding a small amount of dish soap may help the oil and water to mix better if desired.

I used lavender essential oil for my luminaries, but you have lots of choices. I recommend any citrus or floral scent that speaks to you. You can find a great selection of oils here.

Mosquito repellent mason jar luminary with lantern on outdoor patio with pool in background

When I originally made these bug repellent luminaries, I added the essential oil after the other ingredients. You can decide what works best for you.

Step 3: Add alternating layers of citrus and rosemary

Once your water and oil are well mixed, add layers of lemon (or lime) and rosemary to your mason jar. You can add as much or as little as you like, depending on the size of your jar.

Step 4: Add water and a candle

After adding all ingredients, fill the mason jar with more water until it sits just below the lip.

Top with a floating candle to finish your luminary, and enjoy a pest-free afternoon in the great outdoors!

Mason jar luminary and lantern on outdoor patio table

Note: Do not leave burning candles unattended.

Step 5: Add metal handle to luminary (optional)

If you’d like the ability to move your mason jars around, you can add a regular mouth handle or wide mouth handle to your jars. Just double-check the size before you buy.

Pin it for later!

Mosquito repellent mason jar luminary with lantern and text overlay reading "DIY Mason Jar Mosquito Repellent." Also pictures the ingredients for making the luminary.
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Mason jar filled with citrus, rosemary and essential oils pictured with lantern on patio table

DIY Bug Repellent Luminaries

Author: firstdayofhome.com
Make this easy mason jar craft to keep the mosquitoes and bugs away this summer. It only takes minutes to make these bug repellent luminaries, and they double as pretty decor too!
It's the perfect addition to your outdoor picnic or dinner al fresco.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Project Type Arts & Crafts
Cost (US$)10
Yield 1 luminary



  • Cut lemon or lime into slices about 1/4-inch thick.
  • Cut 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary.
  • Add water to fill the mason jar about 3/4 full. Then, add 5-10 drops of essential oil and mix well. If desired, you can add a few drops of detergent to better mix the oil and water.
  • Add alternating layers of the citrus slices and rosemary.
  • Fill the jar with water until it reaches just below the lip of the mason jar.
  • Add a floating candle.
  • Optional: Attach a mason jar handle to make your luminary portable or hang it on a rope. Just be sure to use a flameless candle if hanging it on a rope.


These luminaries should last 2-3 days depending on weather conditions. Do not leave a burning candle unattended.
Essential oil options include lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, lemongrass, rosemary, orange, peppermint, and tea tree oil.
Tried this project?Mention @firstdayofhome or tag #firstdayofhome!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will mason jar luminaries last?

In good weather conditions, these luminaries will last 2-3 days. Always blow out the candle when not in use.

Can I use another citrus fruit besides lemon or lime?

Orange or grapefruit is another good option if the slices will fit in a mason jar.

Can I use a flameless LED floating candle?

Yes, you can find a good option u003ca href=u0022https://rstyle.me/+1040Ca_wqIclABEez-fLggu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollowu0022u003ehereu003c/au003e.

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  1. These are such a great idea! They are pretty too and would be effective and beautiful on the porch! I’m excited to share this post with my followers for my Sunday round up “From My Neck of the Woods.”

    1. Thanks so much, Kristin! That’s very sweet of you. I just stopped by to pay a visit. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!