DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

Before we get into today’s post, you should know a few things:

1. I don’t like mosquitoes and other bugs ruining my parties.
2. Insect pests love to ruin my parties. (And my legs. Apparently I have sweet blood.)
3. Most citronella candles aren’t very attractive.
4. Candlelight is almost a must for outdoor entertaining on a summer evening.
5. Gold is my favorite metal of the moment. (Oh that’s right. You already knew this.)

With all of those things in mind, I was bound and determined to find beautiful citronella candles to save my parties (and my legs) and add a little bling-inspired style to my outdoor decor.

Mission accomplished! Let me introduce you to my DIY Gold-Leafed Citronella Candles.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

Just the thing, right? Well, with the recent makeover of my porch, the upcoming styling of my deck, and the urge to DIY, these citronella candles couldn’t have come at a better time.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

Goodbye ugly citronella candles. Hello gilded mosquito-repelling beauties. And don’t worry, these bad boys are a breeze to make. Let me show you!

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

DIY Gold-Leafed Citronella Candles

Here’s what you will need:
Citronella candles in glass jars ( I found mine at Walmart for about $2 each. They are Cutter Citro Guard.)
Gold leaf sheets
Gilding adhesive
Paint brush
Painter’s tape (optional)

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

Begin by removing the label from each candle and then giving them a good cleaning.

The next step is optional. If you’d like to create a design / pattern on your candle, apply painter’s tape to any area you do not want covered with gold leaf.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

Once your candle is prepared, you’re ready to apply the gilding adhesive. Using a paint brush, cover any areas where you want the gold leaf sheets to stick.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

For the candle without the painter’s tape, I just spread the adhesive around the candle, purposefully skipping spots every now and then to create a mercury glass effect. If you use painter’s tape, remove it immediately after the gilding adhesive is applied.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

Allow the adhesive to dry. The surface will be tacky when dry.

Next, apply the gold leaf sheets to the tacky dried adhesive. Apply as many sheets as needed.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

Remove the sheets.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

Then using your fingers, gently rub the gold leaf with your hands to ensure it sticks and to remove any access. If you rub a bit harder, you’ll be able to remove some of the gold leaf in areas where you may not want it.

Keep in mind that doing this treatment to glass is a bit trickier than on a more porous surface. You won’t end up with a solid gold covering, but I prefer this more chippy rustic look. However, if you want a more solid gold treatment, go over any areas where the glass shows with more adhesive. Wait for the adhesive to dry and add more gold leaf.

After that, your Gold-Leafed Citronella Candles are complete.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

As you can see, this is a really quick DIY.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

 

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

You can have fun creating different designs and patterns with painter’s tape to find a look to suit your space and taste.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

As I mentioned above, this treatment isn’t perfect on glass, but in this case, I love the imperfections.

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

It’s a great way to add style to your outdoor spaces while keeping some of those pesky bugs away. Plus, who doesn’t love a good outdoor DIY?

Share your creations on Instagram! Use #myIBC

DIY Gold-Leaf Citronella Candles | Inspired by Charm

Okay, I’m off to gold-leaf anything else I can find. Well, not really. Maybe.

Inspired By Charm Paint Colors
Comments

  • Kari at

    I really love these. I’ve always been a little scared of doing anything with gold leaf (I’m not crafty AT ALL) but I may have to actually give these a try.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Kari – you totally should! You really can’t screw them up. The more distressed the better. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Elle at

    These look expensive and on trend. Great DIY!

  • Alice at

    Hi Michael,

    I love these votive lights, and I hate bugs of any kind at an outdoor party. Another idea to put with the lights on the table are pots of rosemary or arrangements with rosemary and lemongrass in them. The pests do not like the smell at all!

    I look forward to your posts no matter what the subject matter and my guests love your recipes.

    Sincerely,

    alice g

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Perfect! Love that idea. Thanks Alice.

      xo Michael

  • Tracey (From KY) at

    Such a clever idea! You made them look so pretty and expensive.

  • Trish at

    I LOVE this! I have the same problem as you – bugs love me, I hate them, and I don’t find traditional citronella candles cute at all. Thank you so much for sharing this! I can’t wait to try it!

  • Summer at

    These are great Michael! I too am not a mosquito friend so I’m always looking for good citronella options! Thanks!

  • Dani H at

    I can’t wait to try this ~ though I haven’t made up my mind yet whether to use gold, silver or (my current favorite) copper leaf. Maybe i’ll do a few in each so that I can use whichever ones I’m in the mood for. {I’m dealing with a major metallic obsession.}

    This is the first time I recall commenting, but definitely not my first time here. I LOVE your site and your ideas are fabulous!

  • Gwen, The Makerista at

    I’m running about 3-4 new bites a night….ugh…I need these, such a great idea!

  • Kisha@Design Intervention Diary at

    Those look AMAZING! And they’re so clever with the citronella candle inside. Functional and beautiful. What a great way to class-up Fourth of July! 🙂 I need to make these. Thanks for the brilliant idea!

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