DIY Tiki Torches

| 7/7/2011 7:29:53 PM

JacJaci Kennisonlyn Kennison is a freelance writer living and playing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She owns and manages an art gallery and event venue between fits of shopping and redecorating.  

My last blog concerned battling mosquitoes and in researching that piece I was thrilled to discover that it is possible—and probably a lot of fun—to make your own mosquito-repelling tiki torch. Someone suggested reusing an old wine bottle and while I love the idea, I'm thinking about mason jars instead as they are equally sturdy and fire-proof but come with perfect fitting tops for sealing them up.

In my case, I'd like to decorate the jars first with a bit of paint, or some glued-on stones or sticks. (Be sure to use strong and safe adhesive and let it dry completely). Using a screwdriver, puncture a hole in the lid of your jar and thread the wick through. Google "tiki wicks" and quite an array of suppliers comes up, but as far as I can tell, simple wicks made of cotton or hemp work just fine. Position the wick so that it hangs well into the jar and trim so a mere half-inch sticks out above the opening in your lid.

Tiki torches can be an environmentally friendly way to dress up your yard and ward off mosquitoes 

Choose your fuel. Again, there are a variety of options out there. I ran across a few sources that list olive oil laced with 20 to 40 drops of citronella or lemongrass oil as an ideal fuel for discouraging mosquitoes. Of course there are some eco-friendly brands out there that produce the ready-made version as sustainably as possible. Check out Purple Skeeter Beater torch fuel—so far, it's my favorite.

 Fill your jar to a bit over half full with your fluid of choice and you have a lovely tiki.