How to Make Mason Jar Citronella Torches

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Whether you’re camping in the woods or enjoying your backyard on a summer evening, citronella tiki torches are perfect for lighting and keeping the bugs away. The mason jars give the torches a charming vintage feel, so they are as stylish as they are useful. You can make them either to sit on a table, or hang from a hook. Either way, they make the great outdoors even greater.

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Things You'll Need

  • Mason jar
  • Drill with 3/8” drill bit
  • Scissors
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Copper coupling reducer, 3/8” x ¼”
  • Fiberglass tiki torch wick
  • Citronella tiki torch fuel
  • Wire for hanging
Mason jar tiki torches
Mason jar tiki torches (Image: Jonathan Fong)

How to Make Mason Jar Tiki torches

Step 1

Drill a hole in the middle of the jar lid using a 3/8” drill bit. If your jar lid is in two pieces like those for new mason jars, separate the two pieces and work on the middle lid section.

Drill a hole in the lid
Drill a hole in the lid (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2

Cut slits around the hole in a starburst pattern.

Cut slits around the hole
Cut slits around the hole (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3

To keep the tiki torch wick supported upright and away from direct contact with the lid, we will create a wick holder with a copper coupling reducer. A coupling reducer has one wide section and one narrow section. You will find these in the plumbing aisle of the hardware store. Push the narrow section through the hole in the lid. The slits you have cut will help the coupling reducer slide through. Keep pushing the coupling reducer through the hole until it goes no further.

Push coupling reducer through the hole
Push coupling reducer through the hole (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4

Slide a tiki torch wick through the coupling reducer. Fiberglass wicks, available at the hardware store, last indefinitely and are not consumed during burning like cotton wicks.

Insert the wick
Insert the wick (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5

Fill the jar about three quarters to the top with citronella tiki torch fuel, also available at the hardware store. Cut the wick so about a half inch is exposed above the copper channel. Let the wick be completely saturated with fuel before lighting.

Fill the jar with torch fuel
Fill the jar with torch fuel (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6

If you would like to hang the mason jar tiki torch, wrap wire around the jar just below the lid, creating two loops on opposite sides. Secure the loops with a pair of needle nose pliers.

Wrap wire around rim
Wrap wire around rim (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 7

Tie wire around the two loops to form a handle. Be careful, the handle will be hot when the torch is lit.

Create a handle
Create a handle (Image: Jonathan Fong)
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