The best thing about summer and the hot weather we're all enjoying is being able to eat and drink alfresco, but when uninvited visitors (we're looking at you here wasps and mosquitoes) start buzzing around the table and trying to get in on the BBQ action, the idea of eating outdoors suddenly seems less appealing.
So if you don't fancy sharing your tasty burger with a bug or your favourite mojito with a mosquito, we've got a clever DIY craft project for you to try. Using a selection of natural ingredients and classic Kilner jars, these pretty tealight holders are quick and easy to make and are a great eco-friendly way to deter insects from pestering you at dinner. Plus, they'll add a lovely atmospheric glow to your alfresco set-up after dark.
Read on for how to make these in four easy steps, then head to our simple garden ideas for more quick and easy ways to update your outdoor space this weekend.
- Thanks to Dobbies Garden Centres (opens in new tab) for creating this stylish DIY garden project
You will need:
- Kilner glass jars (opens in new tab)
- Fresh lemons
- Fresh limes
- Fresh sprigs of rosemary
- Essential oils: cedarwood (opens in new tab), lavender (opens in new tab), lemon (opens in new tab) and thieves (opens in new tab)
- Floating tealight candles (opens in new tab)
Step one: fill the jars with water
Gather everything you need on the garden table or kitchen worktop and remove the lids on the Kilner jars. Want to save yourself some money? You could simply recycle old kitchen jars instead of buying new Kilner designs. Fill the jars three-quarters full with water.
Step two: add your ingredients
Cut the lemons and limes into slices. Add two slices of lemon, two of lime, a few sprigs of rosemary and 10 drops of each essential oil (40 in total) to each jar.
Step three: add the tealight
If necessary, top up with the jar with more water so the tealight is near to the top of the jar. Float a tealight on the top, then light it to warm the water and release the lovely aroma of the essential oils.
Step four: enjoy your alfresco evening
Place the filled jars on a table near to where you will be sitting to keep the bugs at bay. Make sure they jars are on a level surface and well away from any young children who might knock them over. Make fresh jars every two to three days to ensure those bugs stay away!
Pretty lighting for evenings outdoors
No evening garden gathering is complete without some pretty garden lights twinkling in the background, so why not add some extra glow? A mix of LED outdoor candles and fairy lights will complement your DIY tealight holders and ensure your space has added atmosphere when the sun goes down...
Beth's first journalism job was working for Real Homes magazine more than 18 years ago. It cemented her love of all things homes- and garden-related and she's never looked back since. She's worked for and contributed to a number of leading magazines in the UK, including Ideal Home magazine, Period Living magazine, Grand Designs magazine and Good Homes magazine amongst others, before returning to Real Homes magazine as editor. Now the editor of Gardeningetc.com, Beth's attention is firmly outdoors, and she's constantly inspired by how people make use of their outdoor space.
Her own garden is a really important part of her family's home, and they were lucky enough to inherit a space with lots of lovely mature planting when they bought their 1930s property.
Since then, they've built several raised beds for a veg patch, increased the size of the flowerbeds to find room for yet more of her favourite David Austin roses and her husband's collection of hostas, created an outdoor living room complete with comfy sofas and festoon lights, and not forgetting the biggest challenge of all – trying to fit in the ever changing assortment of trampolines, climbing frames and outdoor toys that are inevitable when you have two young kids!
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