As it the weather warms and we spend more time outside, it’s crucial to take healthy steps to prevent over-heating and beware of our buggy friends who are just as fond of the summer season as we are. In that vein, we wanted to share some of our favorite DIY bug repellant and cooling recipes to help you stay your summer best!
Bug Off Spray
2oz distilled water or Witch Hazel
16 Drops Lavender essential oil
16 Drops Rose Geranium essential oil
8 drops Cedar wood essential oil
*Blend all ingredients in a 2oz spray bottle and enjoy being in the bug-free zone!
Beeswax Insect Repellent Candle by DesignSponge
- 1/2 pound beeswax (either as a solid block or already broken up into smaller pieces)
- 3 drops citronella essential oil
- 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops Cedar wood essential oil
- wax or parchment paper
- 8-ounce glass or metal vessel (to hold the candle)
- double boiler (or metal bowl resting atop a pot)
- candy or candle thermometer (or thermometer that reads up to 200ºF)
- one 6-inch piece of wire-core wick (available at craft stores or online, pre-cut or in bulk spools)
- 1 wick tab/holder
- heat-proof spouted container for pouring (such as a glass Pyrex measuring cup)
- utensil for stirring (I used a take-out wooden chopstick)
- thin wooden dowel or chopstick, aka a “wick stick” (used to hold and center the wick in the container)
- screw driver (to break up the beeswax block)
- scissors (for cutting the wick to length)
- measuring tape or stick
- cutting board
- oven mitt or pot holder
Making your Candles!
- Clean and thoroughly dry the vessel you’ll be using to hold your candle. I used a 1/2-pint mason jar, but an 8-ounce metal canister or any used, clean, up-cycled glass jar would work equally well here, as would a terra cotta planter (with no drainage hole), a tea cup or any other vessel you can come up with! 2. Put newspaper or parchment on top of your workspace. Beeswax is an especially soft wax, making it challenging to remove once it’s on a surface. 3. Now you’ll need to break up the beeswax block. I used a screwdriver on top of a wooden cutting board for this step. It’s important to break the block into smaller pieces so that they all melt at right around the same point in the heating process. 4. Next, you’ll need to do what’s called “priming” the wick. This step is helpful for a number of reasons: it helps the wick to match the color of the finished candle, aids the wick in standing up straight, makes the candle easier to light and helps the candle burn more slowly. To condition the wick, place the broken-up beeswax pieces in a double boiler (or metal bowl placed on top of a pan filled about 2–3 inches high with water; you want the water to boil beneath the bowl without actually touching the bowl). Clip a candy (or candle) thermometer to the side of the top bowl. Turn the burner to medium-high and melt the wax, taking care to keep the temperature no higher than 160º F. Use your stirring utensil to move around the pieces of beeswax so that everything melts at around the same rate. Once the wax is melted, remove the double boiler from the heat and place your pre-measured piece of wick into the wax. Leave it to soak for 20–30 seconds, then use your stirring utensil to remove it from the melted wax. Place it on a piece of wax or parchment paper, pull or roll it taut and straight and leave it to dry for 10 minutes. 5. Once your wick has dried, thread the wick through the hole of the wick tab/holder. Use pliers to squeeze the threading hole, closing it tightly around the wick. Place the wick/wick tab into your candle holder/vessel. Set aside. 6. Warm the wax back up to 160º F, using the stirring utensil to help liquefy any solidified pieces. Add the drops of essential oils, using the stirring utensil to fully incorporate them. 7. Remove the bowl containing the melted wax from the heat. Transfer about 1/4 cup of the melted wax to a heat-proof spouted container, and return the bowl with the rest of the wax to the double boiler. 8. Pour approximately 1/2 inch of melted wax into your candleholder/vessel containing the wick/wick tab. Set aside until it has firmed up and cooled a bit, about 20–25 minutes. This step helps to anchor the wick, keeping it in place as the rest of the candle is poured. 9. Warm the remaining wax until it liquefies. Transfer all of the melted wax to the heat-proof spouted container. You may need to use your stirring utensil to incorporate any wax that has solidified in the spouted container with the new hot wax. 10. Pour all of the melted wax into your candleholder, on top of the wax used to secure the wick/wick tab. 11. Gently wrap the top of the wick around a wick stick, centering it in the middle of the container. Be sure not to tug too tightly on the wick during this step, as doing so could dislodge the wick from the wick tab, causing it to float to the top of the melted wax. Rest the wick stick on the center of the container/mold and allow the candle to cool completely. 12. Once the candle has cooled completely, remove the wick stick. Trim the wick to 1/4 inch before the first use, and after every use, especially if the candle is in a glass container (be sure to provide this crucial tip to others, should you gift them with your homemade candles). Otherwise, a lengthy wick could overheat the glass, causing it to spontaneously shatter.
Cool Your Condition Spray
1oz Witch Hazel
3oz of Aloe Vera (if using Aloe Juice increase Witch Hazel for preservation)
5 drops of Peppermint essential oil
(Optional: 5 drops of Lavender essential oil)
4 oz spray bottle
*Blend all ingredients together in bottle. Use topically to cool the body down or on bug bites to sooth itchiness.
There are tons of delicious mint iced tea combinations you can make to keep yourself chill from the inside out. Here are just a couple to try. Share below if you have a favorite recipe!
Cucumber Mint Cooler
8 cups nicely brewed Sencha green tea or (Rooibos/Green Rooibos if you prefer non-caffeinated)
1/2 cup peeled, seeded, pureed Cucumber
1/4 cup muddled, finely chopped fresh mint (Peppermint Or Spearmint) leaves
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (or lemon juice)
*Blend all ingredients and chill until cold. Serve on ice with fresh mint leaves for extra cooling power!
Moroccan Mint with a Matcha Twist
This is our fun take on the classic Moroccan Mint tea!
1 tablespoon Matcha Green Tea powder
1 large handful fresh Spearmint leaves, washed
1/2 liter (about 2 cups) boiling water
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar or your preferred substitute
1 cup of ice
*Bring a liter or more of water to a full boil.
Add Matcha to the to heat safe container, then pour a few tablespoons of boiling water over the powder and whisk or stir.
Add the mint leaves and the sugar, and fill the pot with 1/2 liter (about 2 cups) boiling water. Leave the tea to steep for five minutes or longer. Strain out mint leaves if desired and add mixture and ice to blender. Blend on low until completely blended and frothy.
Pour into a chilled glass and serve.
Pampered Peppermint Foot Lotion
If you're anything like me, your feet get SO tired and hot during this season from all the barefoot walking and ambient warmth.....matter how much I exfoliate and hydrate. This lotion really allows the cooling effect of the peppermint to refresh and nourish your feeties!
1/4 cup Shea Butter
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Jojoba Oil (or your favorite oil!)
10-20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
-In a double boiler set up, melt shea butter and coconut oil over gentle heat.
-Add oil of your choice and let cool to lukewarm.
-Stir in the peppermint essential oil before mixture hardens.
-Beat until light colored and creamy using rotary beaters, a stand mixer, or an immersion blender. This should take less than five minutes.
What are your favorite outdoor summer recipes?