DIY - Bug Repellent Mason Jar Lanterns

Hi friends! Today I have a really easy DIY for the outdoors! Gnats and mosquitoes can really put a damper on outside activities, and bug spray works great for an individual person but I wanted to find a solution for a larger area such as driveway/garage.

I did a bit of research and trial and error, and the results are these cute little mason jar lanterns. They are super easy to make, and extremely budget friendly. I have tested them out myself and can personally say they do actually work, and last quite a long time.

Step by step instructions are below, or feel free to click on any picture to pin this post for later!

First, gather your materials!


You will need:

-A mason jar of any size, complete with lid

-Rope wick

-Liquid bug repellent

I grabbed a few different jars that I had laying around, and then went to Target for the rest of the materials. They are currently having a decent sale on their patio/outdoor items so I was able to pick up the rope wick (came in a package of two) and the liquid bug repellent for under $10 total. I chose the ‘clean burn’ version of the liquid repellent, which has less smoke/flame but maintains the same effectiveness of the standard version. You could use any bug repellent/torch fuel that is designed to be burned in this manner.

Next, its time for assembly!

I had Adam use a drill bit to puncture a hole in the mason jar lid, and fed the rope wick through the opening. You could probably use a hole punch too, but I just didn’t have one on hand. Then I filled the jar about 1/4 of the way and trimmed the wick so it was just a couple inches tall. It took a few minutes for the wick to soak up enough of the liquid to ignite, but once it did I snapped this picture…


I really like that there is no smoke/soot coming from this ‘clean burning’ torch fuel, as that was one of my biggest hesitations to ever investing in the traditional ‘tiki torches’.

Last step…Enjoy!

I made a few different lanterns with a few different sizes and colors of mason jars, and set them out on the front porch when we were out there the other night. Not only did they look cute, but they served a great purpose too!


Quick safety note, these jars do get warm after being lit for a long period of time, so be sure to let them cool before handling them. Also, I like to put them in a metal tray or on concrete (or anything non-flammable) just in case they were to be tipped over.

That’s all I have for you today! I hope you are enjoying those long summer evenings and if you are having a biting insect problem like we were, you might give these lanterns a whirl! As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today!


Homemade Insect Repellent

Hello friends! It’s finally sunny and dry here in Iowa, which has been in a bit of a cold and wet weather system for a while now. Hopefully it will stay sunny so my plants and grass can dry out!

Today I am bringing you a homemade recipe for natural insect repellent, which is just as necessary as sunscreen during the warmer months! I often joke the mosquito should be the state bird of Iowa! But in all seriousness, the diseases that mosquitoes and ticks carry make me cringe at just the thought, especially with a very curious 1 year old that will not accept being indoors when the weather is nice. In addition, traditional bug spray often has harsh chemicals that I would prefer to keep off of my child and pets.

So, after a bit of research and some testing (because it has to actually work!) I found a bug spray recipe that I really like. Bonus is this recipe is super budget friendly and I already had everything on hand except for the $1 spray bottle.

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I have been using this recipe for about a month now, and I regularly spray the covered porch area where my child plays (deck furniture/pillows/etc) prior to her being out there and so far I have not had any issues with pests. When the whole family is outside, I apply to myself and the dog, and usually just give a spritz to my child’s clothing and that seems to work well. Since it’s all natural I don’t mind if it was on her skin, but she normally has sunscreen on and I would prefer not to have a greasy mix of the two!

Well, nap time is almost over and that means it’s time to get ready to head back outside. Thanks for stopping by the blog today and feel free to pin this recipe for future use! Hopefully you can enjoy the sunshine wherever you are located!


How To Clean Up Your Vintage Glass Bottles

Today I am writing from SUNNY and WARM (ish) Iowa! I can’t tell you how excited I am to not have to brace my face for the cold every time I open a door. Today’s post goes along with all things ‘spring cleaning’ which is the theme at my house these days! We have been doing all those yearly tasks, cleaning out dryer vents and bathroom fan motors…safety first!

If you have been following along you know I love everything budget friendly, and therefore I find a lot of my decor pieces at thrift shops. I love the hunt for a good deal, and I recently came across a collection of medicine bottles and many were marked $1 . I have a plan to display them in my bathroom (after I re-paint it) and while I love the look of vintage bottles, I noticed some of these had a residue or film on the inside that was taking away from the look.

After a little research, and some trial and error, I came up with a fairly simple method to cleaning some of the residue out of the bottles that didn’t use any harsh chemicals and also didn’t damage them. The end result was not a sparkling clean look, but it’s better than where we started!

Here are a couple before photos to show you what I was working with…


As you can see there was quite a bit of buildup on the inside of these bottles, and it was taking away from their appearance. Here is how I cleaned them up:

  1. Fill them half way with warm water and other half white vinegar

  2. Let them sit on the counter for 24 hours

  3. Rinse well

  4. Fill them completely with white vinegar

  5. Let them sit for another 24 hours

  6. Rinse well and dry

You could repeat this process as many times as you wish to achieve your desired result.

Here are the after photos…again they are not perfect but definitely an improvement!


These bottles are now ready to be added to my collection that I’m working on for the spare bathroom, and of course I will share that cabinet and collection when I get it completed. Now that the weather is nicer, we have been working outside most days but I will find time for the indoor projects again soon!

As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today, and feel free to pin this post for later use!