Things You'll Need
26-oz. spaghetti sauce can
1½ - to 2-inch-diameter dowel
1/4-inch drill bit
Canning jar lid and band
Jelly-size canning jar
Make the edges of the spaghetti sauce can a little safer by using pliers to fold down the edges of the can. Fold the sharp edge down inside the can about a half inch.
If you are unsure of what oil to use, experiment. See what oils work best for your particular bugs and also what scents you prefer.
Tiki torches are popular for many people to use outside to keep bugs away. The problem with these is that the fuel oil used contains chemicals that can be harmful. To solve this problem, make your own tiki torches and use vegetable oil, along with some bug-repelling additives, to ward off bugs at your next outdoor party or camping trip. You can also substitute olive oil for vegetable oil, if you prefer.
Clean out the spaghetti sauce can and cut it in half, using the tin snips. Make the edges of the can as smooth as possible.
Drill a hole in the center of the can. Attach the can to the end of the dowel, using the screw.
Bury the dowel in the ground at least 6 inches, depending on the dowel's length. Make sure it is secure and away from where it might get bumped by children.
Prepare the jar lid by placing it on a cutting board or other piece of wood. Make a hole in the center of the lid, using the hammer and the point of the nail. Set the lid aside.
Mix your essential oil of choice into the vegetable oil. Mix approximately 1 cup of vegetable oil and 1 to 2 tsp. of essential oil. The following essential oils help deter bugs: cedar, lemon grass, citronella, eucalyptus, chamomile or rosemary.
Pour the oil mixture into the jelly jar.
Thread a 10-inch length of wick through the hole in the jelly jar lid. Screw the lid onto the jar tightly. Let the wick set for a few hours to soak up the oil.
Leave about 1 inch of the wick exposed through the top of the jar lid. Light this when you want to keep the bugs away.
Place the jar in the tiki torch holder. When the wick gets low, blow out the flame, let the wick cool and pull up a little bit more with tweezers.
Ruth O'Neil has been a freelance writer for almost 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles and stories in dozens of publications including "Parentlife," "CBA Retailers and Resources," "Lookout" and "Standard." She has also worked with a publishing company editing and preparing manuscripts for publication.