Bugs Away…

I have to admit, we have a great backyard.  Sure, we could use a bit of shade, but our grass is green, and in the rear of our yard is a nice shady tree, under which we have our thrift-store hammock, and a home-built sand box.  During Husband’s party, I wanted people milling about the yard, not just on the patio, and I needed something to get them out there.  We put the keg under the shade tree, and that certainly helped to get people out and into the yard, but I wanted something more magical, and I needed something the keep the mosquitoes away.  I saw a photo similar to this while perusing the internet the other day…

I loved how the lanterns looked, and I figured I could make them, I still had all the mason jars filled with candles that we used on the tables at our wedding.  I loved the idea of something from such a special event being used again for another milestone.  But they weren’t hanging, and I was going to have to figure out how to make them hover.  I knew just what to do.

I raided our spare closet for a handful of metal hangers.  Husband’s uniforms used to be washed by his company, and we still have tons of metal hangers just hanging around.  I then found Husband’s needle nose pliers and dikes (wire cutters).

I worked at a pace of about 3 lanterns per hour – it wasn’t exactly a quickly moving task, but it wasn’t difficult.  I clipped the hangers, and straightened them out.  Then I wrapped them around the mouth of the jar, and clipped again.  Once I had a  ring made, I made hooks, and bent some loops to hang the lanterns by.  I had my brother come over, climb the tree, and hang all the lanterns with cotton string.  I chose string because I didn’t want to hurt the tree if I wasn’t able to get the lanterns untied.  I figured cotton would easily degrade or break, either way, it would be good for the tree.

Originally, I was going to plunk citronella candles into each jar for my bug repelling, but when I was pricing them out, I came across these citronella oil refills.

The price was right, and they burn for 20 hours.  I didn’t figure our party would last that long, but I like to be prepared.

Once it was all put together, it looked like this…

And though it looked more magical in the dark, here it is during the day.

I made nine or so, and other than the oil, it didn’t cost me a thing.  I think the oil cost around a buck fifty each, so that times nine equals….

$14.50.  Not bad for nine lanterns that keep the bugs away.

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Filed under Fun and Free Ideas, Home Design, Musings, Save my Wallet, Save the Earth

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