It’s that time of year when we want to be outdoors enjoying all the fun activities that spring and summer have to offer. Unfortunately, all that outdoor fun usually comes along with bug bites, including mosquitoes. With concerns about the mosquito-borne Zika virus becoming more serious, today we’re sharing a way to fight back naturally with this clever mosquito-repelling bracelet you can make yourself.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a sale on some mosquito repelling bracelets that were infused with citronella essential oil. My first thought was, “I bet I could totally DIY those!” And I was right! My version combines a paracord bracelet with a simple essential oil mixture. So much better than the nasty smelling store-bought bug sprays!
One quick note on the effectiveness of these bracelets – I found really mixed reviews on the store-bought ones. Some people swear by them and others say they still get lots of mosquito bites while wearing them. I found a particularly great review on Brian’s Backbacking Blog. Brian’s family tested them for a week in the Traverse City area of Michigan and said they worked just as well as bug sprays they’ve used in the past. I also read about a test done in Texas that found the bracelets to be effective but not quite as effective as spray containing DEET.
I would recommend using these bracelets in mild mosquito conditions. But I would definitely not rely on these if you are going to an area where disease ridden mosquitos are a concern.
I learned how to make paracord bracelets at a church girls camp a couple of years ago. The girls had a blast making them and so did I! Once you get the hang of the weaving process they are very quick to make. Plus, the paracord material is perfect for soaking up essential oils.
- 2 different colors of paracord
- paracord bracelet clip
- sharp scissors
- lighter or matches
Start with two different colors of paracord. I got mine at Walmart in the craft section but you should be able to find it at most craft stores or even sporting goods stores.
You’ll need about 54″ of each color. If you don’t feel like getting out a tape measure, a really easy way to make sure you have enough cord is to measure to arm lengths of each color.
The first step is to fuse together the two pieces of cord. You can do this with fabric glue or by slightly melting the ends of the cord with a lighter and pushing them together.
You’ll also want to slightly melt the other ends of the cords so that they don’t unravel as you make the bracelet.
Next, grab a paracord bracelet clip. You should find the clips right by the cord at Walmart or craft stores. Put the cord through one side of the clip and loop it to secure it to the clip.
Then take the other end the cord and pull it through the other side of the clip.
Put the bracelet on your wrist to decide how big it needs to be.
Unclip the bracelet. Be sure to hold the loose clip in place so you don’t end up making the bracelet too big or too small.
Now comes the only slightly tricky part of this process. Decide which color you would like to be in the middle of the bracelet design. Take that piece of cord and loop it over the top of the cords. In the above picture the camo print cord will be in the middle. The other cord will go over, under and through the first cord. Then pull the cords tight.
Repeat that same step, but loop the first cord on the opposite side this time.
Repeat that process, alternating sides, until you reach the end of the bracelet.
Trim off the excess cord.
Use a lighter to melt the ends of the cord that you just cut so that it doesn’t unravel.
Now that the bracelet is done it’s time to make the mosquito repellent!
All Natural Mosquito Repellent
- 1 cup witch hazel
- 15 drops citronella essential oil
- 15 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
This recipe is about as simple as it can get! Add witch hazel and the essential oils in a spray bottle. Shake to combine.
Spray the essential oil mixture onto both sides of your finished bracelet until it is thoroughly saturated. Set aside to dry.
And there you go! A fun and practical mosquito repelling bracelet. The spray should be effective for a few hours but you’ll want to respray the bracelet if you’re particularly active and sweaty or outside for an extended period of time.
One really fun thing about this project is that you can find paracord in just about any color you could want! So everyone in your family can make a bracelet to fit their personality. My husband even had me make him one in Vikings’ colors (purple and yellow).
I went for the more girly and bright summer colors! The possibilities really are endless.
What is your favorite method to repel mosquitos?