How to Make a Votive Candle

Smaller and squatter than ordinary candles, votives are personal-sized creations perfect for private worship—or for perking up your patio, picnic, or poolside party.

You will need

  • A fire extinguisher or baking soda
  • At least 1 lb. of candle wax
  • A stove top or hot plate
  • A double boiler setupwith lid
  • A candle or candy thermometer
  • A clear countertop or work area
  • Some wax paper or newspaper
  • Candle wicks with metal tabs
  • A spatula
  • Votive molds or paper cups
  • A toothpick
  • And a small knife or piece of cloth
  • Candle colorant
  • Candle fragrance

Step 1 Prepare workspace Prepare your workspace by covering it with wax paper or newspaper to make cleanup easier.

Step 2 Heat wax Place the wax into the double boiler setup and heat to between 150 and 200 degrees, depending on manufacturer’s instructions. Use the thermometer to check the temperature frequently. Don’t let it exceed 250 degrees or the vapors could become flammable.

Step 3 Affix wick Affix the metal tab of a new wick to the bottom of each container using a dab of melted wax. Make sure the wick is centered and standing up straight.

Step 4 Stir wax When the wax has reached its proper temperature and is fully melted, remove it from the heat, turn off the stove, and stir.

Step 5 Pour wax Pour wax into each mold until it’s half an inch below the rim, saving about a cup of wax for later use.

Step 6 Let cool Put the molds aside to cool, keeping them away from any drafts or flammable objects. And don’t refrigerate them—the wax should cool slowly.

Step 7 Poke holes Once the top has cooled and a skin has formed, usually about 30 minutes to an hour later, use a toothpick to poke a few deep holes near each wick to help prevent air pockets from forming.

Step 8 Add wax As the temperature drops, the wax at the center of the candle tends to sink and form a well. Reheat the wax you saved and add it to the mold until the well is filled.

Step 9 Slide candle out After the candles have sat for several hours and cooled completely, turn the molds over and tap the bottoms until the candles slide free. If you used paper cup molds, simply peel them away.

Step 10 Trim wicks Trim the wicks to about a quarter of an inch and that’s it—your votives are ready for action.