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How To Make a Votive Candle
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
Keep flammable items away from the stove. Never leave melting wax unattended and never use direct heat to melt it. If the wax catches fire, do NOT try to douse it with water—use a fire extinguisher, baking soda, or, for a fire contained in a pot, cover it with the pot lid.
step 1Prepare workspace
Prepare your workspace by covering it with wax paper or newspaper to make cleanup easier.
step 2Heat 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.
tip One pound of wax will make about 5 small votive candles.
step 3Affix 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.
tip Don’t use wick putty for votive candles—it makes the finished candles very difficult to remove from the molds.
step 4Stir wax
When the wax has reached its proper temperature and is fully melted, remove it from the heat, turn off the stove, and stir.
tip If you want to add color or fragrance, mix in the additives according to the package directions just before removing the wax from the heat.
step 5Pour 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 6Let 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 7Poke 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 8Add 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.
tip You may need to do this several times, but only fill the well, don’t over-pour. If fresh wax seeps down the sides of the mold, the candle will be harder to remove later.
step 9Slide 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 10Trim wicks
Trim the wicks to about a quarter of an inch and that’s it—your votives are ready for action.
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