How to make votive candles
Votive candles add ambiance and warmth to any setting and are simple to customize to the theme of your next special event or holiday celebration just by changing the color and fragrance.
If you've never made or used votives before, note that votives are not meant to be freestanding. While the making process is similar to that of a pillar candle, they burn like a container candle. Make sure you use holders specifically rated for votives, like our 3 oz Standard Votive Holder.
For this tutorial, we chose our Seafoam Dye Blocks and Sea Mist Fragrance Oil for a fresh and summery atmosphere.
NOTE: The wax we’re using for our votives will require a second pour the following day. Be sure to factor that into your process.
EO Notes: You can also use candle-approved essential oils for this project. Check the recommended usage percentage on the essential oil product page and start with low percentages. How to Make Soy Candles with Essential Oils
Additional Items Needed:
- Double Boiler or Hot Plate
- Spatula or Large Spoon for stirring wax
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Paper Towels
- Paper Cup and Marker
Step 1: Prep your supplies and workspace
Before you begin, make sure your work area is clear of extraneous items and ready for you to get crafty.
Now we’ll measure our wax and fragrance. Using a digital scale, weigh out 1 lb (454 g) of IGI 4625 Pillar and Votive Blend Wax and set it aside. Then, weigh 1 oz (28 g) of Sea Mist fragrance oil and set aside.
Prepare the votive molds by wiping them out with a little rubbing alcohol and a clean paper towel or lint-free cloth.
Next, center one votive wick pin in each mold.
Step 2: Melt and add fragrance
Begin melting the pound of wax you set aside in a double boiler or on a hot plate.
While you’re waiting for the wax to melt, break off the amount of the Seafoam Dye Block you’d like to use for your votives. We recommend about ¼ of the block per pound of wax for this project, but adjust up or down according to the shade you’d like to achieve.
Once the wax is fully melted, add the dye block pieces and stir gently but thoroughly until the color is dispersed throughout the wax.
As soon as the wax reaches 185ºF (85°C), add your previously measured fragrance and remove from the heat. Stir gently for about two minutes.
Step 3: Pour the wax into votive molds
When the wax reaches 175ºF (79.4°C), it’s time to do the first pour. Going very slowly, pour the melted wax up to the lip of each votive mold. Votive wax will shrink as it cools and will need a second pour the following day.
Pour the remaining wax into a paper cup labeled with the wax type, fragrance, and date. Let sit until solidified.
When you’re ready for the second pour, grab your labeled paper cup and peel away the paper. Place the solid wax into a pouring pitcher and reheat until it reaches 190ºF (87.8°C). This higher temperature will help the wax better adhere to the solid, cooled votive.
Carefully pour the wax to fill in the remaining space and any sinkholes that developed in the votives all the way up to the lip of the mold.
Allow the votives to cool completely.
Part 4: Remove votives from mold and add candle wicks
Remove the votives from their molds by gently pulling the wick pin.
PRO TIP: The votives should release easily. If they do not, put them in the refrigerator for no more than a few minutes to allow the wax to contract.
Once the candle has been removed from the mold, flip it over and press or tap the top of the wick pin firmly until it releases. Important: Make sure you don't do this step on a surface that could be damaged.
Replace each wick pin with a LX-14 pretabbed wick and trim to about 1/4" (6 mm).
Congratulations, you’ve just made your first batch of votives!
Place your votive candles into approved votive holders, like our classically elegant Standard Votive Holders. Put a warning label on the bottom of each votive holder, and remember to always follow all candle burning safety rules.
Show off your votive candles, and all your handmade creations, with the CandleScience community by tagging by tagging us @CandleScience and using the #CandleScientist hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We may feature you in our Stories or on our website!