by Lisa McGrimmon
If you're just learning how to make candles, these tips on making votive candles will get you started.
Whether you associate candles with lovely and homey scents or you associate them with steamy romance, you will find that making votive candles yourself can be very satisfying. Candles are quite simple to make, and everything that you need to make them is fairly easy to find. When you are looking for a new hobby and when the idea of providing your own illumination appeals to you, you will find that figuring out how to make candles is fun, easy and enjoyable!
The supplies that you are going to need are very straightforward. You will need a heat source, like an electric stove or even a hot plate, a pot to melt the wax in, a larger, water-filled pot to hold the wax pot, the type of wax of your choice, the type of wick that is best for the wax that you are going to use (typically you'd use wicks with metal tabs when making votive candles), a thermometer, some Dixie cups and a straw.
If you wish, you can also add fragrance oil or essential oils to the candle to make it scent the room. Keep in mind, if you work with essential oils, they are concentrated. Also, some essential oils are not recommended for children, people who are pregnant or people with some health conditions, and some of them can mark surfaces, so do check with a health care professional if you have any concerns about using essential oils and take care to avoid spilling them on furniture, counters etc.
1. Prepare the mold
Set the cups on a tray that you don't mind spilling on and tie the wick around the middle of your straw. Lay the straw over the mouth of the cup and let the long end of the wick dangle into the cup, touching the bottom,
2. Set up the double boiler
Set your larger pot on the heat source and put the pot with the wax in it into the pot. Fill the space between the two pots with water and start boiling.
3. Adding extras
At this point, you will be able to add any color or fragrance that you would like to the wax. If you are going to be adding any fragrance or color, use a thermometer and make sure that you add it when the manufacturers tell you to. You can use a craft stick or a wooden spoon that you don't mind messing up to stir the mixture in.
4. Pouring the candle
When the wax has reached an appropriate heat, usually around 180 degrees F, you will be able to pour it into the molds that you have prepared. Turn the burner off and pour very carefully, making sure that the wick is hanging straight down. Leave at least half an inch, perhaps more, when pouring at this point.
5. Checking for air bubbles
When the mold has sat for around about 20 minutes (more with some waxes, less with others) use a craft stick or a straw to poke into the semi-solid surface for air bubbles. Don't worry about leaving holes or dents in the wax.
6. Topping off your candle
Pour some more liquid wax on the top of the candle to ensure a smooth top.
When the wax has hardened, you will have a votive candle. In three or four hours, peel the Dixie cup off of the wax and trim the wick. Light and enjoy!
For some extra information, here's a video that shows how to make candles:
How to Make Candles