Making Votive Candles

These votive candles are easy to make and are very popular, they are best used in the votive glasses that are available in the accessories glassware tins section.
The votive candle is a very good selling product as people enjoy having a candle in a container such as a glass. The main problem with container candles is that once the candle is finished you have the glass left over and it seems to be a waste. The beauty of these votive candles is that once you have finished one candle you can just clean out the glass and replace it with another.

Essential equipment needed for votive candle making
Something is needed to melt your wax bearing in mind that you cannot melt candle wax with direct heat you need a double pan or a specially made wax melting pot, more information can be found in the melt wax safely guide. A thermometer is a must so you can check the temperature of the candle wax as pouring the wax at a specific temperature is very important, even if you have a melter with a thermostat there is no harm in being extra safe by checking the temperature of the candle wax with a thermometer. You will need a pouring jug plus obviously the Chandler Grey votive moulds and wick pins, a slim pencil or metal rod is needed for the method shown. If you want to colour and fragrance the candle then you will need candle dye and scent on hand. Covering your worksurface with paper or cloth may be a good idea as well as wearing some working clothing.

Candle wax first pour
When you have your wax up to melting temperature which is 80°C if you are using the blended wax (which is recommended for votive candle making as it has all the additives needed) add your dye and fragrance and bring the temperature back up stirring well. Transfer the hot candle wax into your pouring jug and pour into the votive moulds which should already have the votive wick pins inside, fill the moulds up to within a few milimetres of the top of the votive mould or level with the flare on the top of the mould if you are using the flared votive moulds.

Now you can leave the wax to cool it is best to move the votive candle to a cooler place as soon as the top of the hot wax has developed a skin or if you want a quicker process you could try the water bath method. When the candle is nearly set as in picture one you should reheat your remaining candle wax and do a second pour.

Question: How much wax is needed per votive candle?
Answer: Calculate for 65 grams per candle will be sufficient
Votive First Pour
Votive Second Pour
Keying the Wax
Votive Third Pour

Fill candle second pour
Candle wax expands when it is heated so when it cools it has to shrink which leaves a well in your candle this has to be filled by pouring more wax. Some people just pour a second lot of wax level with the top of the first pour and leave it to cool and are happy with the sunken look to the finished votive candle. With three candle wax pours you can eliminate most of the sunken look, just pour your second lot of wax as in picture two without the second pour reaching the level of the first pour.

A good idea when the second pour is just beginning to harden (still soft but no liquid wax left - takes approx 10 minutes) is to use a pin or rod and push it into the second pour at a 45° angle as in picture three. Do not force the pin in but try to get the pin into the first pour as-well this will key the first and second pours together and leave a hole for the third pour to attach to.

Question: Is keying the pours together necessary?
Answer: No I suppose not but without it the candles may break apart

Finish votive candle third pour
The third pour can be done usually within 10-15 minutes of the second pour just heat and pour the remaining wax up to the first pours level (heating the wax up to around 82° will help it to key to the other pours) as in picture four. Now you leave your candles for a good few hours overnight if possible, then the candles should easily be removed from the moulds though if they prove to be a bit stuck ten minutes in a fridge should solve the problem. The pins are best removed by pushing the candle - pin first - against a piece of wood or stone (not a work surface or you may damage the veneer) the pin should then slide out to a point when you can grasp the bottom disc of the pin and pull again a short time in a fridge can help. You can now fit your waxed votive wick (V45/SPC-60 is recommended and is available on the votive wick page) and that's it you now have your finished votive candles, put the candle in an appropriate glass and light and enjoy.