How to Make Votive Candles

Votive candles are the type of candles that are designed to be burned in votive candle holders. In this article, we will discuss how to make votive candles using paraffin wax as well as stearin-enhanced waxes.   


votive candles

What are votive candles?

Votive candles are typically made of wax and use a standard type wick, as opposed to the braided cotton wicks that natural beeswax candles require. Votive candles can also be made from stearin if you want them for their color rather than light output.  Stearin is a petroleum product that will give your votives a nice clear white color without adding any scent or additives to the wax. 


Benefits of Votive Candles

Votive candles are very inexpensive to make, which makes them a great craft project.  For this article, we will be discussing how to make votive candles using paraffin wax with stearin added as the only additive.   

Using pure stearin-enhanced wax will give you a nice white color without introducing any scent. This also keeps your final product from being flavored, which is ideal for places such as bathrooms where people have many different things going on their bodies and might not want a scented candle burning all day long right next to them.   

There are a few reasons that you might try making votives instead of purchasing them from the store:

1) Making something yourself can be fun.

2) You may find that you have a specific scent that you want to use, or it just might be cheaper to make your own.   

3) They also work quite well in soy wax candles, which we will discuss below in a separate article.   

4) It is good for the environment by reducing the amount of packaging waste being sent to the landfill each year. 


How To Make Votive Candles

When making votive candles, here are the steps you should follow:

1) Prepare your container and wick

Your container should be clean and free of any debris.  Make sure that you check it thoroughly for cracks or any other imperfections in the glass.   If there is a chip in the side, no one will want to burn this at home since it could potentially cause injury if it explodes while lit.  Check your wicks for damage such as kinks or frays that might disrupt the burning process.

2) Melt your wax

In this article, we will use stearin-enhanced paraffin wax, which melts at a temperature between 145°F and 190°F.   This means if you have a candy thermometer, you can simply clip it onto the side of your pot and wait until it reaches about 160°F.

3) Add your stearin

After you have reached 160°F with your wax, you can add your desired amount of stearin to enhance its whiteness or simply use pure paraffin wax for its natural color.

4) Pour the mixture into the container

The mixture will start to cool almost immediately after being poured into the container so work quickly.  For this reason, you should always set up everything needed before starting on this project.   This will make sure that there is no disruption in the process or loss of valuable materials while setting everything up.

5) Let candle dry completely

If any residue gets onto the sides of the container or glass, scrape it off before the candle dries completely.  This process should take about 24 hours.

6) Cut wick and light!


How to Make Votive Candles Using Paraffin Wax with Stearin as an Additive

Stearin enhances the firmness of paraffin wax while also giving it a higher heat tolerance.  You can melt stearine and add it to your paraffin wax for a stronger mixture that will be less likely to crack while cooling.   However, if you do not want stearin in your final product, simply melt pure paraffin and pour it into the container without adding any additives. If you choose to add stearin, the process is very similar to how we reached our melting point of 160°F with pure paraffin wax.


Votive Candles vs. Paraffin Wax Candles

Paraffin wax candles are typically not considered to be reusable while votive candles, specifically ones made with pure paraffin wax and stearin, can often be burned multiple times. However, even though they are reusable if you take care of them properly, this may not always be the case depending on how long it takes for your wick to extinguish itself after being lit.  If you have problems with your wicks going out too soon or the candle burning at a different rate than usual after multiple uses, try trimming your wicks more frequently.

If you choose to use soy wax instead of paraffin wax for these votive candles, there is no need to add any additives to achieve nice white color.



There you have it! These steps illustrate how to make votive candles. Now that you know these steps for making your own, try them out at home with your family or friends. If you are planning on selling your candles, these same steps apply but will require a business license where required by law. Just be careful when cutting the wick so as to not cause any fire hazards. Check out our site for more candle articles.

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