Votive candles - What do you need to make Votive candles?
Votive candles can be made two ways: the easy one and the masochistic one.
Let me explain: the only real difficulty when making this type of candle is putting the wick into place.
You can either dip the tabbed wick into the mold while the wax is still liquid and make sure
the wick is - and remains - perfectly centered,
the tab remains firmly against the bottom of the votive mold,
the wick remains straight while the candle cools off.
or use votive wick pins. More about that later in this article.
As we've seen in the introduction, there are quite a few different shapes where votives are concerned.
I will base the rest of this article on the most traditional shape, slightly tapered, larger on top than at the bottom.
Votive candles are the only molded candles where the bottom does not become the top (and vice versa) when you unmold them (see illustration).
Votive molds are usually made of metal (stainless steel or aluminium). I do not recommend using plastic molds to make votives: this type of candle should be poured at a rather high temperature (190░F) and plastic, after some time, gets "tired". Furthermore, cleaning metal molds is so much easier! (Just use your heatgun)
You may also find votive molds made of 3 to 6 cups welded on a metal strip. There again, I'd avoid buying such a piece of equipment: if for some reason, you need to empty one of the cups, you'll have a hard time! But if you like the fact that such a "votive strip" is easier to manipulate, I suggest you buy some stainless steel votive cups and purchase a magnetic knife holder (Ikea has a very handy model that I use regularly). Your votive cups will be kept in place strongly but, if the need arises, you'll still be able to remove one individual cup.
To make a long story short: go for a series of stainless steel individual cups (12 is a good start; it may sound a lot but you'll probably make votives in batches of 6 and with 12 votive cups, you won't need to wait for one batch to be entirely cool to start with the next one).
Where can you buy votive molds (cups)?
In candlemaking supplies stores.
You can also check our supplies finder for sources in your neighborhood.
Recommended price, regressive: between 0.95$ and 2$/piece for a standard (metal, 2 oz = 15 hours) cup.
Whether you use the wick pin method (see below) or not, you'll use the same wick.
In this case, you'll go for a cotton-cored, wax coated wick. If it is possible to make such wicks yourself, it's much easier (and not that more expensive) to buy them ready to use, prewaxed, cut and tabbed with a 15mm wick tab.
If you decide to make your own votive wicks, choose a cotton wick of the type 36-24-24. If you have any kind of choice, use "self-centering" wick tabs (their diameter is the same as that of the votive cup; this way, the wick is automatically centered).
As usual, you will need to prime the wicks before you can use them in your votive candles (only if you make your own wicks, of course).
Recommended price, regressive: about 5.50$/100 pieces, prewaxed and tabbed.
Votive wick pins
Wick pins are your friends, you love wick pins!
If there's only one thing that you order from overseas, let it be a dozen of wick pins... I don't want to even dream of making another batch of 12 votives without wick pins!
Instructions: put the wick pin inside the votive cup (it's self-centering), pour the wax, let cool and fill the sink hole if necessary (see instructions) then unmold the candles, remove the wick pin, thread a tabbed wick through the hole created by the wick pin, push the tab firmly against the bottom of the candle and you're done! One perfect votive candle with a perfectly straight and centered wick!
Didn't I tell you that wick pins are your friends?
Where can you buy wick pins?
In candlemaking supplies stores.
You can also check our supplies finder for sources in your neigborhood.
Recommended price, regressive: between 1,25$ and 2,50$/piece.
All you need to make superb votive candles at home