How to make a Votive candles? (page 2: with wick pins)
So you went shopping and purchased a few wick pins? You won't regret it, they're going to make your life way easier and save you a great deal of time (all tht time you won't have to spend watching the wax settle and adjust the position of the wicks).
Time needed: about 1 hour (+ cooling)
What do you need?
6 metal votive cups,
450g (1 pound) of a votive wax blend,
6 votive wicks, wax coated and tabbed,
6 votive wick pins,
28 grams (1 oz) of Fragrance Oil (optional),
1 wicking needle (or an old, rather thin knitting needle),
1 oven (or a heatgun) (optional).
and of course the usual supplies: thermometer, double boiler, pouring jugs...
How to make the votives?
As usual, start by preparing all the supplies and tools you'll need during this project. On this picture, clockwise and starting on the top left: 6 metal votive cups, a bottle of Fragrance Oil, 6 votive wick pins, a wicking needle, votive wicks (wax coated and tabbed), 2 teaspoons of Vybar and powder dye.
Start melting the votive wax blend in your double boiler and keep checking the temperature of the wax with the thermometer. When the temperature reaches 190°F, add the dye (optional) and the fragrance oil (optional as well) and stir thoroughly during 1 to 2 minutes to uniformly blend dye and scent into the wax.
Place a wick pin in each votive cup. It's a good idea to rub the pin of the wick pins with a some mineral or vegetal oil, this will facilitate the removal of the wick pin at the end.
It is now time to pour the hot wax into the votive cups. Before you start, make sure the wax is still at a temperature of 190°F. Fill the cups to the top but make sure you don't let wax run over: the top sides of your votives would be ruined and the candles difficult to remove from their molds.
The wax will get increasingly harder and start to shrink. To prevent the formation of large air pockets along the wick and, as a result of this, a misshapenness of the wick, use your wicking needle to poke deep holes at at least 3 different places along the wick. Use this opportunity to straighten the wick one last time but don't insist if it won't move. Never mind the aesthetics of your candles, the relief holes will be masked by the second pour we will perform in the next step.
As you can see on the picture opposite, a well appears between the sides of the cups and the wick. This is a normal reaction of the cooling wax.
To get rid this ugly well, we will now make a second pour, in other words fill the well with some more hot wax.
While the votive cups are still warm to the touch, reheat the remaining votive wax in the double boiler up to a temperature of 190°F. With caution, fill the shrinking well in every cup BUT DO NOT POUR OVER THE INITIAL LEVEL. If you go past the initial level, your votives will not only be hard to unmold, they will also feature an unsightly white line (cold line) near the top.
It is unlikely that you'll have to make a third pour. However, if a shrinking well appaears again (did you pour too hot?), repeat the previous step (a very mild well is normal and actually desirable for a votive candle; it is also almost unavoidable).
When the votive cups are cold to the touch (this takes anywhere between 2 and 4 hours), your votives are ready to receive a real wick! Press a cup between your hands and pull gently on the pin of the wick pin. If the candle won't pop out, don't use violence: put the cups in the fridge (NOT the freezer) for about 15 minutes. They should then pop out without any resistance.
The time has come to remove the wick pins and replace them with the tabbed votive wicks. Tap the end of the pin against a hard surface (floor tiling or other) to unblock the wick pin. When the base of the wick pin has parted slightly from the bottom of the candle, pull on the base of the wick pin while turning it around, it should come out without problems.
Insert a tabbed wick through the hole created by the wick pin. To make sure the wick tab sticks to the candle, heat it for one or two seconds with the flame of a lighter then, immediatly, press it strongly against the bottom of the votive candle. Keep pressing for a few seconds. Your votive candles are ready!
Save time and your nerves with the votive wick pins