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Handmade Votives




Just about any small, shallow vessel, such as a Jelly Jar, Sea Shell, or even a Lemon Skin, can be put to new use as a votive. To make the potted terra-cotta candles shown at left, start with a collection of three- or four-inch flowerpots. You can add a bit of citronella, available at hardware stores, to the melted wax for bug-repellent outdoor candles.


  • Penny or aluminum foil


  1. Step 1

    Close the drainage hole with a penny or a bit of aluminum foil.

  2. Step 2

    In an old saucepan, melt a block of beeswax.

  3. Step 3

    Tie a 6-inch length of medium gauge wick (called "W-2") to a twig or pencil. Dip the entire wick in the wax, and pull it straight with your fingers. Suspend the wick in the center of the pot. Pour a tablespoon of wax into the pot to secure the wick in the bottom; let harden for 15 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Fill the pot three-quarters full in three stages, allowing the wax to harden a bit after adding each portion. Remove the twig, and trim the wick.

Martha Stewart Living, Volume 16 October/November 1993



Reviews (2)

  • stoudtj 28 Dec, 2011

    This fun idea is a serious liability. I made this project (before even seeing it on this site) and it nearly burned my house down. Here's what happened: As the wax burns it penetrated the porous clay pot. Then, when the wax and wick burned low, the clay pot itself caught fire. The flame was several times larger than the pot itself which was so hot it couldn't be touched. Fortunately I was nearby when this happened and reacted quickly. Things could have ended much differently!

  • Sheryll 12 Dec, 2010

    I use aluminum foil, because I hate wasting money. Grin... And and easy way to do the wick is to buy a bunch of those very tiny washers (you know, nut, bolt, washer). Just make sure that after you tie it off, that the wick comes up thru the center. Remember the "tiny centers" washers are what you need to keep the wick centered and keeping the wick centered is important to it burning well.