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Fourth of July Votives




  • Tea candles
  • Red, white, and blue colored-glass votives
  • 20-gauge annealed wire
  • Wire cutters


  1. Step 1

    This string of votives will shed a soft glow over your Fourth of July celebration. Place tea candles in translucent red, white, and blue colored-glass votives, and tuck each into a tiny wire basket.

  2. Step 2

    To make a basket, cut a 21-inch piece of 20-gauge annealed wire with a wire cutter. Fold the wire in half, and crimp just below the fold with round-nose pliers. Wrap crimped end over a pencil to form a hook.

  3. Step 3

    Hold the base of the hook tightly with pliers, separate the two lengths of wire, then twist tightly around each other three times.

  4. Step 4

    To form the cuff that will hold the votive, use pliers to make a 90-degree bend, 4 1/4 inches from the hook base, on each length of wire. Situate the bends on opposite sides of the votive, about two-thirds of the way from the bottom of the glass.

  5. Step 5

    Bring each cut end around to meet the opposite bend. With the tip of the pliers, make a tiny loop at each cut end. Hook the loops to the bends; use pliers to close loops tightly. Insert votive into the circle formed.

  6. Step 6

    Hang several candle lanterns from their hooks on a taut wire strung between two points. Be certain flames are not near any flammable surfaces, and never leave votives unattended.

Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1998



Reviews (21)

  • looneylois 28 Jun, 2011

    you can also make these with small baby food jars. Use acrylic paint and set a candle inside.I use light weight wire to suspend the jars. I don't think they are a fire hazard as you should never leave lit candles unattended

  • jmeisen 30 Jun, 2009

    By the way, I see Winterbeach has posted here too. You remind me of the "Debbie Downer" character on Sat Night Live. Fire hazards here, eye-poking hazards with the kabob skewers...maybe crafting isn't you thing????

  • sillyswede 29 Jun, 2008

    I am having my first girls party at my new house this July and this is perfect! Use the guidelines and cmmon sense,this idea will work wonderfully. Yes, I too will use LED lights. My husband tried the candles in the fireplace idea. Didn't use holders and one fell over, starting a fire. (the three wickers with singles. He didn't follow the instructions properly, but we did have fire extinguishers. A lessob was learned. Safety first.

  • JeanieRP 29 Jun, 2008

    This is one of the few times I've read the comments, so I am unaware of any of the history of negative reviews of the crafts. I avoid candles for anything other than birthday cakes and the dinner table (to be put out as soon as dinner is over) because of my concerns about fire.

  • terrie-bear 28 Jun, 2008

    If these directions are followed to the letter it is very clear,and I quote:"Be certain flames are not near any flammable surfaces, and never leave votives unattended. People common sense is needed with anything that uses a flame. I love this idea, as I do most of Martha's crafts, from the very simple 30 minute ones to the more complex. I agree some people need to find another outlet to vent their bitterness. As for me I prefer a summerbeach.

  • RubyEdge 28 Jun, 2008

    Oh I like this idea a lot! I think I will modify it by using my clear votives I have hanging around currently and placed red white and blue vellum around them for color. I'm considering cutting stars out too for interest. Since I don't want to worry about flames and relighting and that I will be using my LED electric votive candles. They are so great! They don't get hot at the slightest and they look so realistic! I use them frequently in the bathroom for long relaxing soaks.

  • ladybleak 28 Jun, 2008

    If you are worried about flame, many stores now sell little battery powered votive lights that look just like the real thing. I love using them for luminaries on my porch, and in the pumpkins at Halloween, that way I don't have to worry about fire, burns, or forever relighting the candles!

  • brandihawkins 28 Jun, 2008

    I love this idea. I use the led lights and baby food jars. I have a ton of baby food jars, since I have 2 little guys. I use them on my Christmas tree. Decorate them with some ribbon.

  • crazylaaady 28 Jun, 2008

    While the mother of 4 seems to minimize the idea of safety, as a mother of 4 myself, ages 16 - 28, and of a child (now 16) who has been grafted over 25% of her body following an injury sustained by a candle, I would strongly urge people to follow the advice and go to the website from concordma. One can always use the led lights or just follow the safety rules. Just don't judge too quickly about concordma's concerns because a life can change in a moment with just one little accident!

  • momdig 28 Jun, 2008

    Okay, so keep all flames at least one foot from anything that could burn. Done.
    And I agree that "winterbeach" seems to be looking for something to gripe about-not just today but with every project. I love the idea of reusing glass jars for this project rather than purchasing votives, but if you're like me, there are plenty of votives around my house that can be used without purchasing new ones-just as "green" as using jars. I will keep the "one foot" rule in mind while hanging .

  • thistlelynn 28 Jun, 2008

    I think the craft idea is wonderful. I would love more detailed "pictures" of the steps. Keep the great ideas coming!

  • concordma 28 Jun, 2008

    I wish this site would talk about the "Circle of Safety" that is part of fire safety training throughout the US whenever it recommends a craft using an open flame, like this one. ( for a clear explanation of this)

    As a volunteer with our town's fire department, I, too, am concerned about this particular design, particularly the suggested use as a hanging under the overhang of a porch. Depending upon where this us hung, this ca

  • cjincarolina 28 Jun, 2008

    Winterbeach, I am not sure why you even look at this website with all your negative comments! Lighten-up or start your own website. I am sure Martha has a legal team reviewing her craft ideas to prevent a legal suit against her. Look on the bright side for goodness sake.

  • diefenbaker 28 Jun, 2008

    These are Great! I save the empty "tostido" salsa jars-they are a great size and have a good lip for securing the wire around. i have also taken tissue paper and used podgy adhesive to attach it to the jar in one or several colors for a decorative pattern. Spraying the finished product with an outdoor acrylic spray for weather protection. An other great simple and economical idea, one that is fun to do with children as well. Thanks once again to your craft department.

  • Patrilla 28 Jun, 2008

    If you are so worried about flames use the LCD lights - they last a long time, resemble true burning flames and are not a fire issue. Just go with this and enjoy - anything can be modified.

  • granolagirl 28 Jun, 2008

    We've made these before using old baby food jars rather than buying new votive holders. They work VERY WELL. We have 4 children and no one ever got burned! Very safe...of course, depending upon where you hang them! And they can last for years....

  • tsoave 28 Jun, 2008

    Winterbeach, I had a set of these I used last summer, qute often....nobody ever got burned, nothing caught on fire and they were beautiful hanging in the trees over my picnic table. The hooks keep them hanging low enought from branches, the votive holders keep the falme contained and the tea lights burn out pretty fast. I think you are having fun looking for negative things aren't you? LOL You are cracking me up!

  • winterbeach 28 Jun, 2008

    I see a potential fire hazard, burnt skin hazard and a another "craft" that is at best mediocre.

  • lyngo 28 Jun, 2008

    I am Canadian and all I have to do is leave out the blue colour when making the items for the 4th. July to do them for our Canada Day celebrations on July 1st. I just finished making the banner using red and white stars. I like being able to watch videos of the crafts as well. Lyngo

  • italianmama 28 Jun, 2008

    Your suggestions are off the charts. Keep them coming I print every one and store every one on a disk. I just love them all!~!!!!!
    Italian mama

  • marykay2008 5 Jun, 2008

    This website has awesome crafts! I just wish there were more diagrams or how-to pictures that show the progressive steps (for us craft "dummies").