Over the years I have become somewhat of a votive candle holder aficionado. Seeing as candles are probably my favorite type of decoration in the history of design, I absolutely love finding new and unique ways for displaying candles.
After many years of chasing my endless obsession in the organized chaos that is the world of craft stores and thrift shops, I felt it was time to pursue another route in my search of the consummate candle holder. For the sake of my sanity, and my purse, I chose to change gears and make a project out of my passion.
Out of all the votive projects I have taken on it, there are a few that truly stick out in my mind. Not necessarily because they are incredibly extravagant or complicated. Instead, I found these projects to be fascinating due to the simple nature of the materials used. I hope you enjoy these projects as much as I did and please share your stories in the comments below, I love to hear other DIY’ers experiences and offer any help needed.
Ok I know it is not quite fall yet however I couldn’t resist sharing this project because it is just that good! Whether you’re like me and can’t resist out-of-season decorating, or you decide to put this on the back burner until the time is right, I HIGHLY recommend this simple project.
As I mentioned, this votive is incredibly simple to make. All you need is apples, tea lights, a spoon, and a precision knife.
The first step in the process is to select your apples. Of course because you want these to look nice, find apples that have minimal bruising or damage. Once you have gathered your apples, it is time to trace out the hole in which the candle will rest inside the apple. To do this first remove the metal casing from the tea lights, turn the casing upside and use the rim to press down on the apple, thus creating an outline of the candle. If your tea light candles do not have a metal casing, place the candle on top of the apple and use your precision knife to trace the outline onto the apple.
Now that you have traced the candles outline, the next step is to cut out a candle sized hole in the apple. First, using the precision knife, cut into the apple along the traced line. Do not cut any deeper than the length of the blade so as not to make the hole bigger than needed. Once the outline has been completely sliced, use the knife to divide it into 6 sections as if you were slicing a pie.
The final step in the process is to scoop out the apple chunks from the top using the spoon, if the previous steps were done correctly this should be very easy. There you have it! Your apple votive is ready to be used. The candle should slide smoothly into the hole, if not simply use the spoon to scoop out the necessary amount.
Feel free to display your apple votive whichever way you please, my favorite being in a large container of water like in the picture above. The soft autumn glow is perfect for a fall garden party or simply enjoying those cool nights.
The next project on the list is again more fitting for colder seasons but is also too awesome to pass on. All that you need for this one is a large bucket (about 2 gallons is perfect), water and a candle.
Although this one is super easy, it takes a little bit of time because you must give the water time to freeze.
The first step is to fill the large bucket about 2 inches from the top with cold water. Obviously the easiest way to freeze the water would be to stick the bucket in your freezer, however not everyone’s freezers are set to the same temperature and timing could vary. Seeing as this is more of a cold weather project, and depending on how cold it gets where you live, a simple solution would be to stick the bucket outside overnight and allow it to freeze that way. However way you decide to freeze your water, the goal is to have the top completely frozen, with a ring of ice 1-2 inches thick lining the inside of the bucket. Didn’t get it right the first time? Luckily it’s only water, try again.
To remove your frozen luminary, place the bucket upside down inside of your sink and run warm water onto the bottom of the bucket. This will cause the ice to melt ever so slightly, thus detaching it from the plastic.
Once the ice has been removed, you will notice that the top layer of the ice (what was the bottom previously) is now thinner than the bottom due to the warm water, this will be where you make your opening. To do so, take a knife or other chisel-like object and chip away the thin center, leaving that 1-2 in thick rim around the outside.
Lastly, pour out all of the water through the top and voilà, your own ice luminary! If you want to add a little pizazz to your frozen votive feel free to add pine needles, small branches, berries, etc. to the water before you freeze it for extra decoration. Remember, that the life of your luminary relies on the temperature outside so be sure to pick a cold night if you want it to last longer.
Water Balloon “Teardrop” Votive
Although a little bit more complicated than the previous two projects, I have saved my personal favorite for last. The tear drop votive requires a bit of money and preparation, however I think it is one the coolest DIY projects I’ve ever done! To start here is what you need; high-melt paraffin wax, party balloons, double boiler, water.
The first step is to melt your wax using the double boiler so that is ready when the time comes (ideal temperature: 180 degrees Fahrenheit). While the wax is melting, fill your balloons with water. The amount of water depends on how large you would like your candle holders to be. When you have filled the balloon to the desired size, tie off the top.
Now it is time to dip the balloons into the wax you just melted. Holding the balloon by the knot at the top, slowly dip the water balloon into the pot of melted wax. DO NOT dip the balloon past the water line, this will most likely cause the balloon to pop! After you have dipped the balloon in the wax, pull it out and lightly rest the bottom on a flat surface while it hardens. This will give the votive a flat bottom so that it will rest upright when completed.
The final step in the process is to pop the balloon (over a sink) and drain the water from the inside of the wax shell. Once the water has been poured out all that is left is to remove the balloon shards from votive and then you are done!
You can customize your teardrop votives by using different colored wax, however I enjoy the soft glow of the non-colored wax.
Again, I hope you enjoy these fun and simple DIY projects and please share your stories in the comments section below. Thank you!
About The Author
Carmen is a freelance writer that enjoys blogging, bike rides, and excessively long road trips with her high school sweetheart. In her spare time, she enjoys writing for Quick Candles about fun and simple DIY projects. Carmen also enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her pug Anferny.