It takes just a few hours to craft your own votives.

By Real Simple
Updated April 26, 2016
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Terracotta Pot Candles
Set out tea lights in tiny holders and small terra-cotta pots clustered in groups to make a big impact. If you have time to spare, make your own candles
| Credit: Philip Friedman; Styling: Blake Ramsey

Making your own candles sounds much more complicated than it really is. With just a few supplies (available at craft stores or through online retailers, like Amazon) and a little patience, it’s easy to master the craft of candle making. Recycled glass jars are a suitable choice for your own home, but terracotta pots, teacups, or mini mason jars make great gifts.

What You’ll Need:


  1. Cut cardstock circles to fit inside the bottom of pots.
  2. Hot glue them in to place at the bottom of the pot to seal the drainage hole. Let dry approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Turn pot over and fill drainage hole with hot glue to ensure wax does not leak. Let dry approximately 20 minutes. Turn the pot right-side up. (If you are using a glass or aluminum jar, skip steps one through three.)
  4. Tie the wick to a wooden skewer and lay across the rim of the pot or jar to keep it from shifting when the wax is poured. Turn pots over and set wicks inside.
  5. Fill the candle pouring pot with enough wax to fill your pots. Fill saucepan no more than halfway with water. Set the pouring pot inside, with the handle hooked over the saucepan’s rim. Bring water to a boil to melt the wax.
  6. When wax has melted completely, remove the pouring pot from the saucepan. Fill pots with wax, stopping ¼- ½-inch from the rim.
  7. Allow the wax to set for at least 2 hours. (Pro tip: This time will vary depending on the size of your candle.)
  8. Use scissors to clip the wicks from the wooden skewers when candles have set. Trim wicks to be about ½-inch tall.