So quick and simple you’ll wonder why you’ve never done these before. These ice votive candle holders are a great way to dress up a holiday table and they really do last for hours. The ingredients can normally be found around the house so there really is no added cost. Plus putting them together takes no time at all. The most trouble I have each year is finding the space in the freezer to freeze them.
A pair of plastic containers for each votive holder. You will need one larger and one smaller. The smaller contain makes the pocket in the ice to fit the candle, so it has to be large enough to do that. You will want the ice to be at least one inch thick around the sides and bottom so the outer container must be that much larger than the first.
Some rocks or dry beans to weigh down the inner container.
Masking tape to center the inner container until the water freezes.
Some garden clippings to place inside. Here I’ve used some sedum, mini jade plant, cranberries and lichen.
Pour some water in the container until it’s about one inch from the top. Float the smaller container inside and fill it with rocks so it sinks until it’s about 1/2 inch above the water level. Start adding decoration by adding the ones that float first. (Unless you want the cranberries on top, then add them last).
Keep adding greenery until you have an arrangement that you like. Keep in mind that you don’t want to completely obstruct the light from the candle. In this case less really is more. You can pretty much use any sort of fresh or dried greenery as long as it hasn’t been dyed. The dye can sometimes run in the water. Try to arrange the greenery so that is is balanced on all sides.
Here I’ve added the lichen last because it does a good job at holding down the rest of the greenery. Make sure that when using something dry, like lichen, you completely submerge it in the ice. You don’t want bits of dry material hanging outside the ice where they might catch fire from the candle.
Tape your center container in place so it is equidistant from each of the sides. This doesn’t have to be perfect, just close.
Then pop it in the freezer.
I like to freeze overnight so it’s nice and solid. To unmold, pour a little warm water in the center container and let it sit about a minute. Then remove it. If the outer container isn’t ready to remove by this time, just soak it for 30-45 seconds in a larger bowl filled with warm water. Place ice votive on a plate or saucer to prevent the melted ice from getting on the surface of your table. Add a small tealight candle and enjoy the glow. If you need several, but don’t have enough plastic containers you can unmold and refreeze the votive and then make another one.
If you want to get photos of your ice votive, best to do it before your guests arrive so you don’t get distracted and forget about it until it’s melted. 🙁