What Do You Call A Candle In Glass?

A candle in glass, also known as a votive or votice, is a small candle encased in a glass container. These candles are often used for religious ceremonies, memorials, decoration, and ambiance. The glass container protects the flame from being blown out and contains dripping wax (“BayBerry Balsam: The Legend”, 2022). Votives became popular in the Middle Ages when they were used in Catholic churches, but today they are common in many settings (“9 Day Memorial Candle in Glass Cup 2 Pack”, 2022). The glass allows the candle to burn safely and provides a reflective surface that maximizes the light. Votives come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors to suit different decorative purposes.

Names and Terminology

There are several common names for candles that are encased in glass containers. Some of the most popular types include:

  • Jar candle: These candles are poured into a glass jar container. Jar candles come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. The wax is typically filled to the top of the jar.
  • Votive candle: Votive candles are short, cylindrical candles designed to fit into small, glass holders. The holders often have a small rim to catch wax drippings. Votive candles are available in standard sizes like 2″ x 2″ or taller 4″ x 4″ versions.
  • Tealight candle: Tealights are tiny candles encased in thin metal or glass holders. They are designed to float in glass containers filled with water, beads, or other fillers. The metal holders transfer heat to melt a wax pool.
  • Glow jar: These are candles inside frosted or translucent glass jars so the flame creates a decorative glowing effect. The jars disperse and soften the light.
  • Luminary: Luminaries feature a votive or tealight nestled inside a paper bag. They create ambient lighting and are popular for holiday decorating.

Some other common descriptive names include pillar candles, tapers, container candles, and novelty or decorative candles in glass holders.


The primary materials used to make candles in glass include:

  • Glass – Clear glass containers like jars and vases are commonly used. Glass allows the candle light to shine through and provides an elegant look (https://jarstore.com/candle-containers/glass-candle-jars/). Glass is a popular material for beginner candle makers as it gives a polished appearance (https://www.candlemakingsupplies.net/which-candle-jar-to-use-for-beginner-candle-makers).
  • Wax – Paraffin, soy, and beeswax are typical waxes used. The wax melts and burns to produce the candle flame.
  • Wick – The wick is needed to draw wax up to fuel the flame. Wicks come in different materials, thicknesses, and styles.
  • Dye – Optional candle dyes can add color to the wax for decorative effect.
  • Scent – Fragrance oils or essential oils are often added to give candles appealing aromas.

With these core ingredients – glass, wax, wick, and optional additives like dye and scent – candles in glass containers can be produced.

Manufacturing Process

The most common way to create a candle in glass is to melt wax in a microwave or double boiler, then pour it into the glass container while the wax is still hot. According to the DIY guide on Clothes and Water (https://www.clothesandwater.com/lifestyle/diy-giving-vintage-canisters-a-new-life), you should start by tying a knot at the end of the wick and using hot glue to adhere it to the bottom of the glass.

manufacturing process to make candles in glass

Once the wax is fully melted, you can add fragrance oils or essential oils for scent. The intensity of the aroma will depend on how much oil you add. As noted in the WikiHow article (https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Scented-Candle-in-a-Glass), you should add the fragrance when the wax is still hot so it fully incorporates.

Next, carefully pour the wax into the glass container, leaving room at the top for the melted wax to pool as it cools. The WikiHow instructions recommend pouring just a drop of wax first to quickly adhere the wick before adding the rest. The wick must be centered to ensure even burning.

After pouring, allow the candle in glass to fully cool and harden before trimming the wick to fit the glass and lighting it. The manufacturing process creates a beautiful, scented candle by combining simple ingredients.

Decorative Uses

Candles in glass containers can serve as beautiful decorative accents in any home. Their warm, flickering glow makes them perfect for creating ambiance, whether used as part of a decorative centerpiece, for outdoor lighting, or as part of holiday décor.

Clear glass votive holders or hurricane candles make simple yet elegant centerpieces. Cluster several votives or a large hurricane on a mirrored tray along with vases of flowers, crystals, or other accents for a striking dining table or entryway display. For outdoor dining, line pathways with hurricane lanterns or fill weatherproof glass containers with pillars or floating candles to create a magical ambiance.

During the holidays, candles in glass jars or containers make festive decorations. For Christmas, fill jars with pinecones, holly berries, and red candles to place on the mantel or use as part of a holiday tablescape. Battery-operated candles in glass holders can also safely illuminate indoor and outdoor holiday displays year-round.

Whatever the season, a grouping of candles glowing softly in glass holders never fails to provide welcoming warmth and a decorative accent to any space (Northumbrian Candle Works, 2021). With their versatility and aesthetic appeal, it’s no wonder candles in glass remain an enduring and cherished decorative tradition.

Northumbrian Candle Works

Safety Tips

When burning candles, it is important to follow some basic safety precautions. Supervising burning candles is the most critical safety rule. Never leave a burning candle unattended or sleep while a candle is lit. Always place candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface away from anything flammable. Keep them out of drafts and at least 12 inches from curtains, drapes, paper, decorations, etc (Fire Safety & Candles).

According to Jenkins Restorations, using a glass jar as a candle container is considered best practice to prevent fires. The glass helps contain the flame and prevents it from igniting nearby objects. However, the glass can still get extremely hot, so allow ample cooling time before handling. Never move a burning candle in glass. Extinguish the flame first and allow the wax and glass to fully cool before relocating.

Do not leave a candle burning longer than the manufacturer recommends, usually no more than 4 hours. Never leave a burning candle unattended overnight. Make sure candles are completely extinguished before going to bed. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles in bedrooms or other unattended areas.


Candles have a very long history, dating back thousands of years. According to candles.org, the earliest use of candles is often attributed to the Ancient Egyptians who made rushlights or torches by soaking the pithy core of reeds in melted animal fat. The Ancient Romans are also known to have made wicked candles from tallow.

Candles then spread in popularity across Europe and beyond. By the Middle Ages, candle making had become a guild craft in England and France. The earliest candles were made from tallow, animal fat, or beeswax as these were readily available materials. Advanced candle making using paraffin wax emerged in the mid-1800s, allowing for the mass production of candles.

Over time, candle designs evolved from simple and functional to increasingly decorative. Putting candles in glass containers became popular to help protect the candle from breezes. Candles in glass gained significance for decorative and religious uses.

Cultural Significance

Candles in glass holders have significant cultural and religious symbolism across many faiths and ethnic traditions (https://thejesuitpost.org/2015/05/latino-candles/). Some examples of the cultural significance of candles in glass include:

In Catholicism, lighting candles is used in prayer and worship. Candles represent Christ as the light of the world, and the flame symbolizes one’s prayer rising to heaven. Catholics often light votive candles in glass holders when praying in Church (https://thejesuitpost.org/2015/05/latino-candles/).

In Latino culture, candles in glass are deeply meaningful. Lighting a candle is seen as beginning a conversation with God and symbolizes connecting with the divine. Candles are used to represent prayers and petitions (https://thejesuitpost.org/2015/05/latino-candles/).

In various traditions, placing a lit candle in the window of a home carries meaning. It can signify warmth, welcome, remembrance, or a beacon for weary travelers. In early America, a candle in the window provided direction and comfort (https://www.honeycandles.com/blogs/beeswax-blog/the-meaning-of-a-candle-in-the-window).

Across cultures, lighting candles in glass can represent celebrating festivals, honoring the dead, commemorating loss, showing solidarity, or bringing light into darkness both literally and symbolically.

Creative Crafts

Candles in glass containers like jars and bottles can be upcycled into creative craft projects once the candle has been used up. Here are some ideas for DIY crafts using recycled candle jars:

Turn jars into decorative vases by cleaning out wax remnants and adding a fresh coat of spray paint in any color. Decorate the outside with lace, burlap, ribbons, raffia or other embellishments. Add a bouquet of faux or real flowers. See more inspiration at this Pinterest board.

Make unique pencil or pen holders by decorating the outside of jars and filling them with writing utensils. Go for a colorful, hand-painted design or collage with scrapbook paper and other ephemera.

Create one-of-a-kind lanterns by inserting battery-operated tealights or string lights inside painted jars. Hang them from tree branches or fences for accent lighting.

Fill cleaned jars with homemade potpourri, bath salts or sachets as inexpensive but thoughtful gift ideas. Personalize with ribbons and tags.

The possibilities are endless! With a little creativity, used candle jars can be transformed into beautiful repurposed containers for storage, decor or gifting.


In summary, candles in glass, also known as container candles or jars, are an extremely popular candle variety with steady growth expected to continue. Women make up the vast majority of candle purchasers, and container candles tend to be one of their top choices [1]. The global candle market as a whole has expanded at a rate of 6.1% CAGR from 2023 to 2030, indicating healthy ongoing demand [2]. Key factors fueling growth include the rising popularity of spas, aromatherapy, home decor, and an emphasis on self-care and wellness.

Container candles in glass have multiple important benefits. Their visual appeal in sparkling glass makes them a favorite decorative accent for the home. The transparency of glass allows the candle’s colors and textures to shine through attractively. Glass is also safer than other materials, resisting heat better and less likely to ignite. For candle makers, clear glass enables unique layered and decorative looks. The clean, sleek aesthetic of a glass candle holder provides an upscale feel as well. Overall, the unique beauty, versatility and safety of candles in glass containers ensure they will remain prized by consumers and makers alike.

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