Embellished candles

You can easily dress up plain votive candles with seasonal images by melting wax chips (available at craft stores) and using cookie cutters to punch out shapes. The resulting wax designs are attached to solid-colored votives to make personalized gifts.

DIRECTIONS

1. Place wax chips in a foil or foil-lined pan (refer to "Technique"). To create a thin sheet of wax, we used 1/2 cup of wax chips in a 9-inch pie pan.

2. In an oven set to 350°, heat the wax until the chips dissolve, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let the wax cool for several minutes. Test by inserting a skewer into the wax; when the tester comes away clean, the wax is ready.

3. Use cookie cutters to press out seasonal shapes, such as snowflakes. While still warm, remove each cut shape from the wax sheet and gently mold it against a candle so that it is slightly concave and will fit around the candle. Set aside the molded wax on a clean surface.

4. After cutting out desired shapes, place the pan with remaining wax back in the oven. When wax has remelted, remove pan from oven and, using a plastic spoon, drip two or three drops of warm wax on the side of one candle at a time. Gently press a cut shape over the wax drippings to affix.