How to Make Gel Candles
Gel candles are a great item to make. Not only are they beautiful, but very easy to light. They also burn slowly, giving your candles a long life for you to treasure. Gel candles are very easy to make as well as inexpensive. You can add your favorite scents to them as well. The supplies you need to get started include gel, zinc wicks, fragrance oils if you desire, and dye to add color. Some people love the look of a clear gel candle and prefer not to use any dye. It is important that you only use zinc wicks for gel candles because cotton wicks absorb the gel, causing them not to light or burn well. You can purchase these supplies from a craft store or online.
Gel candles can be made in a variety of holders. Using those made of glass will give you the best results. However, as long as the container is non-flammable you will be fine. To add uniqueness to gel candles, some makers choose to make them in fancy glasses, wine glasses, and vases. To add color and themes to candles, consider using embeds. This can be glitter, marbles, colorful rocks, sea shells, crystals, or anything else that won’t burn.
You will need a hot glue gun to stick the wick to the bottom of the holder you plan to use. Hold firmly in place until the wick sticks. To make centering easier, mark the bottom of the holder with a red or black marker right in the center. The wick should then be placed on top of the mark. Leave the wick long enough to reach outside of the holder. You will trim it later. To melt the gel, cut it into small strips. For best results melt it in a double boiler at medium heat. The gel should be heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. A quality thermometer is a great investment as the gel won’t set properly if you don’t get it hot enough and it will lose the glossy color if you get the temperature too high.
If you desire to add color to your gel candles, add it in slowly. The colors show more vibrantly in gel candles than wax candles so you will need a lot less than what you use if you make wax candles. Stir the color into the melted wax slowly. If you aren’t happy with the color you can slowly add more. If you plan to use embedded objects in the candle, it is suggested you keep the gel candle color very light. Next, add fragrance if you desire. 1/3 teaspoon is all you need for each glass of melted gel.
For best results, heat your container in the microwave for about one minute. This will eliminate those unsightly bubbles that can form on gel candles. Immediately after removing the holder from the microwave, start adding your embeds. You will want to dip them in the hot gel to get them to stick in the holder. You can arrange embeds any way you desire. For best results push them towards the edges of the holder so that they can easily be scene. You can create embed patterns or add them loosely.
It is important not to keep the gel very hot while completing the embed process. Once you have that done, pour the gel into the holder. If you allow the gel to cool before pouring it in the holder you will end up with clumps of gel throughout the candle. Make sure the wick is hanging over the top of the holder before pouring in the gel. Once the gel has set, trim it to the size you desire.
Making gel candles is easy, fun, and inexpensive. It is a great way to make your own beautiful candles for using, giving as gifts, or selling. There are wonderful books with plenty of pictures of gel candle designs you can try, or simply create your own.