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How To Make Homemade Gel Candles

Aug 17, 2007
Gel candles (also known as jelly candles) are candles that are made out of gel wax, instead of the paraffin wax used in traditional candles. Making gel candles can be a lot of fun! And an income-generating hobby too. But it is extremely important that you know exactly how to make them.

These days, gel candles are gaining huge popularity because they burn for a much longer time than wax candles and are easy to make. And since gel is a transparent material (basically, a plastic polymer with some mineral oils), one can make an endless variety of exquisite-looking transparent candles, exploiting the wide range of glassware available on the market. You can look for some good bargains in a second-hand glassware store.

The transparent nature of gel also makes it possible to embed small non-flammable objects like glass beads, cosmetic-grade glitter, marbles, sea shells, aquarium gravel, crystals, artificial jewels or pearls, metal charms, coins, figurines, etc. In fact, anything that catches your fancy, as long as it is non-flammable and small.

How Are Gel Candles Made?

There is a general notion among people that making gel candles is a dangerous activity. Is there no danger associated even with a simple thing like walking on the street if you are not careful or if you are not following road safety rules? The point is that you should do things the right way, the way they are supposed to be done - by following the instructions carefully. The same holds for gel candle making.

Here is the step-by-step procedure for making gel candles. But first the list of the materials required, which are easilly available at any candle-making hobby store, online or otherwise. Beginners can preferably go for readymade gel candle-making kits.

Materials required:

- A stainless steel pot to heat and melt the gel wax
- A non-flammable, minimum 6 cm (2 - 2.5 inch) diameter, preferably glassware container. Glass is best as one can see the embedded objects
- Gel wax
- Zinc core wicks (cotton wicks tend to absorb too much gel)
- Gel-compatible essential oils or fragrance, for scented gel candles
- Gel-compatible liquid color dye, for colored candles
- Gel embeds (optional)

Step-by-step procedure:

1. Melt small pieces of gel in the steel pot over medium heat while maintaining the temperature as close as possible to 200 degrees farenheit. This way the gel will turn into smooth syrup upon melting and will not burn.
2. Add the dye (only a little for embedded candles) and the fragrance.
3. Place a dash of hot glue at the bottom of the glass container, in the center. Stick the wick in it and let the glue set.
4. Preheat the glass container to about 160 degrees farenheit in the oven.
5. Dip embeds in hot gel before arranging them in the container close to the walls.
6. Pour the melted gel carefully along the sides to avoid bubbles.
7. Pull the wick up and let the candle cool.
8. Last, trim the wick to half inch stump and you are done!

Scented gel candles available commercially are: gel glitter candle, baby-shower gel candle, champagne-glass gel candle, fruit gel candle, beach gel candle, wine gel candle, sea shell candle, etc.
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