Making Gel Candles Fun
Until I found myself becoming more interested in making candles at home, I really had no idea that there were so many options of materials. Paraffin and beeswax are two common waxes that are used in commercial candle making, as well as homemade candles...but an option I had not known about before was using "gel wax".
Once I learned about gel candles , I began to notice just how popular they are becoming. Gel candles are usually poured into glass containers. They are the candles you will see in the store that are somewhat transparent, and very often have "embeds". Embeds are the decorative items such as dried flowers, glitter, seashells, etc... When you burn these candles, the transparent nature of them causes the whole candle to glow, an aspect of them which appeals to many people. Another aspect of the gel candle, is that it will burn twice as long as the candles made from beeswax or paraffin.
Once I decided that I was ready to start making gel candles, I discovered that not only was it a tremendous amount of fun, but that they are actually a bit easier to make than the regular wax candles. One of the most important ingredients, is of course the gel wax. Most often, the selections you may find at the local craft store will not be of the highest quality. If you are going to be making a lot of gel candles, or if you find yourself considering turning the hobby of making gel candles into a career...it would be wise to invest in high quality materials you will find online. One such gel is called Versagel. Candle makers throughout the world consider this to be of the highest quality, with no additives.
Choosing the container for your gel candle is another important step. Common sense dictates that you should not use plastic containers, or containers made out of any other materials which may burn. And due to the fact that the beauty of the gel candle is the transparency and the embeds that you choose to add, clear glass containers are the best option. Again, be aware with the glass containers, that the thicker glass is much better to use, much safer. If the glass is too thin, it is too fragile and may crack when the candle is burned. For the containers, it usually best to shop locally, as shipping heavy materials can be quite costly. Local thrift stores are a great place to hunt down not only bargains, but interesting and funky containers as well.
The next important part of the gel candle making process, is the wick. There are many different wicks on the market, make sure and get the wicks that are made specifically for the gel candle. If you are making larger sized candles, you may consider the option of using multiple wicks. You will need to affix the wick to the bottom of the container. You can do this by using melted wax or hot glue. If you go with the hot glue, take care not to use too much, as the candle may becoming cloudy.
Fragrance and embeds...the fun part! The only other things to consider, is what fragrance you want and decorative embeds you wish to use. This is when you can be creative and let your own personal style shine through...so to speak. There are some fragrances you can purchase that are used specifically for making candles, but you can also use essential oils of flowers and herbs, or the herbs themselves. And when it comes to the embeds, let your creative spirit take over. In the end you will have a work of art, that fills your home with ambiance, warmth and gentle aroma. And if you're like me, you will start with one...and find that that is not enough. You may find yourself a new hobby, or a new business!
Published on Aug 2, 2013