Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gel Candles

Gel Candles are easy to make and look very beautiful. Gel is a more refined version of wax and is clear and totally transparent. It is available in three forms or densities-low, medium and high grade. Medium grade Gel is perfect for making gel candles as it is firm and holds scents . But gel is highly inflammable and great care has to be taken while making them.
CONTAINERS- Gel is like jelly , it has no form of its own . Gel candles are made in fireproof glassware. The beauty of a gel candle lies in the glass/ container used ! One can decorate the glass container with 3-D glitter, ribbons, paint or anything else.
EMBEDS- Only non-inflammable embeds can be used in gel candles. Pebbles, colored stones, shells, sand, glitter and glass figurines can be used as embeds to enhance the beauty of the candle.
WICK TABS- Wick tabs are essential in making gel candles and for keeping the wick straight. One can also use hot glue to stick the wick at the bottom of the glass.
COLORS AND SCENTS- Special gel colors and aromas are available for gel candles as they leave no residue.
WARNING- Gel is highly inflammable ,in fact more than paraffin wax and it should never be heated directly ,always use a double boiler .It should not be allowed to smoke as it means that its approaching flashpoint.Never leave it unattended. Children should not be allowed to make gel candles as its dangerous.
Select a nice glass or goblet ,wipe it clean. Heat gel in a double boiler , add color . Embeds can used to enhance the beauty of the gel candle. Layering it with colored sand, shell gives it a unique appearance and also hides the wick tab supporting the wick !
Gel ,when heated turns syrupy and bubbles rise to the top and break on their own.Put the prepared wick in the wick tab,the wick can be dipped in melted wax or gel . Carefully put the wick tab in the centre of the glass. Add the desired fragrance and pour in the colored melted gel gently as it minimises bubbles. Sometimes bubbles look good in sea -scapes as it gives the appearance of an acquarium.
Metal stirrers should be used to re-position the embeds if required as wooden sticks / toothpicks create bubbles.
The gel candle should be left to set for a few hours and the container gently wiped clean to clear overspills if any.

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Much appreciated !