Almost in every house there is a place of a thing that does not carry much practical use, but pleasing the eye. Gel candles also belong to the category of such items: attractive, varied in shapes and colors, able to fit into any interior. In addition, such a candle can exude a certain flavor when burned. But what is especially pleasant is that you can make a gel candle yourself at home.
How to make a gel candle with your own hands?
It does not matter how complex the design for the candle you have in mind - the basic algorithm for creating it is unchanged. Increasing the number of various fillers that make up the idea of the general appearance of a candle will only complicate your task and take more time, but the chain of steps will not change. As well as remain the same main components.
In order to make a gel candle at home, you will need gel wax itself as a base. It consists of 3 components: glycerin, which can be purchased at the pharmacy, gelatin and tannin. Although the latter is used in pharmacology, it is usually available only in specialized stores.
If you already have gel wax available, remember that, unlike paraffin, it cannot be overheated - you will need to work at a temperature of 70-75 degrees, operating according to the water bath technology. Before that, it is cut in small pieces to speed up the process of heating and, as a result, the color change. In a cold state, it has a milky hue, and as it warms up it becomes transparent.
The wick for a gel candle is recommended reinforced - classic cotton strands incorporate a large amount of gel, as a result of which their use becomes irrational. Also be sure to choose the correct form, which will be filled with gel. The diameter of its bottom and the inner rim on the upper edge should not be less than 5 cm - this is a kind of protection against fire. In this case, the vessel for the candle is selected glass, so that you can see the whole design that will be enclosed in it. Gel candles, rearranged into metal patterned candlesticks, also look interesting.
A variety of decorative elements, flavors and colors are chosen at your discretion. But here it is worth mentioning at once that the dye for the gel wax is acquired special - it has nothing in common with other dyes. Otherwise, there will be a negative reaction with this chemical composition, the transparency of the material will be lost.
Gel candles at home: manufacturing features
To master the process of creating a gel candle yourself, you need to know a few points about the proper work with gel wax - the beauty of the future product depends on it. During its heating, you have to have a thermometer at hand - as soon as a substance begins to approach its temperature to the level of 93 degrees, the power decreases to gradually cool everything to 70 degrees. If the gel did not manage to melt completely during this time, you can hold it for a few minutes at the maximum allowable temperature, but in no case should you pass the specified threshold.
At the same time, it is recommended to immediately prepare the container into which the candle will be poured. At the bottom of the glass vessel requires a little glue to drip to fix the wick with it. Then you can create a design of the future candle by filling the container with colored stones, glass, shells and other trifles. Each element is pre-dipped in a hot gel, and only then placed in its place.
The next nuance - gel wax is a very delicate substance, and if you work incorrectly with it, you can not avoid the appearance of bubbles. To avoid this, it is important to follow several factors. First, heat the vessel into which you pour the gel to 60 degrees. You can do it in the oven. Besides the fact that such a step will lower the likelihood of bubbles, it will also not allow the container to split due to the temperature difference, when hot gel will be poured into the cold glass.
Secondly, it is necessary to mix the gel very slowly and carefully - it will also prevent air from entering the dishes and the mixture. And if the bubbles nevertheless reached the almost finished candle, then as soon as you transfer the gel to the main vessel with the wick, it should be removed to the hot oven. In a few minutes the bubbles will all rise to the surface, and constantly hot air will not allow the gel to freeze over this time.
It is required to pour the gel into the vessel very slowly, jetting the side. The more carefully you do this, the more even the filling will be. The wick at this moment is recommended to keep the second hand extended upwards, above the neck of the vessel. The capacity itself is set exactly. When the candle cools down and the gel becomes stationary, the wick is cut to the desired length. This completes the basic technology of creating a gel candle.
The basic component is gelatin
If it so happens that you don’t get the classic gel wax, but you really want to try yourself in creating a gel candle, you can make the basic component for it yourself. To do this, you only need to attend to the purchase of gelatin, as well as glycerin and tannin. In addition to them, we need all the same vessel and wick, water and any decor you like.
Gelatin is diluted with cool water in a ratio of 1: 4, where it will swell over the next 30 minutes. After that, glycerin is introduced here, the volume of which is equal to the volume of water used. Heat the mixture is required in a water bath, maintaining low power under the bowls. It is necessary to wait for the moment when the consistency becomes completely homogeneous, but not to overheat it. Bowls for a water bath are also placed on the next burner, where tannin and glycerin are combined in a ratio of 1: 5, moreover, glycerin should be half as much as was previously used. When this mixture becomes homogeneous, pour it into the main bowl.
If you do everything right, the resulting substance will lose its transparency, but not for long. Here comes the most crucial stage: it is necessary to monitor the changing state of the future candle. As soon as the liquid becomes clear and not turbid again, it is removed from the heat and carefully poured into the already prepared vessel. The remaining steps are the same as for the finished gel wax.
It is important to remember that it is impossible to overheat gelatin and other components once again. It will not become transparent again, but it will acquire an unpleasant smell, and it can only be thrown away.
Variety of options and useful tips
If you want to give the gel a certain color, the dye must be added at the stage of its melting, so that it can evenly disperse the substance. Its quantity varies depending on your idea. If the main focus is on filling the candle, it is not recommended to saturate the gel mass with color, as this will adversely affect its transparency.
You can also resort to special luminescent substances, which today are also commercially available. On 1 candle rarely leaves more than 1-1.5 g of powder, so the cost of the phosphor usually justifies itself. Even from a pack of 20 g you can make a lot of glow in the dark with different shades of candles.
Gel candles can not only be changed in shades by adding dyes, but also give them a certain flavor. For this purpose, either flavors in powders are used (1/4 tsp to a full glass of gel mixture) or essential oils (1-2 drops). In addition, we should not forget about the natural flavors, which are both decorative elements. For example, you can put cinnamon sticks in a candle holder, which even after sealing with a gel, will emit a pleasant aroma, and at the same time retain their attractive appearance. Any flavor is also added at the stage of heating the wax or gelatin, while in the hot mixture it is still possible to dissolve the granules or liquid completely.
Making gel candles with your own hands is an occupation no less fascinating than, for example, soap making. It does not require you serious financial or time costs, but allows you to come up with new ideas for a home or a gift to loved ones. And the inspiration for the design of candles can be scooped in any moment of your life.