Candles in modern times have evolved into something more than a simple light source. Candles are decorative, adding a personal touch to a home and welcoming visitors with visual appeal and pleasant scents. Stores exist that sell candles that are not meant to ever be used as candles, including intricate wax sculptures in and of themselves and electronic candles that function as decorative potpourri heaters. Gel candles are perhaps the simplest form of decorative candle to craft, requiring only a few simple ingredients.
Things You'll Need
- Glass jars
- 2 cups distilled water
- 10 to 20 drops scented oil
- 2 to 4 drops food coloring
- 4 packets Knox powdered gelatin
- Candle wick
- Glass beads
- Artificial flowers
- Craft stick
- Plastic wrap
Wash the jars you intend to use for your candles and allow them to dry thoroughly. If the jars previously held candles, and have remnants of wax leftover, scrape as much wax away as you can and use boiling water to remove the rest.
Boil 1 cup of distilled water in a pot on a stove. Using distilled water will help to prevent mold. You can also add a tablespoon of salt or 2 tbsp. vodka to the mixture to further prevent mold.
Add 10 to 20 drops of scented oil to the mixture, depending on how strong you wish the candle's scent to be. The more drops of scent you add, the stronger the scent will be. You can purchase scented oils at most craft stores.
Add several drops of food coloring if you wish your candle to be colored. Food coloring is available at most grocery stores.
Add four packets of Knox powdered gelatin to the boiling mixture. Stir the mixture until the powdered gelatin is completely dissolved. You can purchase Knox powdered gelatin at most grocery stores.
Remove the pot containing the mixture from the stove and add 1 cup of cool or room temperature distilled water to the mixture. Mix thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into the jars, filling the jar to roughly 1 inch from the rim.
Allow the jars to cool for about five minutes. In the meantime, cut segments of candle wick equal to the height of the jar. You can buy candle wicks at craft stores.
Insert the candle wick into the center of the gel within the jar. The gel will be only slightly set, so the wick should penetrate the gel easily while the slight firmness of the gel will keep it in place.
Add any additions, such as seashells, polished stones or artificial flowers to the gel by placing them on the surface of the gel and pressing them down with a toothpick, craft stick or butter knife. The gel will still be solidifying and any puncture made in the gel will close as the gel continues to solidify.
Allow the candle to cool completely.
Wrap the candle in plastic wrap to preserve the scent until you choose to use it.