Using candle gel, you can make an infinity of projects, each more beautiful and original than the other.
However, for obvious safety reasons, you shouldn't incorporate flammable decorative elements like leaves and dried flowers, cardboard and cloth figurines, paper...
This project with spectacular results and extremely easy to make will allow you, in all safety, to use pretty much any kind of decorative elements, whether they are flammable or not.
You can now give free rein to your imagination and to your creativity !
and of course the tools of the trade: heat plate, melting pot....
The secret of this project is the choice of the container into which the gel will be poured.
To solve the safety issue inherent to the use of potentially flammable decorative elements, we are going to use something rather unusual: the glass cups normally used to serve shrimp cocktails.
These cups are a perfect choice because they are made of two pieces: the largest - bottom - piece where you would normally place crushed ice and a smaller one that fits on top of the larger one, where the shrimp cocktail would be.
At this point, you get the idea: the decorative elements will be placed in the large, bottom cup while the gel is poured in the top section, safely isolated from any flammable element.
These cups can be hard to find, but it gets a lot easier around Christmas. You can also search online for them. I found mine, a set of four, in my local home decoration store for the very attractive price of 9,99 euros.
And since I have four of them, I will go for a classic "four seasons" theme...
Because you can use pretty much anything you like to decorate your candle, give your imagination and your creativity free speech.
For my "four seasons" theme, I've searched the same home decoration store and gathered a few bits and pieces. The pictures 3, 4, 5 and 6 will give you an idea of the decorative elements I'll use: pot-pourri with a range of fall colors, sea shells, white decorative sand to mimic snow and artificial flowers for the summer. It's entirely up to you.
For safety reasons, make sure you arrange your decorative elements inside the large cup in such a way that the smaller cup containing the gel still fits perfectly inside.
Focus on the summer...
When you're happy with the sceneries you created and if you've made sure they don't hinder the correct fit of both cups, it is then time to start the next step: heating the gel.
Candle gel is not heated in a double boiler like paraffin and other waxes but in a melting pot placed directly on the heat source.
This means that you will have to monitor its temperature from beginning to end with a thermometer, even more so than you would with paraffin (or soy) wax.
Using your fingers, tear the gel into small pieces and put them in a melting pot (or a small pan). During the whole melting process, make sure that the temperature of the candle gel never exceeds 230°F.
Once all the gel is liquefied (a sure sign of that is the complete absence of air bubbles in the gel), turn off the heat source and let the temperature of the gel drop to somewhere between 185°F and 203°F. If you want your gel to contain a lot of air bubbles, pour it at 185°F. If you'd rather not have too many bubbles showing, pour it closer to 203°F. For this project, because the decorative elements are in the foregroundwith respect to the gel, the presence of air bubbles isn't a real problem.
Pour a thin layer (1 cm) of gel in the cups and, using the wicking needle, put the wick in place. Make sure you apply pressure on the wick tab with the needle and that it is centered in the cup.
If you are going to use a wick that is factory-coated or otherwise primed, it is recommended to dip it in hot gel (not the gel you are going to use for the candle though) for a couple of minutes before you use it.
This will melt most of the wax that coats the wick. Failure to do so could result in a visible cloudiness of the candle gel when you pour it in the cup.
After a couple of minutes, the thin layer of gel will have set enough to allow you to install a wick holder to (gently) tighten the wick and center it.
When the wick is secure, fill the cup with gel up to the desired level.
Give your candle all the time it needs to completely cool off (at the very least an hour).
When the gel of your candle is at room temperature again, all that's left to do is precautiously remove the wick holders and trim the wicks to about 7 millimeters.
And voilà! Your candle (or candles) is done.
You can burn it in all safety, but always follow the safety guidelines, one of which requires that a candle should not be burnt more than two hours in a row.
Nothing prevents you to change the theme of your candle if you get tired of the current one.
Put a new scenery in place and you have a whole new candle... and when the gel is getting low in the upper cup, just clean it thoroughly and fill it up again.