Introduction: Holiday Gel Candle
Every year for Christmas I like to make something for my family; a lot of times a decoration or an ornament. This year, I decided to make them a candle with Christmas decorations inside. I did a bit of Googling, got some ideas and inspiration, and then went to work figuring out how I would construct my candle. I decided on making the gel part separate from the actual candle because I was too afraid the decorations would catch fire if they were in the same glass as the flame. I also thought it would light up the decorations better with the flame in the middle of the candle as opposed to on top. So first, I had to find glass containers that would fit inside one another with the smaller one being the right size to hold a tealight candle. The larger glass also had to be big enough that there would be enough space between the small and large glass for decorations. Once I found some glasses that would work, I needed some candle gel wax (I got a gallon of it but you could definitely get away with a smaller size if you only plan to make one or two candles). The next challenge came with trying to find something that I could melt the wax in. I ended up picking up a 5 pack of disposable mini loaf pans at the dollar store because I didn't want to worry about getting gel wax down the sink when washing nor did I want the wax in anything that is used for food. As an added bonus, the corners made it much easier to pour out of then a round pot. Finally, I needed something to scoop the candle gel out of its original container with. I'm honestly not sure what you are supposed to use, but I used an old mason jar lid. It didn't work the best, but it got the job done. Finally, the decorations! You can get creative and use whatever you want as long as it fits in the space between the glasses and it can stand up to the wax. I tried to use different decorations (ornaments, candy canes, and thin garland) in all of my candles to see what works well and looks good when lit up and what doesn't. Pretty much as long as the wax won't destroy it or catch it on fire, its fair game to try.
- Candle Gel Wax (Take advantage of that 40% off coupon!)
- Mini Loaf Pans (or anything else you don't mind melting wax in)
- 1 Large Glass Container
- 1 Small Glass Container
- Stove to Melt Wax
- Decorations (I used small ornaments in mine)
- Tea Light Candle
- Something to Scoop the Wax out (I used a Mason jar lid)
- Pot Holder
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Step 1: Melting Your Wax
Grab whatever scooping device you're using and scoop out a couple of large blobs of wax into the pan (I doubled my pans up to make them sturdier). Make sure there is no wax on the outside of the pan because it can and will catch on fire if it comes in contact with fire from the stove. This is something you'll want to check for after every time you pour the wax as well.
Put the pan on the stove and heat it on a low or medium heat until it is all melted and it looks like water. Just make sure not to heat it at such a high temperature that it boils and DO NOT leave it unattended. Once it is melted, turn off the burner and get your pot holder and large glass container ready.
*You may want to crack open a window and turn on a fan while melting the wax. It isn't particularly stinky, and it may just be that I got it too hot, but it does let off a bit of a fume once it really starts melting.*
Step 2: Pouring the First Layer of Wax
Using your pot holder (the pan is very hot) pour gel wax into the large glass to create a bottom layer of wax. My smaller glass was shorter than my large one so I poured enough wax that if my smaller glass sat on top of this first layer of wax, it would be just a bit shorter than my large glass. After checking the height, I set my small glass aside for later.
Once I had enough wax, I dropped a few ornaments inside and then waited for it to be almost cool before I dropped a few more in. When the wax is still hot, they will fall all the way to the bottom, but once it starts to cool, the wax thickens. The thicker wax doesn't allow them to fall quite as far down so you can get them at different levels within the wax. This is one of the reasons I poured the wax in layers and waited for it to cool in between. If I were to pour it all at once, all of the ornaments would sink to the bottom.
Step 3: Second Layer of Wax
Once the first layer is completely cool, repeat Step One to heat the wax, but this time after you pour it in, insert the smaller glass. Then, more decorations can be added around the smaller glass. However, like in the previous step, keep in mind that they will likely all fall to the previous layer of wax so you may want to put some in and then wait a little while and put more in once it cools a bit.
I also had a bit of an issue with my first layer of wax not being quite deep enough making my smaller glass sit a little lower than I had wanted it. But, it proved to have an easy fix. All I needed to do was hold the glass where I wanted it until the wax firmed up enough for it to support the glass by itself. So, while it was kind of annoying having to hold it, it was definitely not a catastrophic problem.
Step 4: Final Layer!
Once the second layer of gel wax is completely cooled, its time for the final layer. The final layer of wax is done just like the first two layers. The only difference is that you want to be careful not to overfill it. I filled mine almost to the top of the smaller glass and when I put in the remaining decorations, it caused the wax to rise up to the perfect level.
Its okay if you don't get quite enough wax the first time. You can always melt down a little more and top it off.
If you spill any wax into the smaller glass or onto the outside of the larger glass, don't panic! Once it cools, it will peel right off. Just make sure any extra residue is cleaned off before you put the tealight in and light it. Which leads us to our final step...
Step 5: Tealight and Lighting
If you haven't already, you can go ahead and put your tealight candle inside the smaller glass. At this point, you are ready to grab a lighter and light the candle! Enjoy your new Holiday Gel Candle yourself or gift it to a friend or family member to enjoy!
If you still have wax left, make a few more while experimenting with different decorations to put inside. I made 2 more with candy canes and thin garland (pictured above).
Have fun and just remember to never leave a lit candle unattended :)
This is an entry in the
Make it Glow Contest