How to Make a Seascape Gel Candle

Seashells and other natural treasures from the ocean shore make wonderful embellishments for homemade candles. Gel candles are especially beautiful when imbedded items such as shells, polished stones, and other seaside objects are clearly visible within. You can easily create a glowing mystical underwater world encapsulated in a candle of gel, and you can do it for a fraction of what retailers typically charge.

Required Supplies

To make a seascape gel candle you will require a source of heat, a double boiler, a thermometer, a large metal spoon, small pliers, and a clear eight-ounce heat-resistant container. You will also need two wick tabs, two core wicks, 8 ounces of Versagel, wax paper, blue block dye, or a drop of liquid candle dye, small seashells, �½ ounce of gel-safe fragrance, and approximately �½ cup of colored aquarium sand.

Optional Supplies

Optionally you can add items such as small polished stones, small pieces of coral, and other seaside treasures of your choice. Use your imagination to create an enchanting underwater ocean scene.

Getting Started

Before beginning, it is important to familiarize yourself with the materials required to make a seascape gel candle. Doing so will help you locate the items for purchase, and you will gain a better understanding of how they are used in the candle making procedure.

A double boiler is a commonly used item for making candles. It consists of two pans, one of which sits partially inside the other. The bottom pan is filled with water, and the water is brought to a boil. Gel melted within the upper pan will ultimately attain a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius, the same as boiling water.

There are various types of wicks used in candle making. Core wicks, as suggested for this particular project, are typically made of either paper, zinc, or cotton. Lead core wicks are available, but they are not recommended due to toxicity issues associated with lead. Core wicks have either a paper or wire core that provides support for the braided wick.

A wick tab, otherwise known as a wick clip, is used to help keep the wick straight and centered when making a container candle. It adds weight to the wick and provides an attachment that keeps it in place within the soft gel.

Gel-safe fragrance is the type to look for when making a seascape gel candle. Scents that are not labeled as such can cloud the gel or adversely change its consistency, so be sure to pay close attention to product labeling. When in doubt, choose a clear scent rather than a colored one.

Block dye is available in chip form and is great for making gel candles. It blends well with the gel, and it provides a clear vivid hue. Liquid dye is also recommended when making gel candles, but keep in mind that a little goes a long way. A small drop is usually sufficient for coloring eight ounces of liquid gel.

In your quest for a perfect container for your seascape gel candle, remember that it needs to be able to withstand a temperature of 210 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. With this in mind, you may want to consider a container made of tempered glass. Make sure the vessel you choose is crystal clear so the imbedded items can be easily seen. In addition, the container should be at least 2 inches in diameter for the candle to burn properly.

Procedure

Now that you are familiar with the necessary supplies, you can begin making your seascape gel candle. Begin by washing the objects that will embellish the seascape gel candle. Wash the shells, polished stones, coral, and any other items you plan on using. Even more important, make sure the items are thoroughly dry. You will also need to wash the sand to remove any dirt and sediment. Do so by rinsing it thoroughly, and allow the sand to dry completely before using it for your candle making project.

Next you will need to place a thermometer in the top pan of a double boiler, and fill the bottom pan with water. Make sure the upper pan remains dry. Bring the water to a slow rolling boil, and place the candle gel in the upper pan. Keep any eye on the thermometer, and melt the gel until it reaches a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lay a sheet of wax paper on your work surface, and prime the wick by coating it with a thin layer of gel. Doing so will enable the wick to burn properly. You should also coat the metal stirring spoon, wick tab, shells, polished stones, and any other items that will be embedded in the gel. Coating them will help prevent the formation of air bubbles in the finished candle. Allow the gel-covered objects to dry on the sheet of wax paper.

Before pouring the melted gel, it is essential to warm the container first in order to prevent breakage and the formation of air bubbles in the gel. Run the container under hot water for several minutes, and dry it thoroughly.

After warming the container, attach the wick to the wick tab, and center it inside. Carefully surround the wick with the items you have chosen to create the seascape. Try to keep the items near the border of the container rather than against the wick. The objects will be more visible, and they won’t interfere with the burning wick.

When the melted gel has reached a temperature of 205 degrees Fahrenheit, fragrance and color may be added. Be sure to use the recommended quantities. Adding more than suggested can cause the gel to become murky. Using the gel-coated metal spoon, slowly and thoroughly mix in the additives.

When the gel has reached a temperature of 210 degrees Fahrenheit, or 100 degrees Celsius, it is ready to be poured into the prepared container. Try to pour the melted gel as close to the edge of the container as possible to reduce the number of air bubbles. If there are air bubbles in your finished candle, don’t be disappointed. They will resemble air bubbles rising from the bottom of the ocean, and they will make the scene more realistic in appearance.

Allow the finished candle to sit undisturbed until it completely cools. After the gel has cooled, if necessary, trim the wick to length of approximately 1/4 inch. You can then light the wick, and enjoy the warm and relaxing glow of your beautiful seascape gel candle.

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